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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 30 - April 5  > JCP Ikeuchi demands drastic revision of gov’t plan to pack children in facilities to eliminate waiting lists
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2016 March 30 - April 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Ikeuchi demands drastic revision of gov’t plan to pack children in facilities to eliminate waiting lists

April 2, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Ikeuchi Saori on April 1 at a House of Representatives Internal Affairs Committee meeting demanded that the government drastically revise its plan to reduce the number of children waiting to enter authorized childcare centers by jamming them into existing facilities.

Ikeuchi cited the Welfare Ministry ordinance which was established based on the Child Welfare Act to implement national minimum standards for childcare centers. She pointed out that under the ordinance, facilities with better conditions than the national standards cannot lower their conditions. Ikeuchi said that the government plan goes against this ministry ordinance as the plan requires municipalities to ease their standards if those standards are stricter than the national standards.

Minister for Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens Kato Katsunobu replied, “It’s up to municipal governments.”

Ikeuchi argued that children have a right to receive proper childcare in accordance with their age. If the government plan which lacks measures to tackle labor shortages in the childcare sector is carried out, childcare workers will have to shoulder heavier burdens and the childcare environment in general will deteriorate.

Asked by the JCP lawmaker about the number of childcare workers hesitating to reenter their profession, so-called “dormant workers”, a Welfare Ministry official said, “The number has reached roughly 800,000.” Ikeuchi said that the reason for this is that childcare professional’s wage level is low.

Ikeuchi said that the government should respond immediately to the bill submitted by five opposition parties calling for providing a monthly wage hike of 50,000 yen to childcare workers.

Past related articles:
> Welfare Ministry intends to make childcare centers accept children beyond their capacity [March 29, 2016]
> Opposition alliance proposes measures to increase childcare workers’ wages [March 25, 2016]
> Build more public facilities and raise care workers’ wages to achieve ‘zero’ waiting list to enter childcare centers [March 13, 2016]

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