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Tokyo ward to offer free childcare for all second children of families

18 Comments

Minato Ward in Tokyo has announced plans to make childcare at licensed nurseries and kindergartens free for the second child of families in the area by next fiscal year.

It is the first ever such program adopted by any of the 23 wards of Tokyo.

The program specifically targets all children living within the Minato Ward area, and will provide free childcare for families' second child at both ward-established and private nurseries and kindergartens until the child's third year of elementary school, NTV reported.

One exception is that children living within the ward but who are sent to institutions outside the ward, will not be able to take advantage of the program.

Ward officials said their hope is to assist in making the raising of children easier for parents who decide to have more than one child.

For high-income families, the ward also announced that the cost for childcare would be increase by approximately 1.3 times in an attempt to offset providing other less-fortunate families with free childcare.

The reform bill proposal is expected to be submitted to the local assembly sometime next week and should it be accepted, the new program would commence by the end of next year.

© Japan Today

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18 Comments
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A great idea, but rather than this why not reorganize current nurseries to be more cost effective?

Just some examples that baffled me:

My 1 and 3 year old child have to buy expensive uniforms that they only wear once or twice... Most days it is standard clothing. The uniforms are only available from a specific provider and at a premium price.

They both have to buy their own individual nonsense items. The school does not have a class set to use year to year. I understand consumable items like crayons...but plastic clay boards and overpriced musical instruments that they will only use a year or two. 5000 yen for a melodeon when a 500 yen battery power keyboard will do the same thing?

Japan wants to have more kids right? The first thing they need to do is make it affordable by getting rid of the nickel and dime-ing that makes it so prohibitive. And more parents need to start questioning schools to make schools choose what is most economical for the parents...and not so much about what companies are in bed with each other.

16 ( +15 / -1 )

Nice but why restrict it to second children? The idea should be to free up working mothers so they should open the plan to all kids, first, second or more.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yeah but, the black hole is, most child care centers have a four to five year waiting list. So by the time gets in they'll be too old to take advantage of the scheme.

I'm also very interested in the statement about increasing fees for high income earners to offset the cost of helping less fortunate families. When you consider that high income earners either use private facilities or their kids don't use child care centers at all it seems a bit of a farce.

Sorry, but this is just a paper bandaid that is not gonna stick!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Ah, a none to subtle signal that the birthrate is too low, so have 2 kids and we'll make it worth your while. LOL

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Try issuing a consumption card based on income and charge tax accordingly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Minato-ku is probably the wealthiest ward in the entire country. It seems folks in the lower income areas need such services much more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Already Japan lives far beyond its carrying capacity and thus needs to exploit the labour and resources of other peoples. This over-population was the root of the period of violent colonialism and is also why Japan has had to bow to US wishes post-war as the nation has mainly relied on the bread-basket agriculture there to feed its people and also why it carries out post-colonial land grabbing today. So why would any government in Japan, especially in the overcrowded city of Tokyo, be seeking to grow its population as there are already too many people here and in the world?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Christopher GlenNOV. 22, 2014 - 05:26PM JST Ah, a none to subtle signal that the birthrate is too low, so have 2 kids and we'll make it worth your while. LOL

Have 1 get 1 free! LOL

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Best system is in France: the more children, the less you pay taxes when you earn more. And any public system is based on your income per head in family. Sounfs fair. Selfish people have no future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good thinking but there are hardly any schools and the ones there are there are all full, you register your kids and they tell you that you need to travel 5 kms a day to get your kids to the new school. This will only work if they build double the schools they already have and stop building more hospitals

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great idea!!! I think it's great someone is thinking!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why are theire so many prisons? Errrr thoses are schools! No actually they are prisons. Work in one and the truth is clear. Child care! No idea what that means in Japan. Buy 1get one free says it all. Children are a bonus and not a gift. Fool me once, fool me twice you get a discount?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Such day care facilities for small children should be provided throughout Japan by the new Japanese government after the general elections in December 2014 as a welfare measure for the benefit of working mothers who have to leave the small child at the day care centers when no other family member is available in the family to take care of the child.PM Abe I hope ,will certainly provide such facilities for the benefit of the Japanese people if he comes back to power after the general elections.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its all but worthless. People can't afford bigger families because Abe and his thrashing of the poor and middle classes means we can barely afford the ones we have. Free mostly substandard childcare for one child is neither here nor there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They should make it 100 million yen for having your 30th child (lottery tie-in).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Too little, too late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like Obama logic "For high-income families, the ward also announced that the cost for childcare would be increase by approximately 1.3 times in an attempt to offset providing other less-fortunate families with free childcare"

Why should those who make more pay for the less fortunate. I hate this logic in the US if you make over 50k you can't get any funding to pay for your child college education, but if you have some one who just sits at home collects welfare well their child gets a free ride at the expensive of other hard workers this is crap!! you get penalizes for working hard those who do nothing get all the rewards, free food free housing free education this is madness

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@kaimychal It is called welfare because it in enhancing the public welfare. Some of us don't want to see people starving to death on the streets and charities are not going to do enough. In the US you get something like a year of welfare and then you are out on the street with no home and having to either beg or go to a soup kitchen (from a charity). And in terms of education, we've had public education since like Napoleon's time, I think, because it is far more valuable for the voters in society to have some grounding in reality than being even more misinformed than they already are. Uninformed voters might do things like start a communist revolution which would surely make you happy. Try having some compassion for the people the free market dumps on the street.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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