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No. of children on waiting list for nurseries in Tokyo tops 8,000

39 Comments

The number of children on the waiting list to enter nurseries in Tokyo has increased for the first time in two years, according to a recently released Tokyo Metropolitan Government report.

According to the report, as of April 1 this year, there was a total of 261,705 children in day care services in Tokyo, an increase of 14,192 since 2015.

However, the number of children who remain on the waiting list for nurseries — commonly referred to as “taiki jido” in Japanese — also increased by 652 since last year, reaching a total of 8,466, the first increase since 2014, Fuji TV reported Wednesday.

The report further reveals that the highest numbers were in Setagaya, Edogawa and Itabashi wards, which had 1,198, 397 and 376 children on the waiting list, respectively.

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39 Comments
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Ah, the "Abe Vow" is in full effect, I see. Whatever he promises turns out to be the opposite. This is another example.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Just the tip of the troubled iceberg. As local governments (Edogawa for sure) refuse to open new or expand old daycare facilities, or even hire new permanent workers (relying on the older, or poorly trained younger care givers), they are shooting themselves in the foot.

This problem will trickle throughout society by keeping the mothers out of the workforce, burdening the fathers even more.

Later in life, these children might end up poorly educated and socially awkward, as these are the places where education and social interaction are first encountered.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

and the government wants to INCREASE population????

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Considering the amount of taxes we pay in Setagaya, a little effort would be appreciated.

If the Tokyo voters wouldn't have to recast votes every 2 or less years for failing Governors, the money could be put in such urgent matters... Or maybe the Setagaya mayor secretly hopes that the birthrate tops 0.00 to -not do- anything...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Abe's childcare arrow has fallen short of the mark. He can talk the talk, but he cannot walk the walk. What exactly has Abe achieved in his four years of office? Increased sales tax and decreased corporate tax and that's about it. He's done nothing about equality in the workplace or the childcare crisis. He's done nothing about increasing salaries and jobs. The export market is still as stagnant as it was when he took office. He has borrowed more money from the BOJ and increased the public debt, which was supposed to be paid for with the sales tax increase and hasn't bee. The guy is a total fraud!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Again Tokyo-centric reporting. There is a huge problem down here in Okinawa as well, one coworker has 4 children in 4 different day care facilities. One publicly run facility has a points system, where the parents have to participate in events and daily activities at the facility, to garner enough points to be able to guarantee a place for the next school year.

It's blackmail.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Meanwhile, Japanese people are spending how many billions of yen on their dogs and cats every year?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, Abe, are you going to freakin' do something about this or what?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Even if you get a place they don't take responsibility for any kid with body temperature of 37.5 or higher. Expect to take countless days off work and be called in by HR.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nah, Abe can't/won't do a thing about it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@saibot You said it!!

And if you have a kid who often goes over that for just a few hours and you get called - you wonder what the point is!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fewer children overall, yet more on the waiting list. Well, Abe...are you all talk and no action ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be... raised by others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can the government Ali about increasing the birthrate without raising the number of nurseries? Oh wait, the elderly wouldn't like having more child care centres around. Boohoo

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Dropping off at daycare a child who is sick is not the right thing to do. Also, what does it take to set-up a daycare in Japan? If there is a waiting list in a given area, one might think that there is a win-win business opportunity available. Is is a staffing issue? or ? If anyone can shed some light on this, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RealCDN - what does it take to set-up a daycare in Japan? If there is a waiting list in a given area, one might think that there is a win-win business opportunity available. Is is a staffing issue? or ? If anyone can shed some light on this, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

What does it take? Well, first you need to find a location where the local oldies won't object to a daycare due to the noise. Then, you have to get local council approval with a few brown paper bags of cash and heaps of legitimate payments. Then, you have to pay overpriced and undereskilled builders to build your establishment. Then, after you have all that y have to charge the bear minimum for childcare and employ little old ladies who will work for under minimum wage just so you can afford to keep the lights on. After you have achieved all that you have to determine whether you are running a kindergarten or a preschool and deal with all the mothers that want their children educated for elementary school entrance exams. I left out all the fire and safety inspections and certificates, which also cost a small fortune. And, don't expect any tax breaks or benefits from the Abe government. They only support large corporations. Are you still keen?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Dropping off at daycare a child who is sick is not the right thing to do. Yep, but parents do this rather blatantly. Fever? No problem! I'll just drop junior off at the daycare!

Also, what does it take to set-up a daycare in Japan? You'd be surprised and disappointed if you knew. (not much)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Haha I never said I was 'keen' (re this), but I am interested in the comments/dialog in order to gain a better understanding of the overall issue. The requisite 'brown bags of cash' (with perhaps some brown Y10000 bills inside) you mentioned was a bit disheartening - sounds like 'that' still goes on eh? Is it being suggested that all 'successful' daycare facilities operate/produce as above? Elementary school entrance exams?!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What does it take? Well, first you need to find a location where the local oldies won't object to a daycare due to the noise. Then, you have to get local council approval with a few brown paper bags of cash and heaps of legitimate payments. Then, you have to pay overpriced and undereskilled builders to build your establishment. Then, after you have all that y have to charge the bear minimum for childcare and employ little old ladies who will work for under minimum wage just so you can afford to keep the lights on. After you have achieved all that you have to determine whether you are running a kindergarten or a preschool and deal with all the mothers that want their children educated for elementary school entrance exams. I left out all the fire and safety inspections and certificates, which also cost a small fortune. And, don't expect any tax breaks or benefits from the Abe government. They only support large corporations. Are you still keen?>

Reality.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Children should be raised by their own parents, not shipped out to daycare.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Hey Abe, why is it that couples don't want to have kids? Readers please add to the list!

No child care facilities The old farts complain they are too noisy Low employment salaries
5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tricky problem this one, because childcare facilities in Japan undercharge and have to be very heavily subsidized. The result is that local governments don't want to provide more places. The going rate for an under three should be over 100,000 yen because that's what it costs to staff and run a facility. In Japan, only elite kindergardens charge that. Anyone thinking that it is possible to provide reasonable care for very young children for 1000 yen a day (25,000 a month) with lunch and snacks included is naive in the extreme.

It's also a chicken and the egg problem because the places are subsidized to make up for the poor earnings of most women. The government really needs to look at improving wages for women and then getting them to pay more for childcare, which would reduce the government's burden in providing places and enable them to provide more.

The cost of providing childcare according to Japanese rule massively changes at three years old where kids go into a class instead of a small group. For under threes, childcare is very expensive and women working casual jobs with poor salaries should not be encouraged to use it. Giving them more child benefit for looking after their child would make much more sense.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Children should be raised by their own parents, not shipped out to daycare."

I agree. I have been fortunate enough to be able to facilitate that: my income is good and we don't 'live beyond our means'. Some people are convinced they need to buy more than they can afford or truly need and hence off to work everyone goes (leaving kids at daycare). But I do expect that there are some families out there having a hard time making ends meet without making extravagant or unnecessary purchases. If there is no family nearby, there may not be a choice other than to count on daycare services. Is there a direct cost to parents to use such services?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan is a funny country. Very expensive and rich yet very low salaries for many working people. A myth of a grand salaried class yet many workers make very low pay and rely on communal family living to survive. Old people get a lot of expensive benefits yet there are still old people committing suicide after dreaming of a rice ball. Sure, it doesn't have the massive poverty of Americans but it covers over the poverty it does have and seems more punitive about debt (leading to suicide). People work 10-hour days and no vacation yet are paid nothing and work themselves like crazy until they break from exhaustion. The government delivers to it's aged constituencies and there's never much backlash from voters - especially younger voters who are counted out. Society seems regressive. People worry but they're fatalistic. Movements for change are nonexistent. Every once in a while someone gets attention for making a harsh assessment of life or policy (like the woman who posted about lack of daycare and Abe) but at the end of the day the "nothing can be done" is too ingrained for hope to sustain. I think Japan can do a lot with it's massive savings and massive infrastructure yet sooner or later luck runs out. Anyway...sorry for my rant: day care. yes. I think the young and the working class are not considered important by policy makers. I guess population decline is like global warming at the GOP convention. Even if it exists in their minds they don't really think it's important.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

EDIT

Dropping off at daycare a child who is sick is not the right thing to do.

Yep, but parents do this rather blatantly. Fever? No problem! I'll just drop junior off at the daycare!

Also, what does it take to set-up a daycare in Japan?

You'd be surprised and disappointed if you knew. (not much)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'd love to see the facts behind the article. It's a JT written article, and if history shows anything about JT reporting methods, the numbers and facts are often times liberally played with when reporting. "Facts" do not matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Children should be raised by their own parents, not shipped out to daycare.

Unless one spouse has a good job to support the whole family or you are still stuck in the past then there will always be working parents and the number is growing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

FOR THE PEOPLE WHO SUGGESTED THAT CHILDREN SHOULD BE CARED BY THEIR OWN PARENTS, clearly you guys are very fortunate. Fortunate enough that you don't send off your kids to child care and work 9 hours a day and pick them up and cook, and do laundry so they have uniform the next day and clean up and wake up early to throw trash and get them up to eat breakfast and send them off again to day care. And the best part of it HAPPENS EVERY DAY and I would like to congratulate all the single PARENTS whose been doing a hell of a job!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

FOR THE PEOPLE WHO SUGGESTED THAT CHILDREN SHOULD BE CARED BY THEIR OWN PARENTS, clearly you guys are very fortunate. Fortunate enough that you don't send off your kids to child care and work 9 hours a day and pick them up and cook, and do laundry so they have uniform the next day and clean up and wake up early to throw trash and get them up to eat breakfast and send them off again to day care. And the best part of it HAPPENS EVERY DAY and I would like to congratulate all the single PARENTS whose been doing a hell of a job!

Then you should stop having kids you can't afford and burdening the rest of society with providing for them because of your weak careers.

In time, not too long away, the population will settle. All the elderly will die off and the population will steady out no matter what the birth rate is. Maybe a bit of hardship in the next couple of decades but then will settle naturally.

Those who can't afford kids should stop having them, or accept things as they are and stop grumbling about not being paid by the rest of society to do so

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well we all know the population is declining so this is either a decrease in nursery positions or the poor economy forcing more women to have to go back to work. Either way, Abe-san what are you doing about it!?

Yes, yes of course kids are better off raised at home but when the economy stinks and one income isn't enough to support a family what do you do!? It's difficult enough having to work and missing your child without ignoramuses commenting that they should 'just stay home'. If it were that simple we wouldn't need daycare, duh.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

FoolFilter

Wow! You are so full of your self! Well, you must be having a bad day or something, I would give you a HUG to brighten your day but obviously I can't. I will just sprinkle KINDNESS in the air and hope it gets to you.

XOXO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless one spouse has a good job to support the whole family or you are still stuck in the past then there will always be working parents and the number is growing.

Exactly. Think about what Abe and the other idiots are saying: They want people to have 2 kids or more to help the population disaster, they want mothers to stay home and be susie homemaker, AND they want that family to go out and spend money to stimulate the economy- All on Dad's dime. AT THE SAME TIME, most people are making 200 something thousand a month with no bonuses or safety net. What the LDP is asking is beyond ridiculous..its insulting.

Shallots- Very True.

Clare- Excellent post. Spot on!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

FoolFilter, do you have kids ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here in the Minato ward, it is said that high school graduates applying for Todai have much better chance of getting accepted than toddlers getting accepted to a ward-funded daycare center.

Those who can't afford kids should stop having them, or accept things as they are and stop grumbling about not being paid by the rest of society to do so

Your argument would be logical if it weren't for the fact that Japan's farmers and old people have no trouble receiving subsidies which we have to pay for. And we can exactly say that we should stop having farmers or elderly people because it costs too much to take care of them.

If these subsidies for the farmers didn't result in us having to pay two to three times as much for food as Europeans or Americans, we might have more to spend on private daycare. If our income, consumption, and residency taxes weren't so high, mainly to subsidize those elderly folks who contribute nothing to the economy other than voting for the LDP, we might have more to spend on private daycare.

I recently enrolled my daughter at a very good international daycare center. Do you want to know how much it costs? The tuition is higher than the median income for a Japanese household. Thankfully, I can afford to have kids, and pay 25000 yen per day, per child for daycare. But most can't.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This doesn't motivate families to make babies.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One needs to be silly to spend more money for kid daycare than what they earn. At the same time, some believe the more they spend, the smarter their kids wilk be. All of this detrimental to a balanced society. Mother: take time to find a Dad responsible for his deed Father: earn honest money and find another company if not paying enough and/or move to another location/country !

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And the government wants more births?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kohakuebisu

It's also a chicken and the egg problem because the places are subsidized to make up for the poor earnings of most women. The government really needs to look at improving wages for women and then getting them to pay more for childcare, which would reduce the government's burden in providing places and enable them to provide more.

This. Where I come from (Sydney), daycare is the equivalent of 10,000 yen per day (+ everything else). More than even the most expensive schools in Tokyo. Then again, minimum wages are the highest in the world & carers can earn anywhere between 4 - 5 mil yen / year (based on a 40hr working week).

The sad fact of the matter is, Japan is an Old Boys' Club who is woefully out of touch with a modern society. Any issue pertaining to women's rights - 10x worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Scary. The quality of care at these places is pretty poor. It's what you get with underpaid, over-worked staff. A lot of them don't even like children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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