Ineligible parents have been enrolling in Florida’s Early Learning Coalitions, according to the Auditor General’s report on Wednesday. The service is meant for working families only, but the report showed that thousands of people who access the programs also collect unemployment.
“If we can’t cross-match those databases, then we can’t catch that,” said Gordon Tremaine, CEO of the Alachua County Early Learning Coalition.
Tremaine said they do not have access to the unemployment files at the local level.
The report showed $40 million in potential fraud, but Tremaine said the amount of money was overestimated in Alachua County.
The problem could be fixed when a new data system, which should have the capacity to cross-check between different agencies, is up and running, he said.
Tremaine doesn’t think it would discourage those who are actually qualified from enrolling in Florida’s Early Learning Coalition.
Rachel Jones wrote this story online.