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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 May 22 - 28  > Number of children waiting for authorized daycare facilities is NOT zero in Yokohama
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2013 May 22 - 28 [WELFARE]

Number of children waiting for authorized daycare facilities is NOT zero in Yokohama

May 22 & 24, 2013

Japanese Communist Party member Hatano Kimie on May 23 took to the streets in Yokohama City with 80 JCP supporters and informed citizens of the fact that more than 1,700 children are, in fact, on waiting lists for authorized daycare facilities although the city is boasting of its “zero”-waiting list.

Hatano, candidate for the Upper House Kanagawa constituency, pointed out that the city fabricated a zero-waiting list by excluding from its definition children who can enter some kind of nursery center which is outside the city authority and parents who can extend their childrearing leaves to await future vacancies in authorized daycare facilities.

The city government previously counted in its waiting lists of children parents who found no other place than in-house nurseries; children who were admitted to temporary childcare centers or temporary daycare rooms for infants; parents who extended their childrearing leaves to await a vacancy in authorized daycare facilities; and parents who were looking for a job.

* * *

JCP member of the Yokohama City Assembly Furuya Yasuhiko at an assembly session on May 23 criticized Mayor Hayashi Fumiko for having loosened the standards for the size of authorized childcare facilities for the purpose of superficially achieving the zero listing of children waiting.

As a result, many facilities without outdoor play areas were approved. They are located in a room of a multi-use building or under the elevated tracks of a train station. Furuya said, “The mayor sacrificed the quality of Yokohama’s childcare environment.”

He illustrated that nearly 60% of the 144 newly-established authorized childcare facilities are run by stock corporations distributing dividends to their shareholders, and that the city has exempted 60% of them from the requirements associated with the size of play areas.

He also cited the fact that childcare workers at corporate-run facilities earn less than two million yen on average a year, and demanded that the city government immediately conduct fact-finding surveys on working conditions and wages there.
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