ERIC Number: ED438059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Child Care: How Do Military and Civilian Center Costs Compare? United States General Accounting Office Report to Congressional Requesters.
Fagnoni, Cynthia M.
The Department of Defense's (DOD) child development program has been identified as a model for the rest of the nation. To provide a benchmark cost estimate for Congress as it addresses child care issues, this report identifies the objectives of the military child development program, describes its operation, determines the full costs of DOD centers and the cost per child-hour for center-based care, and compares this cost with the full cost of comparable quality civilian child care. Only Air Force child development centers were included because the Air Force was the only service whose centers had all met the accreditation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Cost estimate data came from the Air Force and other government sources and child development centers. Cost estimates for civilian child care centers came from a study of 150 centers identified as providing high-quality care out of a sample of 401 centers in 4 states. The military program's primary objective is to help families balance competing demands of family and military responsibilities by providing high-quality child care at affordable rates. Caregivers have comprehensive child development training and receive salaries meeting prescribed minimum levels. The Air Force's cost of operating its centers was $81.4 million in fiscal year 1997, with an estimated cost per child-hour of $3.86. When adjusted for age distribution of the children, the costs of high-quality care in Air Force and civilian centers were not substantially different. (Five appendices include a description of the study methodology and cost comparisons.) (KB)
Descriptors: Benchmarking, Comparative Analysis, Cost Estimates, Day Care, Day Care Centers, Early Childhood Education
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013 (additional copies, $2 each). Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.gao.gov.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.