A child attending a family day care centre has been sexually assaulted by the husband of the woman running the centre at the couple's Sydney home, police allege.
The 59-year-old alleged attacker was arrested on Christmas Eve and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a child under 10 years of age.
According to a police statement, it is alleged the offence took place late last year when the child was attending the family day care service operated by the accused man's wife at their home in Sydney's inner-west.
The service, which was registered with the local council at the time, has since closed down. Eight other families whose children had attended the centre in the past 12 months received emails this week informing them of the arrest of a person within the family day care system.
However, the email did not inform the parents the person arrested was from the centre their child had attended.
A council spokesperson refused to comment on the matter, or the way in which parents were informed of the arrest, when contacted yesterday.
"Council is under instructions from police to make no comment at all connected to the incident,'' the spokesperson said.
The peak body representing home-based child carers, Family Day Care Australia, released a statement describing any allegations of abuse as "deeply concerning''.
"Family Day Care Australia is aware of an alleged incidence of abuse at the residence of a family day care educator. We are unable to formally comment on the case as it is currently before the court,'' the statement reads.
"Family day care operates under the same National Quality Framework as other forms of Australian Government approved child care services. Relevent state and territory child protection legislation also applies to all these services.
"All educators are required to hold a Working With Children Check and adult residents at a family day care residence are required to be "fit and proper persons" with a current criminal history check and/or Working With Children Check.
"Under the national law, family day care approved services are required to undertake regular unannounced or prearranged visits to ensure the health and wellbeing of children being educated and cared for is protected.
"Any incidence of abuse is unacceptable and deeply concerning."
The accused man will appear in Downing Centre Local Court to face the charge in early March.