MORE than two out of every five childcare services being funded by the state were found to be majorly non-compliant with requirements, a damning report has found.
The report said that the risk rating for early years schemes which provide free and subsidised childcare across the country was “firmly in the red”.
And it warned Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone that serious compliance issues including the possibility of fraud were likely to continue for several years as legacy issues were dealt with.
“Overcharging parents, absent or inadequate attendance fee records, claiming for more children than were attending, and failing to meet staff ratio requirements were among the failings”
Fifteen cases had been discovered that were “high risk” where there was major concerns over financial controls including the possibility of fraud.
Overcharging parents, absent or inadequate attendance fee records, claiming for more children than were attending, and failing to meet staff ratio requirements were also among the failings discovered during compliance reviews last year.
Over the course of ten months, 2,862 service providers – all in receipt of funding from the state – were looked at around the country.
Of those, 1,234 were found to be majorly non-compliant, another 663 had minor non-compliance, while only 965 were found to be compliant.