The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that child abusers and people who have committed other serious crimes are becoming licensed child-care providers and are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Wisconsin Shares system. Nearly 500 child-care providers in Wisconsin with criminal records have received funding from the state in the first half of 2009 alone, the paper said.
The $350 million-a-year program subsidizes child-care costs for roughly 35,000 low-income working families. But the system has been easily scammed by parents and providers. In addition to posing a potential safety risk to the state’s neediest children, some criminals appear to be conning the child-care system, doctoring attendance records, the Journal Sentinel found.