Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Child Care Loopholes Give Easy Money

Child care loopholes lead to easy money
01/28/09 - Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel by Raquel Rutledge (via Freakonomics)

In essence, "Rules are rules, and it isn't my money. I'm just the administrator around here." Will the Federal Government do a lot better spending $850 billion?

[edited] Four young women have recieved about $540,000 in taxpayer dollars since 2006 for their home-based money-making operation, with the blessing of the state. They have 17 children. For years, the government has paid them to stay home and care for each other's children as in-home child-care providers.

There is nothing illegal about it under the rules of Wisconsin Shares, the decade-old child-care assistance program designed alongside Wisconsin's welfare-to-work program.

Laurice Lincoln is administrative coordinator for child care with the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. "It's a loophole, and we have concerns about it. It can be a problem. But if it's allowed, it's allowed. We really can't dispute it."

The Journal Sentinel revealed a system rife with lax regulations allowing abuse by parents and providers.

• Sisters or other relatives can stay home, swap kids and receive taxpayer dollars. The four Racine sisters took in as much as $540,000 in taxpayer dollars in less than three years, mostly to watch each other's kids.

(There is more ...)

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