The former director of Faith Educare childcare centres, a 53-year-old Singaporean woman, and two of her female Singaporean employees, aged 42 and 53 respectively, will be charged in court today (Mar. 17) with cheating of fraudulent child care subsidy claims.
Wrongful payouts amounting to S$4,800
The three women allegedly conspired to deceive the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) into disbursing subsidies for eight children.
The children had either not started on their enrolment during the months for which subsidies were claimed, or did not attend Faith Educare centres at all.
16 subsidy claims were allegedly submitted to ECDA, which falsely confirmed the children’s attendance between January and August 2016. This reportedly resulted in wrongful payouts amounting to S$4,800.
ECDA administers the Child Care Subsidies Scheme, which helps to defray preschool expenses for Singaporean children, by disbursing subsidies to ECDA-licensed childcare centres in Singapore.
In an official statement, ECDA announced that the wrongful payouts for the subsidy claims have since been fully recovered from Faith Educare. The childcare centre is also no longer in operation.
In August 2016, ECDA had detected irregularities in Faith Educare’s subsidy claims, and referred the matter to the Police.
"For the disbursement of preschool subsidies under ECDA, there are processes and checks in place to ensure the proper use and accountability of Government monies. ECDA maintains close oversight of preschools’ use of government subsidies which includes conducting regular audits."
It added that it takes misuses of government funding by any individual or licensee seriously, and would not hesitate to take action against those who breached Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDC) Act and Regulations.
If convicted, the three women could be jailed up to 10 years, fined, or both.
Top image via Faith Educare Facebook