The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has served notice to revoke the status of Impresario Learning Lab as a student care centre that is allowed to administer government student care fee assistance. The revocation comes into effect on 20 September 2016.
On 23 August 2016, MSF had served a notice of intention to revoke Impresario Learning Lab’s status as a student care centre that is allowed to administer government student care fee assistance. A recent MSF audit had uncovered multiple wrongful claims for student care fee subsidies made by Impresario Learning Lab to the government. MSF had also referred the matter to the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force.
Impresario Learning Lab was given 14 days to provide an explanation to MSF regarding the wrongful claims, but did not do so by the deadline. It has, however, written to inform MSF that it plans to cease operations as a student care centre on 20 September 2016 and that it has informed parents of its plans.
The revocation will take effect on 20 September 2016, to give parents time to make alternative arrangements. MSF is in the process of recovering all wrongful subsidy claims from Impresario Learning Lab. We have been in contact with the parents to explain the situation and to offer them our assistance in transferring their children to other student care centres.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What do parents need to do if their child is still enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab?
Impresario Learning Lab had informed MSF that the centre will cease operations with effect from 20 September 2016, and that it had informed parents of its plans. MSF will assist the parents in finding alternative student care centres if they wish to enrol their child in other centres. Children who are eligible can continue to receive student care fee assistance at the new centres.
2. How does MSF detect wrongful student care fee assistance claims made by student care centres?
What are the current safeguards against fraudulent claims?
MSF conducts regular audits on centres to ensure that student care fee assistance claims are bona fide.
Centres are required to ensure proper records and documentation of applicants and beneficiaries’ details, attendance, student care subsidies applications, renewal, appeals, withdrawal forms and supporting documents (e.g. medical certificate for child’s absence from the student care centre).
3. What actions will be taken on student care centres which are found to have wrongly administered government student care fee assistance?
MSF can revoke the centre’s status as a centre that is allowed to administer government student care fee assistance if the lapses are serious. The matter may also be referred to the police.
4. How many student care centres are there?
As at August 2016, there are 434 student care centres registered with MSF. Please refer to https://www.msf.gov.sg/Portals/0/SCFA_Admin_website.pdf for the list of registered centres.
5. How long has Impresario Learning Lab been a Government Student Care Fee Assistance Administrator?
From our records, Impresario Learning Lab started disbursing student care fee assistance in 2013.
6. How many children are enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab? How many are receiving Government Student Care Fee Assistance?
Based on our records, there were 14 children enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab in Jun 2016. 7 are currently receiving government student care fee assistance.