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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 August 3 - 16  > 7,500 childcare workers and parents hold exchange meeting
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2011 August 3 - 16 [WELFARE]

7,500 childcare workers and parents hold exchange meeting

August 7, 2011
About 7,500 childcare workers and parents gathered from across the nation to exchange experiences in the March 11 disaster and in movements for protecting and improving the public childcare system.

The gathering was held for three days from August 6 in Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture.

At the opening plenary of the gathering, the head of a childcare center in Rikuzentakata City of Iwate Prefecture, one of the disaster-hit prefectures, reported about her escape from the tsunami with 30 kids, who had been taking their afternoon nap.

She also said that based on her experience it is impossible to protect children’s lives under the national standard for the number of children per childcare worker. She stated that one worker is assigned three infants under one year of age and one worker is expected to be responsible for six infants over one year of age.

A head of a Fukushima City childcare center said that her staff is making efforts to lessen the anxiety felt by children and their parents about radioactive contamination from the Fukushima nuclear power plants.

Secretary General of the Japan Federation of Preschool Organizations Tsujikata Nobuko said, “In order to oppose the government ‘reform’ of childcare services which aims to leave the services to market mechanisms and turn it into a for profit business industry, we need to develop our movement to become the strongest in the post war era and collect signatures against the reform from as many people as possible.”

The gathering at its closing plenary adopted an appeal which states that improvement of public childcare services is important. The appeal also demands public childcare services that function in the children’s best interest as a basic human right.
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