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No. of children on waiting list for daycare centers still a serious problem, gov't says


The number of children on the waiting list for daycare centers nationwide was about 44,118 in fiscal 2013, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Monday.

Although the number decreased for the third year in a row, the shortage of such facilities is still a serious problem, a ministry official said, according to NHK.

Since coming to power in December 2012, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said that one of his priorities is to increase the number of daycare centers so that mothers can return to the workforce. The government promised a plan to secure 400,000 places for children on the waiting list over five years, starting from last April.

Tokyo has the most number of children on the waiting list at 11,589, followed by Chiba (1,958), Osaka (1,761), Kanagawa (1,703) and Saitama (1,391). Kawasaki had 1,534 followed by Fukuoka (1,046), Hiroshima (951) and Sapporo (824).

The ministry spokesperson said they are urging local governments to increase the number of daycare centers but the reality is "we are not catching up," he said.

© Japan Today

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It took a year to get my older son in daycare... which by luck, the lady handling our paperwork was taking care of my wife when she was a child in the same daycare that we were putting our son in! She pulled some strings and got us in.

My younger son however... took almost 2 years to get him in, but in a different daycare. Then we finally got him in the same daycare as our older son after another year. Having them both in daycare was a blessing, but two different locations killed work for the both of us.

So now wify is studying to be a daycare staff and has to jump through a bunch of hoops to get the licensing. Good, but at the same time some of the stuff she has to study is ridiculous. But the staff at my kids' daycare are all superb, so i guess it goes hand in hand for devotion and motivation.

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@Iparry Thanks for the comment. I am curious what hoops she has to jump through. Are the too strict on some aspects (obviously they are too lenient on others as we have seen in the news). If she works for a daycare center, could your child stay there for a discount?

This government isn't going to be allocating money for public daycare anytime soon, as massive amounts are being sent on to construction companies for the Olympics and more concrete...sad.

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If the government wants people to have more kids, put more money into this!

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iparry, there are no strings to be pulled. Its done on a points allocated basis, with those who need it most given priority. If there was one space available and you got it, it meant that you were the best candidate for that place. If a single mother, or someone on benefits had also applied for that space, then they would have got it.

YES hoikuen teachers work hard, but its a crap job with low pay and long hours and few holidays. I sincerely hope your wife also gets the yochien qualification too - that is a much more family friendly job.

And bruin fan - most places have rules that a mother and child can work in the same public facility, but not in the same class as their child. And because the admissions process decides your monthly fee for nursery, by the city not by the nursery, no discount would available.

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With so few children... It's because their moms aren't mothering, but are instead working like a dad, filling daycares with kids... Because, it's not like they have older siblings to babysit, not even despite how old their parents were when they had them. This is ridiculous. Feminism has gone too far in Japan in this area. If women can't freely live as women it is not sexual equality. This woman won't be fooled by the patriarchy of "feminism."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thanks for the information, kimuzkahii.

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