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2014 September 10 - 16 [WELFARE]

Many children still on waiting lists for authorized daycare centers

September 13, 2014
The welfare ministry on September 12 announced that as of April 1, the number of children on waiting lists for admission to authorized care facilities, which meet national- or municipal-level requirements, totaled 41,748.

The welfare ministry’s figures, however, do not reflect the actual number because local governments often underreport the number of children on their waiting lists.

Yokohama City last year declared that there are no children waiting to enter authorized daycare centers by, for example, deeming ineligible children of mothers who extended their maternity leave.

This year, Fukuoka City reported to the ministry that the city achieved the goal of zero children on waiting lists, but in reality 1,122 children were still waiting to be admitted to authorized daycare facilities. The reason for this is because the city omitted those children from the report if their parents applied for admittance to facilities in other locations.

As measures to address the issue of waiting lists, the government plans to introduce a “new” childcare scheme. Under the “new” scheme, the government will authorize small-size care facilities to be major facilities providing nursery-care services for children aged zero to two, accounting for 84.5% of the children on the waiting lists. Those facilities, however, will be allowed to operate without qualified childcare workers.

An increase in the number of authorized childcare centers is a pressing task in order to enable all children to receive necessary childcare services with an appropriate level of quality.

Past relate articles:
> JCP urges Tokyo to provide 26,000 children on waiting lists with childcare services [March 4 and 6, 2014]
> Number of children waiting for authorized daycare facilities is NOT zero in Yokohama [May 22 & 24, 2013]
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