February 16, 1995
I need your help to dig up some information about the economics
of subsidized, on-site daycare. The story follows:
The Massachusetts General Hospital has an excellent daycare
center that serves about 70 children. The center has an annual budget of
about $750,000, and the Hospital has subsidized about 1/3 of this cost. The
hospital contribution has been used almost entirely to subsidize lower
income households through use of a sliding-fee scale.
As part of the general downsizing in the hospital business,
the MGH has set in motion a plan to eliminate this subsidy. The result
will be a 50% increase in tuition, so that, for example, a person making
$25,000 per year will be expected to pay $9000/year for infant care.
A group of MGH parents, staff, and administrators is trying to
reverse this decision, but we need some economic arguments to back
us up. My understanding is that several studies have looked at the
economics of on-site daycare, and that the general conclusion is
that increased productivity more than makes up for the subsidy.
Do any of you know about these studies? Can you provide
me with references and/or abstracts?
Thanks for your help. Feel free to e-mail me directly.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Miller at helix.mgh.harvard.edu