Facts In Action
Examines its Child Care Costs
military child-care system, the largest system of employer-sponsored
child care in the country, has received wide recognition for providing
high-quality, affordable care for the children of military employees.
Like many other sectors, however, the Department of Defense (DoD)
has been affected by the current budget deficit, and as a result
has been investigating the most cost-effective ways to provide care
while maintaining a high level of quality and multiple options for
recent RAND report explored the cost of providing care through DoD-operated
child development centers, family child care homes, and centers
operated by outside providers under contract to the DoD. The study
found that the average annual cost of DoD-operated center-based
child care ranged from $12,133 for infant care to $4,595 for school-age
care. However, the cost of care to parents is largely subsidized
by the DoD. Parents pay on a sliding scale based on their total
family income. Per-child cost was lower in larger centers, and higher
in areas with a higher cost of living.
care was substantially less expensive for the DoD, particularly
for younger children. However, parents who use family-based care
do not necessarily benefit from these lower costs because they do
not receive as much assistance from the DoD. Fees are often negotiated
between parents and providers, and are unregulated by the DoD. As
a result, the amount parents pay at family-based care might actually
be higher than what they would pay at a child care center. Offering
higher subsidies for family child care might make this type of care
more appealing to parents, and could help DoD save money. The RAND
study also found that care provided by outside contractors did not
reduce costs for parents or the DoD.
What Are the Costs of Operating the Military's Child Care System?
G. L. Zellman and S. M. Gates, RAND Research Brief RB-7552-OSD,
For more information:
contact: RAND, PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138, call (310)
451-7002, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or look online at www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB7552/.Editor's note: This url has changed: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB7552/index1.html]
Facts in Action, October 2002
|Goodbye from the printed version of Facts in Action.