Last week, the Wisconsin legislature passed the Responsibility in Child Care Act (SB280/AB412). In the bill, if a child care provider 1) commits fraud within the Wisconsin Shares subsidy program, 2) is part of a corporation or limited liability company, and 3) is unable to pay back what they owe, then any person who holds 20 percent or more of ownership interest in the child care facility and who has control of/responsibility for the business may be personally liable.
Also last week, Racine and Kenosha Counties announced the creation of two new Anti-Fraud Task Forces dedicated to combating fraud within the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program. This development brings the total number of anti-fraud tasks forces to three (in September, the state created the first anti-fraud task force in Milwaukee county).
Both of these initiatives will deter fraud within the Wisconsin Shares program, help the state recoup taxpayer money that was distributed to fraudulent providers, and increase accountability. Wisconsin Shares was created to help low-income families pay for child care so that parents could work. By decreasing fraud, the program can move towards this original, and worthy, intent.
For additional measures that the state has taken in response to child care subsidy fraud, see our previous blog entry here.