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March 30, 2007: 

The Honorable Richard Durbin: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Sam Brownback: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Josť E. Serrano: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ralph Regula: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

Subject: An Assessment of Dependent Care Needs of Federal Workers Using 
the Office of Personnel Management's Survey: 

Recognizing the changing demographics of the federal workforce-- 
significant portions of the workforce are aging, facing the need to 
care for elderly parents, and are or will be retiring, and in turn 
likely to be replaced by a younger workforce with child care needs--the 
Congress was interested in understanding the dependent care needs of 
the federal workforce and to what extent employees were using or could 
use federal programs and benefits designed to help meet these needs. We 
have previously reported that work-life programs, such as alternative 
flexible work schedules and child care centers and assistance, are 
viewed by agency officials as being among the most effective programs 
used to help manage their workforce.[Footnote 1] 

In response to these trends, the House and Senate Committees on 
Appropriations, included a mandate in its Conference Report 108-792 
directing GAO to: (1) provide technical assistance to the Office of 
Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration 
(GSA) in their efforts to gather data on federal employee child care 
needs and analyze options to meet those needs, and (2) review the data 
and analysis generated and provide the results to the Committees. This 
letter and enclosure is our response to this mandate. More 
specifically, they provide our analysis of results from a survey of 
federal employees, which OPM developed and administered, that address: 
(1) the extent of dependent care needs reported by these employees, and 
(2) the ways in which these employees currently meet those needs, 
including the use of certain federally-sponsored programs and 
flexibilities intended to help address child and adult dependent care 
needs. 

To conduct our analysis, as agreed with staff of the subcommittee, we 
assisted OPM with developing and administering a survey to federal 
workers. The survey was administered to 40,000 randomly-selected 
employees to identify their existing and future child and adult 
dependent[Footnote 2] care needs and the extent to which current 
federal dependent care options meet the identified needs. Current 
dependent care options include federal child care centers, the Child 
Care Subsidy Program, and dependent care flexible spending accounts or 
equivalent (DCFSA). GSA and individual agencies are authorized to 
sponsor child care centers for children of federal employees. The Child 
Care Subsidy Program authorizes agencies to assist lower-income 
employees with child care needs by providing a monetary subsidy for 
care. The DCFSA is a type of flexible spending account that permits 
employees to set aside a portion of their salaries pretax to pay for 
dependent care expenses. Dependent care options also include a number 
of flexible scheduling benefits, such as telework and alternative and 
flexible work schedules, that federal agencies offer and employees use 
to meet their dependent care needs. The dependent care survey was 
administered from April 6 through June 1, 2006, to employees of 
executive and legislative agencies and the judicial branch's court 
units and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The survey was 
designed to obtain the needs of, and options used by, employees from 
various age groups and income levels since programs such as the Child 
Care Subsidy Program have income eligibility requirements. The data 
were sufficiently reliable for our purposes of reporting the results. 

We analyzed survey data governmentwide for the entire survey population 
and for agencies or units in each branch separately. We also analyzed 
survey data for employees with multiple types of dependent care needs 
because OPM indicated that a growing number of federal workers have 
both young children and aging parents for whose care they are 
simultaneously responsible. In some cases, we also analyzed data for 
individual agencies to determine if there were significant differences 
across agencies for a few, targeted questions. To supplement survey 
data and information on dependent care options, we also obtained data 
on the availability, operation, and utilization of federal child care 
centers from GSA; on the numbers of executive branch agency personnel 
and their geographic location from OPM's Central Personnel Data File; 
and on the number of executive agencies that provide child care 
subsidies from OPM. While we did not independently verify the survey 
responses provided to us by OPM, we did independent analyses and 
certain statistical tests to verify OPM's analyses of the data and any 
comparisons contained in this report. 

On December 14, 2006, we briefed subcommittee staff on preliminary 
survey results. This letter and its enclosure summarize and update the 
information presented at the briefing and include additional 
information on federally-sponsored child care centers requested by 
subcommittee staff. The enclosure generally covers governmentwide 
trends and additional survey results on agencies in the executive 
branch, in part because they are under OPM jurisdiction and that agency 
has primary authority over workplace programs in the executive branch. 
The enclosure then highlights the extent to which results for employees 
within the legislative agencies and judicial units match or differ from 
employees in the executive agencies. 

Summary of Findings: 

Governmentwide, survey results show that about 54 percent of federal 
employees reported having either child or adult dependent care needs, 
or both, and about 19 percent of employees currently without dependent 
care needs expect to have them in the future. Dependent care needs 
varied across executive branch agencies and between the legislative, 
judicial, and executive branches. Governmentwide, federal employees 
with children reported using an array of child care arrangements to 
meet their needs, with about 75 percent of them reporting that they 
prefer the arrangements they currently use. Most employees reported 
they prefer to use some form of in-home care to meet their needs. Less 
than 10 percent of employees with children in care prior to first grade 
reported using federal child care centers. However, of the 25 percent 
of employees with children that were not using their preferred child 
care arrangement, from 45 to 71 percent of these employees (depending 
on the age of the child) wanted to use federal centers, and many 
reported they could not because of availability and cost. In terms of 
availability, we found that there are currently 225 federally-sponsored 
child care centers nationwide with one half sponsored and operated by 
GSA and the other half sponsored and managed by agencies. When 
determining whether to sponsor a center, an agency, among other things, 
assesses the geographic location of its employees and whether there are 
large enough numbers to sustain a center, and if this is the best 
federal option available to meet employee needs. 

With respect to the two other federal dependent care programs, 98 
percent of executive branch employees with children reported they did 
not use a child care subsidy program (not available to legislative and 
judicial branch employees), and governmentwide, about 93 percent said 
they did not use a DCFSA. Most employees reported not using these 
programs either because they did not pay for care or because they did 
not know about these benefits. Also, of the employees who did not use 
the DCFSA, 8 percent reported not using it because they did not know 
how to use it. While results for legislative and judicial branch 
employee use of child care centers was similar to those for the 
executive branch, more of these employees used the DCFSA than in 
executive agencies. Governmentwide, employees reported also using a 
variety of workplace scheduling flexibilities as options for addressing 
their dependent care needs. The availability and use of these 
flexibilities varied widely across agencies and more employees in the 
legislative agencies and judicial units reported using such 
flexibilities than in executive agencies. Although availability and use 
varied, survey results indicated that these workplace scheduling 
flexibilities were consistently important to the recruitment and 
retention of employees with dependent care needs governmentwide. 

Observations on Survey Results and Next Steps: 

The dependent care survey results indicate there is no overall mandate 
for new or additional federal dependent care programs and benefits, 
since most employees are satisfied with their current care 
arrangements. However, the data do suggest that agencies could improve 
communication about and, therefore, better leverage the existing 
federal dependent care programs and benefits that they may offer, given 
that a significant number of employees said they did not know if their 
agency offered these programs or did not know how to use them. Because 
survey results varied across agencies, they could review their 
individual results with the programs and workplace options they offer 
to determine whether these programs and options best balance the 
agencies' employees' needs with mission requirements and promote 
recruitment and retention of high-quality federal employees. In 
reviewing their agency-specific data to assess their employees' unique 
needs, executive agencies can coordinate with OPM, legislative agencies 
can coordinate with any relevant oversight bodies such as the Chief 
Administrative Officers (CAO) Council, and judicial court units can 
coordinate with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. When 
assessing dependent care needs, agencies will want to consider 
conditions and circumstances unique to their agency and employees, 
including the age, income, and geographic distribution of their 
workforce. 

Agency Remarks: 

We provided a draft copy of this enclosure to OPM and GSA to verify the 
accuracy of the data and program descriptions. We briefed the CAO 
Council on the survey's overall results and results specific to the 
legislative agencies and briefed the Administrative Office of the U.S. 
Courts on the survey's overall results and results specific to the 
judicial branch. OPM and GSA verified the accuracy of the data and 
program descriptions and OPM agreed with our overall assessment of the 
survey results and our suggested next steps. The CAO Council and the 
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts also agreed with our suggested 
next steps. 

We will send copies of this report to the Director of OPM, the 
Administrator of GSA, the Chair of the CAO Council, and the Director of 
the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; appropriate congressional 
committees; and other interested parties. We will also make this report 
available at no charge on GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov. Should 
you or your staffs have any questions about this report, please contact 
me at (202) 512-6510 or larencee@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs can be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions to 
this report are Trina Lewis, Latesha Love, Karen O'Conor, Gregory 
Wilmoth, Rebecca Shea, and George Quinn, Jr. 

Signed by: 

Eileen Regen Larence: 
Director, Homeland Security and Justice: 

Enclosure: 

Briefing to the Committee on Appropriations United States Senate: 

An Assessment of Dependent Care Needs of Federal Workers Using the 
Office of Personnel Management's Survey: 

Overview: 

Objectives: 

Scope and Methodology: 

Background: 

Results in Brief: 

Findings/Results: 

Conclusions: 

Next Steps: 

Objectives: 

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees management of 
executive branch federal dependent care programs and the General 
Services Administration (GSA) oversees management of space for about 
half of all federal child care centers. GAO was mandated by Conference 
Report 108-792 to: 

provide technical assistance to OPM and GSA in their efforts to assess 
child care needs of federal employees and: 

review data from OPM's child and adult dependent care needs survey and 
report an evaluation of results to the Committees on Appropriations. 

We focused our analysis on: 

the existing and future dependent care needs of current federal 
employees as identified by the OPM survey; and: 

the extent to which current federal dependent care options meet 
identified needs (including federal child care centers, the Child Care 
Subsidy Program, and the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account). 

Note: In a subsequent Senate report, the Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, 
and Related Agencies, directed OPM to report on progress made in 
implementing any GAO recommendations within 6 months after the release 
of the report mentioned above and requested that OPM include further 
measures that may be taken to address federal child care needs. 

Scope and Methodology: 

To assess dependent care needs of federal employees, OPM, with 
technical assistance from GAO and GSA, conducted a survey of the child 
and adult dependent care needs of executive, legislative, and judicial 
branch employees[Footnote 3]: 

A Web-based survey was administered to 40,000 federal employees from: 

* 24 of the most populous agencies of the executive branch, along with 
a 25th group consisting of all other small and independent agencies 
within OPM's Central Personnel Data File (CPDF); 

* judicial branch court units and the Administrative Office of the U.S. 
Courts; and: 

* legislative branch agencies (GAO, Library of Congress, Architect of 
the Capitol, Government Printing Office, Office of Compliance, 
Congressional Budget Office, and U.S. Capitol Police). 

The Web-based Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey was designed to 
identify the existing and future dependent care needs of current 
federal employees and explore the extent to which current federal care 
options meet identified needs. 

Dependent care options include federal child care centers, the Child 
Care Subsidy Program, and the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, 
among other things. 

The survey population was selected to capture employees from various 
age groups and income levels: 

* A stratified random sample of employees from each agency was 
selected, based upon the following four characteristics[Footnote 4]: 

- federal employees age 50 and under with incomes equal to or below 
$69K (over sampled), 

- federal employees age 50 and under with incomes above $69K, 

- federal employees over age 50 with incomes equal to or below $69K, 
and: 

- federal employees over age 50 with incomes above $69K. 

* The selection of an age group considered the following: 

- younger federal employees are more likely to have children 18 years 
of age and younger, and: 

- current demographic trends suggest older federal workers may also 
have child care needs as well as be part of the "sandwich generation" 
with both child and elder care needs. 

* The selection of an income group considered the following: 

- executive branch agencies that offer a child care subsidy program 
have discretion in setting income eligibility requirements, 

- the highest income eligibility threshold set by any agency was $69K, 
and: 

- employees with incomes below $69K were more likely to be eligible for 
a child care subsidy program. 

Survey Administration and Response: 

The Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey was administered from April 
6 through June 1, 2006. Response rates by branch were: executive (34 
percent), legislative (37 percent), and judicial (51 percent).[Footnote 
5] The data were adjusted for nonresponse bias based on age, income and 
agency and are sufficiently reliable for our purposes of reporting 
these results. 

The survey was administered via e-mail request from the OPM Deputy 
Associate Director, Center for Employee and Family Support Policy. 

E-mail access was not available to employees of two legislative branch 
agencies-Architect of the Capitol (AoC) and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP). 
Because of the complex skip patterns in the survey, a paper form could 
not be administered reliably to these two agencies. 

Therefore, a different data collection method was employed for AoC and 
USCP: 

* AoC: 

- Special computer kiosks were set up for employees to access the 
survey. 

- Managers were encouraged to provide employees who wished to 
participate in the survey both the time and instructions on how to do 
so. 

* USCP: 

- Employees were advised of the survey by letter, which provided 
information on accessing the survey from a home computer or any other 
available computer. 

OPM provided technical support to all surveyed employees in all three 
branches. 

To review and report child and adult dependent care needs data: 

We analyzed survey response data for: 

* the entire survey population, 

* each branch separately, and: 

* employees with multiple types of dependent care needs. 

Based upon governmentwide trends, we also analyzed responses for 
targeted questions at the agency level. 

Data on the availability, operation, and utilization of federal child 
care centers was obtained from GSA. 

Data on the numbers of executive branch agency personnel and geographic 
location was obtained from OPM's Central Personnel Data File. 

Data on the number of agencies providing child care subsidies was 
obtained from OPM. 

Data obtained on federal centers, personnel, and child care subsidies 
are sufficiently reliable for our purposes of reporting these 
results.[Footnote 6] 

Our briefing covers governmentwide trends and additional results on the 
executive branch because its agencies are under OPM jurisdiction. We 
also highlight similarities and differences between executive branch 
results and results for the legislative and judicial branches, which 
are not subject to OPM regulation. 

Results reported for the use of child care programs and benefits are 
only from survey respondents with dependent care needs. 

We did not independently verify the survey responses provided by OPM. 
We produced and verified the analysis and estimates for the results in 
this briefing, including calculating confidence intervals, and 
conducted significance tests for any survey results that we report in 
this briefing. 

Background: 

Federal Dependent Care Programs: 

The federal government primarily provides assistance to employees with 
dependent care needs through the sponsorship of federal child care 
centers, the Child Care Subsidy Program, and the Dependent Care 
Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) or an equivalent program. 

There are 225 federal child care centers nationwide that serve the 
dependent care needs of a range of federal agency employees. About half 
of these federal centers fall under GSA oversight while others are 
sponsored directly by other federal agencies. For example, GSA has 
oversight of a federal center at the Internal Revenue Service in 
Tennessee, while the Department of Veterans Affairs directly sponsors 
41 centers in various locations. 

Federal centers operate without direct federal monetary subsidies, and 
its users include both children of federal and nonfederal workers. 

The Child Care Subsidy Program authorizes agencies to assist lower- 
income employees with child care needs by providing a monetary subsidy 
for care. 

The DCFSA is a type of flexible spending account that permits employees 
to set aside a portion of their salaries pretax to pay for dependent 
care expenses. 

Agencies may permit employees to use a number of flexible scheduling 
benefits to meet their dependent care needs. 

* Flexible work schedules permit employees to alter the time of their 
arrival and/or departure to reduce the length of the work week or 
another workday. 

* A compressed work schedule is working a biweekly 80-hour pay period 
in less than 10 work days. 

* Telework, also referred to as telecommuting, is a work arrangement in 
which an employee regularly performs officially assigned duties at home 
or other worksites geographically convenient to the employee's 
residence. 

* A part-time schedule is working 32 to 64 hours during a biweekly pay 
period. 

Results In Brief: 

Dependent Care Needs: 

Governmentwide, dependent care survey results show that about 54 
percent of federal employees reported having either child or adult 
dependent care needs, or both. Survey results also show that about 19 
percent of federal employees who currently do not have dependent care 
needs expect to have them in the future. Dependent care needs varied 
across executive branch agencies and between the legislative, judicial, 
and executive branches. 

Types of Child Care Used: 

Federal employees governmentwide reported using an array of child care 
arrangements to meet their needs and generally prefer the arrangements 
they use. Most employees prefer to use some form of in-home care, 
either the employees' own home or someone else's home. Less than 10 
percent of employees with children in care prior to first grade use 
federal child care centers to meet their needs. However, 25 percent of 
employees were not using their preferred child care arrangements and 
from 45 to 71 percent[Footnote 7] of these employees wanted to use 
federal centers and many reported that they could not because of 
availability and cost.[Footnote 8] Cost was also cited as a reason for 
not using other preferred child care arrangements. 

Federal Programs Used: 

Most employees reported that they did not use the Child Care Subsidy 
Program (available only to executive branch employees) and dependent 
care flexible spending accounts (DCFSA) either because they did not pay 
for care or because they did not know about these benefits. Also, 8 
percent of employees reported not using the flexible spending accounts 
because they did not know how to use them. More employees in the 
legislative and judicial branches used the DCFSA than in the executive 
branch. 

Federal Benefits Used: 

Governmentwide, employees reported they are also using a variety of 
workplace scheduling flexibilities as options for addressing their 
dependent care needs, although their availability and use varied widely 
across agencies. A larger percentage of employees in the legislative 
and judicial branches used the flexible work schedule and other 
flexibilities (such as telework) than in the executive branch. Survey 
results indicated that these workplace scheduling flexibilities were 
important to the recruitment and retention of employees with dependent 
care needs. 

Observations on Survey Results: 

While survey results indicate that there is no overall mandate for new 
or additional federal dependent care programs, the data suggest that 
agencies could better communicate and, therefore, better leverage the 
existing federal dependent care programs and benefits that they may 
offer. Results also indicate agencies could review the programs and 
benefits that they offer to determine whether these programs and 
benefits best balance the agencies' employees' needs with mission 
requirements. In addition, agencies could review whether they can 
better leverage these workplace options to promote recruitment and 
retention of employees. 

We outline a number of next steps that agencies and OPM could take to 
assess their needs and determine to what extent the programs and 
benefits offered meet these needs, as well as better communicate the 
programs and benefits available to employees. 

Finding/Result #1: 

Survey results show a sizeable percentage of federal employees reported 
having child or adult dependent care needs, or both and employees 
expect to continue to have needs in the future. 

Current Needs: 

About 54 percent of employees governmentwide reported currently having 
child or adult dependent care needs, or both. 

About 41 percent of employees governmentwide reported currently having 
child care needs. 

About 23 percent of employees governmentwide reported currently having 
adult dependent care needs. 

About 9 percent of employees governmentwide who have dependent care 
needs reported currently having dual child and adult dependent care 
needs; about 46 percent of employees in this group reportedly expect to 
continue to have child care needs and about 44 percent reportedly 
expect to continue to have adult dependent care needs in the future. 

Note 1: We define child care needs as employees with households 
containing children under age 18. 

Note 2: The 41 percent, 23 percent, and 9 percent with dual needs can 
not be added to imply total need because the 9 percent includes those 
counted in the 41 percent and 23 percent that have child or adult 
dependent care needs. 

Future Needs: 

About 19 percent of employees governmentwide who do not currently have 
child, or adult dependent care needs, or both, reported that they 
expect to have them in the next 3 years. 

About 10 percent of employees governmentwide who do not currently have 
child care needs reported that they expect to have them in the next 3 
years. 

About 11 percent of employees governmentwide who do not currently have 
adult dependent care needs reported that they expect to have them in 
the next 3 years. 

Statistics on future dependent care needs indicate that a sizable 
percentage of employees expect to continue to have or begin having 
dependent care needs in the future. 

Note: The percentage of employees who currently have dependent care 
needs and those who do not have needs, but expect to have them in the 
future, cannot be combined for a total of employees who will have needs 
in the future. The percentage of employees who currently have needs may 
increase or decrease in the next 3 years. 

Finding/Result #2: 

Individual agency dependent care needs vary. 

Survey results indicate employee childcare needs vary from 31 percent 
at the Department of Labor to 50 percent at the Departments of Justice 
and Homeland Security. 

Survey results for the Department of Defense indicate more than 20 
percent of its employees have adult dependent care needs. 

Survey results for the Departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs 
indicate more than 20 percent of their employees will continue or 
expect to have adult dependent care needs in the next 3 years. 

The variation in agency needs indicates that each agency may want to 
consider obtaining its own survey data from OPM and analyzing the data 
to identify and fully determine its own unique needs. 

Finding/Result #3: 

Governmentwide, federal employees reported using an array of child care 
arrangements to meet their needs and generally prefer the arrangements 
they use. 

Commonly Used Child Care Options: 

(Population: all employees with infant, toddler, preschool, or 
kindergarten dependents): 

Infant; 
Care in own home: 51%; 
Care in someone else's home: 39%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 21%; 
Care in federal center: 3%; 
Before/after care: NA; 
Summer/day camp: NA. 

Toddler; 
Care in own home: 49%; 
Care in someone else's home: 34%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 21%; 
Care in federal center: 8%; 
Before/after care: NA; 
Summer/day camp: NA. 

Preschool; 
Care in own home: 47%; 
Care in someone else's home: 27%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 16%; 
Care in federal center: 6%; 
Before/after care: 15%; 
Summer/day camp: 9%. 

Kindergarten; 
Care in own home: 39%; 
Care in someone else's home: 21%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 11%; 
Care in federal center: 4%; 
Before/after care: 48%; 
Summer/day camp: 27%. 

Source: GAO analysis of 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey 
data. 

Note: Table percents exceed 100 percent because respondents were 
allowed to select more than one method of child care. 

[End of table] 

* About 75 percent of employees reported using their preferred child 
care arrangements. 

* Overall survey results show a relatively small percentage of 
employees use federal centers. With the exception of employees with 
kindergarten dependents, most use some form of in-home care (in own 
home or someone else's). 

About 25 percent of federal employees with infants, toddlers, 
preschoolers, and kindergarteners are not using their preferred child 
care arrangement. Generally most of these employees would prefer to use 
federal centers or some type of in-home care. 

* As shown in the table below, 45 to 71 percent of this group said they 
would prefer to use federal centers. 

Child Care Arrangement(s) Employees Would Prefer to Use: 

(Population: responses of the 25 percent of employees with infants, 
toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, not currently using their 
preferred child care arrangement): 

Infant; 
Care in own home: 45%; 
Care in someone else's home: 31%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 26%; 
Care in federal center: 70%; 
Before/after care: NA; 
Summer/day camp: NA; 
Other: 5%. 

Toddler; 
Care in own home: 39%; 
Care in someone else's home: 27%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 29%; 
Care in federal center: 65%; 
Before/after care: NA; 
Summer/day camp: NA; 
Other: 15%. 

Preschool; 
Care in own home: 43%; 
Care in someone else's home: 23%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 24%; 
Care in federal center: 71%; 
Before/after care: 24%; 
Summer/day camp: 18%; 
Other: 12%. 

Kindergarten; 
Care in own home: 45%; 
Care in someone else's home: 39%; 
Care in nonfederal center: 26%; 
Care in federal center: 45%; 
Before/after care: 41%; 
Summer/day camp: 25%; 
Other: 10%. 

Source: GAO analysis of 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey 
data. 

Note: Table percents exceed 100 percent because respondents were 
allowed to select more than one method of child care. 

[End of table] 

Frequently cited reasons employees are not using their preferred child 
care arrangement(s): 

* federal center is not available, 

* prefer to personally care for or have family member care for child 
but, must work, or 

* preferred choice is too expensive. 

Frequently Cited Reasons Employees Are Not Using Preferred Child Care 
Arrangement: 

(Population: responses of the 25 percent of employees with infants, 
toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, not currently using their 
preferred child care arrangement): 

Infant; 
A federal center is not available to me: 66%; 
Prefer care by self, other parent/guardian, or relative, but have to 
work: 42%; 
Preferred method costs too much: 31%. 

Toddler; 
A federal center is not available to me: 55%; 
Prefer care by self, other parent/guardian, or relative, but have to 
work: 37%; 
Preferred method costs too much: 59%. 

Preschool; 
A federal center is not available to me: 57%; 
Prefer care by self, other parent/guardian, or relative, but have to 
work: 37%; 
Preferred method costs too much: 45%. 

Kindergarten; 
A federal center is not available to me: 48%; 
Prefer care by self, other parent/guardian, or relative, but have to 
work: 58%; 
Preferred method costs too much: 47%. 

Source: GAO analysis of 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey 
data. 

Note: Table percents exceed 100 percent because respondents were 
allowed to select more than one reason for not using their preferred 
method of child care. 

[End of table] 

Availability of Federal Child Care Centers: 

One-half of the 225 federal child care centers fall under the oversight 
of GSA. 

* In the GSA network, centers are issued a license for the use of space 
on federal property. 

Federal child care centers are individually managed by a variety of 
organizations: for-profit and not-for-profit, small and large, and 
national and local. 

* A small number of centers are managed by nonprofit parent boards. A 
few centers operate under a direct contract with a federal agency. 

While federal child care centers receive some federal assistance such 
as space and utilities, they must be able to operate without federal 
monetary subsidies. 

* Many center locations lack a sufficient number of federal employees 
to fill a center exclusively with children of federal employees. 
Authorizing legislation allows for a combination of community and 
federal employee users to keep centers viable. 

* As of 2005, 58 percent of federal center users were dependents of 
federal employees. Overall utilization of federal centers was 87 
percent of capacity. 

GSA's Child Care Program assesses the need for additional spaces and 
new child care centers on an ongoing basis in conjunction with 
participating agencies. 

Distribution of Federal Child Care Centers, Capacity, and Utilization 
2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GSA. 

[End of figure] 

The geographic location of employees is an important factor in 
determining availability of federal child care centers to employees. 
For example: 

* As of September 2006, Illinois had approximately 47,000 executive 
branch employees working for a number of federal agencies across the 
state. While approximately two-thirds of these employees worked outside 
of the city of Chicago and immediate surrounding areas, five of the 
state's nine federal child care centers were located within the city of 
Chicago. Four federal centers covered the remainder of the state. 

* As of September 2006, New Mexico had approximately 25,000 executive 
branch employees working for a number of federal agencies across the 
state. While the state's one and only federal center was located in the 
city of Albuquerque, two-thirds of the state's executive branch 
employees worked in other parts of the state. 

* These data suggest that each agency would need to consider the unique 
conditions and circumstances relevant to its organization when it 
reviews its dependent care programs and other relevant dependent care 
options. These considerations should include not only the age and 
income of its workforce, but the geographic distribution of employees 
(rural/urban, near other federal agencies, near federal child care 
centers, etc.), among other things. 

Agencies have discretion in determining whether a federal child care 
center best meets their needs. Some agencies with large numbers of 
employees (over 1,000) working in a particular state sponsor federal 
centers in that location, while others do not. Likewise, some agencies 
with smaller numbers of employees have determined that a federal child 
care center best meets their needs. For example, as of September 2006, 
the Department of the Treasury had 2,727 employees working in Illinois, 
but the agency did not sponsor a federal child care center in that 
state. However, the Department of Health and Human Services, which had 
590 employees working in Illinois, sponsored one federal center in that 
state. 

Selected Federal Employment and Centers in Illinois: 

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs; 
# of employees: 8951; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 2. 

Agency: Department of Homeland Security; 
# of employees: 4604; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 1. 

Agency: Department of Justice; 
# of employees: 3179; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 2. 

Agency: Social Security Administration; 
# of employees: 3069; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 1. 

Agency: Department of the Treasury; 
# of employees: 2727; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 0. 

Agency: Department of Agriculture; 
# of employees: 2056; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 1. 

Agency: Environmental protection agency; 
# of employees: 1265; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 1. 

Agency: General Services Administration; 
# of employees: 711; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 1. 

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services; 
# of employees: 590; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 1. 

Agency: Department of Energy; 
# of employees: 294; 
# of federal centers agency sponsors[1]: 2. 

Source: GAO analysis of CPDF data and GSA list of centers. 

[1] In this table the number of centers that agencies sponsor sums to 
13 because some agencies share a federal center. However, there are 
only 9 federal centers in Illinois. 

[End of table] 

Finding/Result #4: 

In addition to federal child care centers, the federal government 
offers a variety of other work-life programs and benefits to assist 
employees with child and adult dependent care needs. However, the use 
of some of these programs and benefits is relatively low. 

These other federal programs and benefits include: 

child care subsidy programs, 

federally sponsored dependent care flexible spending accounts, and: 

workplace scheduling flexibilities. 

Finding/Result #5: 

Relatively few employees use a Child Care Subsidy Program. 

Executive agencies, at their discretion, are permitted to use 
appropriated funds otherwise available for salaries to assist their 
lower-income employees with child care costs. Agencies determine 
eligibility criteria and the amount of the child care subsidy they will 
offer for their individual programs. 

About 2 percent of executive branch employees with children surveyed 
reported that they use a child care subsidy program. 

* According to OPM, in FY 2006, 31 of 90 agencies (34 percent) 
participating in an annual child care program survey reported that they 
offered a child care subsidy program. Eleven of the agencies offering a 
program were subagencies or offices within a department-level 
agency.[Footnote 9] 

Information on agency subsidy programs is important, given that a 
sizeable number of survey respondents who are not using their preferred 
child care arrangement reported that it is because of costs. 

Executive Branch Agencies that Provide a Child Care Subsidy Program: 

Central Intelligence Agency: 
Department of Agriculture/Farm Service Agency: 
Department of Agriculture/Foreign Agricultural Service: 
Department of Agriculture/ Research, Education, and Economics: 
Department of Education: 
Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control: 
Department of Health and Human Services/Food and Drug Administration: 
Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services 
Administration: 
Department of Health and Human Services/National Institutes of Health: 
Department of Health and Human Services/Administration on Aging: 
Department of Health and Human Services/Program Support Center: 
Department of Health and Human Services/Substance Abuse and Mental 
Health Services Administration: 
Department of Housing and Urban Development: 
Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of Inspector 
General: 
Department of the Interior: 
Department of Labor: 
Department of State: 
Department of Transportation/Federal Railroad Administration: 
Department of the Treasury/Bureau of Public Debt: 
Department of the Treasury/U.S. Mint: 
Department of the Treasury/ Internal Revenue Service/Office of Chief 
Counsel: 
Department of Veterans Affairs: 
Environmental Protection Agency: 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: 
General Services Administration: 
National Labor Relations Board: 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: 
Office of Personnel Management: 
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: 
Railroad Retirement Board: 
Securities and Exchange Commission: 

Of the 98 percent who do not use a child care subsidy program, about 
half of the employees reported they do not use it because they do not 
pay for care and about 18 percent said they do not qualify because of 
their income. About one-third of employees said they did not know about 
the program, which suggests that OPM and agencies may need to improve 
communication about federal options for child care.[Footnote 10]  

Top Reasons for Not Using Child Care Subsidy Program: 

(Population: the 98 percent of executive branch employees with children 
that do not use a Child Care Subsidy program): 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: I do not need it because I do not 
pay for child care; 
Percentage: 48%. 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: I did not know about it; 
Percentage: 33%. 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: I do not qualify (e.g., household 
income)[A]; 
Percentage: 18%. 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: Subsidy program is not available 
in my agency; 
Percentage: 11%. 

Source: GAO analysis of 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey 
data. 

Note: Table percents may exceed 100 percent because respondents were 
allowed to select more than one reason for not using the program. 

[A] Agencies have discretion in setting income eligibility requirements 
for their subsidy program. The highest total family income eligibility 
for any agency is $69K. 

[End of table] 

Similar to overall executive branch results, most employees with 
children and family incomes below $69K did not use a child care subsidy 
program because they do not pay for care, and some did not qualify 
because of income. About one-third of employees with incomes below $69K 
said they did not know about the subsidy program.[Footnote 11] These 
results again suggest that OPM and agencies may need to improve 
communication about federal options for care, especially to employees 
who are more likely to be eligible for a subsidy program. 

Top Reasons for Not Using Child Care Subsidy Program: 

(Population: federal employees with children who have total family 
income below $69K): 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: I do not need it because I do not 
pay for child care; 
Percentage: 52%. 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: I did not know about it; 
Percentage: 37%. 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: I do not qualify (e.g., household 
income); 
Percentage: 10%. 

Reason for not using federal subsidy: Subsidy program is not available 
at my agency; 
Percentage: 12%. 

Source: GAO analysis of 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey 
data. 

Note: Table percents may exceed 100 percent because respondents were 
allowed to select more than one reason for not using the program. 

[End of table] 

Finding/Result #6: 

Governmentwide, almost all agencies offer a Dependent Care Flexible 
Spending Account or an equivalent benefit. However, 7 percent of 
employees with child or adult dependents use the benefit.[Footnote 12] 

The DCFSA is one of two types of flexible spending accounts, sponsored 
by OPM for agencies, which permit federal employees to set aside a 
portion of their salaries pretax to pay for dependent care expenses. 
DCFSA is part of the Flexible Spending Account Program, also known as 
FSAFEDS. 

Forty percent of federal employees said they do not use the DCFSA 
program because they do not pay for care. Twenty six percent reported 
they did not use the program because they did not know about it and 
about 8 percent did not use it because they did not know how to use the 
program. Again, this suggests a need for improved communication. 

Top Reasons for Not Using the DCFSA Program: 

Top Reasons for Not Using the DCFSA Program: 

(Population: all federal employees with child or adult dependents who 
do not use the DCFSA or an equivalent program): 

Reason for not using DCFSA: I do not need it because I do not pay for 
dependent care; 
Percentage: 40%. 

Reason for not using DCFSA: I did not know about DCFSA; 
Percentage: 26%. 

Reason for not using DCFSA: I do not know how to use DCFSA; 
Percentage: 8%. 

Reason for not using DCFSA: My children are age 13 or older[1]; 
Percentage: 7%. 

Source: GAO analysis of 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey 
data. 

Note: Table percents may exceed 100 percent because respondents were 
allowed to select more than one response. 

[1] Employees with dependent children under age 13, or with any person 
of any age whom they claim as a dependent on their federal income tax 
return and is mentally or physically incapable of self care, is 
eligible to use the DCFSA. 

[End of table] 

Finding/Result #7: 

Survey results indicate that agencies' current methods to communicate 
about dependent care programs and benefits they offer may not be as 
effective as they should be. Of the surveyed employees with children, 
about 39 percent did not know if a federal center is offered by their 
agency and 59 percent did not know if a subsidy program is offered by 
their agency. 

* Of the surveyed employees with children or adult dependents, more 
than 60 percent did not know if the Dependent Care Flexible Spending 
Account is offered by their agency. 

* Aside from agency broadcast e-mail, employees who did use the 
dependent care programs, such as the DCFSA, learned about them more 
from other sources (e.g., spouses/partners and other federal employees) 
than from some types of agency communication that are designed to 
communicate about employee benefits (e.g. employee orientation and open 
season health fairs.) 

These results suggest a need for agencies and OPM to improve 
communication to employees. 

Finding/Result #8: 

In addition to dependent care programs, employees also use workplace 
scheduling flexibilities as an option for addressing dependent care 
needs. However, the extent to which employees said these options were 
available to them or they used them varied widely across agencies. 
These results suggest that agencies may want to analyze their 
individual survey data to determine how they can leverage these 
existing workplace flexibilities to best balance employee needs with 
the mission of the agency. 

Governmentwide, more employees re reported having and using the 
Flexible Work Schedule (FWS)/ Alternative Work Schedule than any o her 
flexibility to manage their dependent care needs. 

* Executive branch: 

- Top scheduling flexibilities available: 

* 42% flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule: 

* 38% compressed work schedule/alternative work schedule: 

* 25% reported not having any flexibilities: 

- Top scheduling flexibilities used: 

* 28% flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule: 

* 24% reported not having any flexibilities: 

* 18% compressed work schedule/alternative work schedule: 

* A sizeable percentage of executive branch employees also reported 
using other workplace benefits such as annual leave, sick leave or 
"comp" time[Footnote 13], to address their dependent care needs. 

* About 11 % of employees did not know what workplace scheduling 
flexibilities were offered by their agency. 

Employee responses on the flexible scheduling benefits offered and used 
to meet their dependent care needs differed by agency. For example: 

Department of Education: 

* Frequently cited benefits available: 
- 73% flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule; 
- 61% compressed work schedule/alternative schedule; 
- 54% telework; 
- 12% part-time. 

* Frequently cited benefits used: 
- 42% flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule; 
- 35% telework;  
- 30% compressed work schedule/alternative schedule; 
- 6% part-time. 

Office of Management and Budget: 

* Frequently cited benefits available (if available): 
- 46% reported not having any flexibilities; 
- 23% part-time work; 
- 21% flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule; 
- 14% telework. 

* Frequently cited benefits used (if used): 
- 19% reported not using any flexibilities; 
- 19% telework; 
- 19% flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule; 
- 13% part-time. 

These results suggest that agencies may want to analyze their survey 
data to determine whether their current menu of workplace flexibilities 
best balances the needs of their employees with agency mission 
requirements. 

Finding/Result #9: 

Workplace scheduling flexibilities were also important to the 
recruitment and retention of employees with dependent care needs. 

About 53 percent of all federal employees with dependent care needs 
said that workplace scheduling flexibilities were important to their 
decision to take their current job and 67 percent said that 
flexibilities were important to their decision to stay with their 
agency. 

Workplace scheduling flexibilities were more important to recruitment 
and retention for employees at some agencies than others: 

* 86 percent of Department of Education employees said workplace 
scheduling flexibilities were moderately, very, or extremely important 
to their retention. 

* 64 percent of Department of Justice employees said workplace 
scheduling flexibilities were moderately, very, or extremely important 
to their retention. 

Dependent care issues affect retention: 

* Employees at several agencies reported that their dependent care 
needs have caused them to look for a job with another federal agency in 
the last 12 months. 

* For example: 

- Office of Management and Budget (about 21%), 

- Department of Homeland Security (about 30%), 

- General Services Administration (about 17%), and: 

- Department of Justice (about 18%). 

These results suggest that OPM and federal agencies review 
opportunities to use the flexibilities they offer or explore 
opportunities to offer additional flexible work options, in order to 
address challenges to recruitment and retention. 

Finding/Result #10: 

Survey results for legislative and judicial branch employees compared 
to executive branch employees were similar for some responses and 
different for others. 

Legislative and Judicial Branch Dependent Care Needs Compared to the 
Executive Branch: 

Child and Adult Dependent Care Needs by Branch: 

(Population: federal employees): 

Branch: Executive; 
child care needs: 41%; 
Adult dependent care needs: 23%. 

Branch: Judicial; 
child care needs: 44%; 
Adult dependent care needs: 16%. 

Branch: Legislative; 
child care needs: 34%; 
Adult dependent care needs: 16%. 

[End of table] 

As previously noted, federal employees (including the legislative and 
judicial branches) are using an array of child care methods to meet 
their needs and about 75 percent are using the child care arrangements 
that they prefer most. 

Finding/Result #11: 

Legislative and Judicial Branch Use of Federal Programs: 

* Legislative and judicial branch employee use of federal child care 
centers is similar to that of executive branch employees. 

- About 3 percent of legislative branch employees use a federal child 
care center. 

- About 2 percent of judicial branch employees use a federal child care 
center. 

* More employees in the legislative and judicial branches reported 
using Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts or similar benefits 
than in the executive branch. 

- About 11 percent of legislative branch employees (or another adult in 
their household) use Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. 

- About 14 percent of employees (or another adult in their household) 
in the judicial branch use a dependent care flexible spending account. 
(Note: The federal judiciary does not participate in the FSAFEDS 
program, but offers its own version of the FSA program.) 

Finding/Result #12: 

Legislative and Judicial Branch Communication of Existing Federal 
Dependent Care Programs: 

* The judicial and legislative branches did a better job of 
communicating about existing federal dependent care programs than the 
executive branch, but opportunities for improved communication still 
exist. 

- The judicial branch had the highest percentage of employees who knew 
about the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts, followed by the 
legislative branch. Similarly, more legislative branch employees knew 
about federal centers than in the executive branch. Although, the 
judicial and legislative branches did a better job communicating about 
some federal dependent care programs than the executive branch, lack of 
information was still cited as a significant reason for employees not 
using the DCFSA and federal centers. 

- In all three branches of government, employees most frequently cited 
broadcast e-mails as their main source of agency communication about 
dependent care programs available to them. 

Finding/Result #13: 

Legislative and Judicial Branch Use of Workplace Scheduling 
Flexibilities to Address Dependent Care Needs[Footnote 14]: 

* Like the executive branch, legislative and judicial branch employees 
used the flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule most often to 
address dependent care needs. 

* However, a larger percentage of legislative and judicial branch 
employees used the flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule and 
the telework flexibility to manage their dependent care needs than in 
the executive branch. 

- Flexible work schedule/alternative work schedule: 

* 51% legislative branch: 

* 38% judicial branch: 

* 28% executive branch: 

- Telework: 

* 21% legislative branch: 

* 12% judicial branch: 

* 8% executive branch: 

* Workplace flexibilities were important for recruitment and retention: 

- Similar to the case in the executive branch, workplace scheduling 
flexibilities were important to judicial and legislative branch 
employees. Flexibilities were most important to the recruitment and 
retention of legislative branch employees. 

Conclusions: 

Survey data indicate that many federal employees have child or adult 
dependent care needs, or both, and expect to have or begin having 
dependent care needs in the future. Because these needs varied among 
agencies, reviewing their agency-specific data to assess their unique 
needs would better assist agencies in developing or expanding options 
available to meet those needs. 

Survey data indicate that federal employees are using a range of child 
care options to address their dependent care needs, and most are 
satisfied with their current options; however about a quarter of these 
employees are not using their preferred child care arrangement and most 
reported they would prefer to use federal centers. Because many factors 
affect whether federal centers are a viable option for employees, 
agencies would need to consider the geographic location of their 
employees with dependent care needs, among other things, when assessing 
whether current federal dependent care programs, such as federal 
centers, are meeting the needs of their employees. 

While survey results indicate that there is no overall mandate for new 
or additional federal dependent care programs, the data suggest that 
agencies could better communicate and, therefore, better leverage 
existing federal dependent care programs that they may offer. These 
programs include federally-sponsored child care centers, the Child Care 
Subsidy Program, and dependent care flexible spending accounts. 

Survey results indicate that employees also use workplace scheduling 
flexibilities to meet their dependent care needs and that these 
flexibilities were important to their recruitment and retention. 
Therefore, reviewing the flexibilities that an agency offers to 
determine whether they best address employee and agency needs and 
whether the agency could better leverage flexible work options to 
promote recruitment and retention would be useful. 

Next Steps: 

Agencies may want to review their agency-specific data to assess their 
unique dependent care needs. 

* Executive branch agencies can coordinate with OPM to obtain 
assistance in assessing current and future employee dependent care 
needs. 

* Legislative branch agencies can coordinate with any relevant 
oversight bodies, such as the Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) 
Council, to obtain assistance in assessing current and future employee 
dependent care needs. 

* Judicial branch court units and the Administrative Office of the U.S. 
Courts can work together to obtain any necessary assistance in 
assessing current and future employee dependent care needs. 

When assessing whether current federal dependent care programs, such as 
federal child care centers or child care subsidies, meet the needs of 
their employees, federal agencies would need to consider conditions and 
circumstances that are unique to their agency and its employees, 
including the age and income of their workforce, geographic 
distribution of employees (rural/urban, near other federal agencies, 
near federal child care centers, etc.), and whether their employees 
have child or adult dependent care needs, or both. 

Executive and legislative agencies and judicial units may want to 
review the flexibilities they offer to determine (1) whether their 
current menu of workplace flexibilities best balances the needs of 
their employees with agency mission requirements and (2) whether there 
are opportunities to use flexible work options to address areas where 
the agencies face challenges in recruitment and retention. 

Federal agencies can improve communication about existing federal 
dependent care programs that may be available to employees. 

* Executive branch agencies, in coordination with OPM, can identify 
methods to improve communication about federal dependent care programs 
that are available to executive branch employees. These programs 
include the Child Care Subsidy Program, Dependent Care Flexible 
Spending Accounts, and federal child care centers that may be sponsored 
by the agencies. 

* Legislative branch agencies, in coordination with the CAO Council, 
can identify methods to improve communication about federal dependent 
care programs that are available to legislative branch employees. These 
programs include the use of Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts 
and federal child care centers that may be sponsored by the agencies. 

* Judicial branch court units and the Administrative Office of the U.S. 
Courts, can work together to identify methods to improve communication 
about federal dependent care programs that are available to judicial 
branch employees. These programs include the judicial branch equivalent 
to dependent care flexible spending accounts and federal child care 
centers that may be sponsored by the judicial branch. 

We provided a draft copy of this briefing to OPM and GSA to verify the 
accuracy of the data and program descriptions. 

We briefed the Chief Administrative Officers Council on the survey's 
overall results and results specific to the legislative branch. 

We briefed the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on the survey's 
overall results and results specific to the judicial branch. 

For further information, please contact Eileen Larence at (202) 512- 
6510, Trina Lewis at (202) 512-2990, or Latesha Love at (202) 512-4409. 

[End of section] 

(842225): 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Human Capital: Effective Use of Flexibilities Can Assist 
Agencies in Managing Their Workforces, GAO-03-2 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 
6, 2002). 

[2] OPM's survey included questions on both child and adult dependent 
care needs. Adult dependent care was defined as the responsibility of 
providing services essential to the health, well-being, or activities 
of daily living for another adult (aged 18 or older). This included, 
but was not limited to, elder care.

[3] OPM indicated that a growing percentage of employed adults have 
both young children and aging parents for whose care they are 
simultaneously responsible, and this presents additional challenges to 
employees. Also, OPM oversees the program that offers Dependent Care 
Flexible Spending Accounts, which can be used to address the needs of 
child or adult dependents. Therefore, OPM's survey included questions 
on both child and adult dependent care needs. Adult dependent care was 
defined as the responsibility of providing services essential to the 
health, well-being, or activities of daily living for another adult 
(aged 18 and older). This included, but was not limited to, elder care. 

[4] For employees in agencies with a child care subsidy program income 
threshold below $69K, the agency's income threshold was used. For 
employees in agencies where the income threshold was unavailable, $69K 
was used. 

[5] These response rates differ slightly from OPM's calculated response 
rates because we used a method GAO believes is more appropriate to the 
way the results are reported and because we included the Capitol Police 
in our analysis while OPM did not.  

[6] Data on GSA federal centers was sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. We did not verify data for the non-GSA centers. 

[7] Percents vary depending on the age of the child. 

[8] we can not necessarily conclude that making additional federal 
centers available or lowering their cost would increase the use of 
federal centers by 45 to 71 percent of employees not using their 
preferred method of care. 

[9] Only executive branch agencies are authorized to provide child care 
subsidies. 

[10] We can not necessarily conclude that all of the employees who did 
not know about the subsidy program actually worked in an agency that 
offers this program. 

[11] We cannot necessarily conclude that all of the employees who did 
not know about the subsidy program actually worked in an agency that 
offers this program. Also, employees with household incomes below 
$69,000 who said they did not qualify for the program could be in 
agencies that have a threshold to qualify lower than $69,000. 

[12] Employees with dependent children underage 13, or with any person 
of any age whom they claim as a dependent on their federal income tax 
return and is mentally or physically incapable of self care, are 
eligible to use the DCFSA. Some agencies do not participate in the OPM- 
sponsored DCFSA program (FSAFEDS), but may offer an equivalent program. 

[13] "Comp time" also known as "compensatory time" is additional time 
off work offered by an employer for irregular or occasional overtime 
work by an employee in lieu of pay. 

[14] The Capital Police was not included in the legislative branch 
results for this slide. If the agency had been included in legislative 
branch results for flexible work schedule and telework, the results 
would have been 42% and 17% respectively.  

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