While a law passed by Congress last year allows agencies to subsidize day care fees for children of their employees from agency salaries and expenses accounts, it provided no extra funds for that purpose. Thus, any subsidy plans under new Office of Personnel Management rules (see January 5 FEDweek) will have to compete with other agency priorities for funding from those accounts, which pay for everything from salaries to training and which have been squeezed tight in recent years. Agencies including Defense, Justice, the Social Security Administration and OPM earlier indicated an interest in subsidizing day care and are considered the most likely to carry it out, at least on a limited basis. The provision is effective only for a year, however, and will be reevaluated by OPM and Congress later this year.
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