Comparison of the Cost of Various Services Performed by the Federal Government With the Cost of Comparable Services Provided by Private Companies

FGMSD-79-48: Published: Sep 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 1979.

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The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) made a study to investigate the benefits and costs of critical day care features for children age 5 and under. The National Day Care Study was reviewed and analyzed by GAO in order to compare the cost of services performed by the Federal Government with the cost of comparable services provided by private companies.

The National Day Care Study concluded that the current Federal caregiver (teachers and aides) staff-to-child ratios for day care centers, as spelled out in the Federal Interagency Day Care Requirements, are too stringent and can be relaxed without harming the growth and development of children. GAO agreed that the developmental needs of most children could be met with less staff than mandated by the interagency requirements. Relaxing the staff-to-child ratios would reduce costs without harming the development of the children.

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