February 7, 2016

Debit cards to prevent child care fraud

Governor Scott Walker wants to use debit cards in the Wisconsin Shares child care program. Low-income parents would pay for state-subsidized child care with the state-issued debit card, rather than having the state pay the providers directly, as is current practice. “This is one more way, one more tool that allows parents to be involved not only in the choices being made, but to help us make sure that providers are being paid for children who are actually at the child care provider.”

Some child care providers were abusing the system and stealing taxpayer dollars — reporting they were watching a child several days a week when, in fact, the youngster was not there at all. The governor says putting the payment responsibility in the hands of parents could help prevent fraud.

The head of the Department of Children and Families proposed the idea to the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee this week during agency briefings on the governor’s 2013-2015 budget bill.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uncovered multimillion-dollar fraud in Wisconsin Shares child care program for needy families.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:10

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