Lower house OKs free preschool education bill


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This is huge, BUT there are not enough facilities to take care of the children now.

Budget money for infrastructure before getting people's hopes up! What's the use of having a subsidy if there is no place to put your child into?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Under the program, the government will make preschool education free for all children aged between 3 and 5 starting in October. Day-care services will be also made free for children up to 2 from low-income households.

The point being that the government wants parents, well actually mother's, to stay home with their children until they reach the age of two. If current "laws" are followed by companies, the families should be receiving at least partial salary. After the child reaches two, the parents would typically return to work.

I want to know what level the government is setting as their "low-income" line!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, it's a free education program.. but funded by sales tax? So i.e. people are paying for it, only in an indirect way via the government. If schooling is to be guaranteed to all, and paid for with people's taxes, then the best arrangement would be to pay for it with a school voucher. I.e. instead of giving the money to schools, give them to parents in the form of a voucher. That way there will be competition among schools for your money, and the parent will be charge. Giving the money to schools gives them no incentive to satisfy or even care about kids at all, since they will get paid at the end of the day whether you are satisfied with their service or not.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

My town didn't wait for October... it's already free since this month. Saving 30k here!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Well done PM Abe Well done. Next is free college education for all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Note that it's only free for 3 to 5 where the kids are in classes. They are already heavily subsidized, so parents in public hoikuen, this will save 130,000 a year on average. For private youchien, its 340,000.


Based on prevailing attitudes I hear around me, some people will see this simply as a chance to put their kid in (seen as expensive) youchien instead of (seen as cheap and cheerful) hoikuen. This is of little benefit to society because youchien generally have shorter hours than hoikuens, which means the parents using them will not be able as long hours. A switch from kids in hoikuen to kids in youchien does not promote mothers working in full time jobs. Many people in full-time jobs can't use a youchien because the hours are too short/holidays are too long.

This comment is for typical hoikuens and typical youchiens. I know the lines can be blurred.

Remember that 80% of the kids on waiting lists are 2 and under, so this does not affect the vast majority of parents who can't their kid a place. It's about the cost of child raising only.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm getting 2 dislikes already? What's the problem here? Me saving 30k or the fact that the PEOPLE will pay for it via the raise of 2% tax? C'mon folks... i've pay 21% tax on almost everything in my country for almost 25 years... gimme a break.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is good news but

Day-care services will be also made free for children up to 2 from low-income households.

What defines low-income?

Now they only have to build more daycare centers and nurseries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Raising kids is expensive.

If you can”t afford kids DON’T have them!

Why should tax payers be burdened with other peoples lifestyle choices?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

But no teachers or locations. Election coming...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They are already heavily subsidized, so parents in public hoikuen, this will save 130,000 a year on average

Your math is way off. I pay 42,000 per month for one child in public hoikuen. I’ll be saving over 500,000¥ a year.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

irs a great incentive to make it free, but what have they done about addressing the shortage? Most government sponsored day care facilities are booked out for years in advance.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not my maths. That's Benesse's numbers which are averages. They are for nensho (3) to nencho (5) years old. You pay more for a younger kid, where there is a shortage of places.

They will charge you more if you have a large income, but I can guarantee you that most people in inaka pay about 12,000 yen a month or less for 3 to 5 year olds. It's already free in my town for a third child. In the UK, many people pay well over 100,000 yen a month for a three-year-old. Childcare in Japan is not expensive. The problem is low wages, especially for women.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why should tax payers be burdened with other peoples lifestyle choices?

because whos going to pay for your pension if there are no future taxpayers to pay for it!?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why should tax payers be burdened with other peoples lifestyle choices?

Hell we already pay a crap load in taxes for the elderly here, it's their lifestyle choice to get old you know!

Be happy your parents made the choice! You wouldn't be here otherwise!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I have very hard times each time I read that education is not free.

Glad to be French and wish Japan would do the exact same to help its demography and in particular my Japanese family to struggle with costs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You wonder if they can't repurpose some primary schools for this purpose and have those kids go to a consolidated school. Except that in many places they have to walk to school in groups, and that can't be changed...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Personally prefer to keep paying and see the money going to the important people the carers my neighbour told me she gets just a little over 20 man for 5 days taking care of someone else's kids like they are her own now that is tough.The nursery school that my little one is in is run down like all the public nursery schools in need of renovations and new toys for the kids.This all seems about the votes in the upcoming election to me..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If your kids go to university, that will cost a huge multiple of the cost of childcare between the ages of three and five. Housing, feeding, clothing, and transporting (flights, ouch!) also cost a fortune and aren't limited to just three years when they are little.

So I think this policy will have no effect on the birthrate. To improve that, Japan needs to improve the work situation of women and abandon all the koseki-based stigma about unmarried mothers. Making parenting fun and not a drudge of PTA, neighbourhood volunteering, and sports club rotas and volunteering and people might actually see kids in a more positive light, not just as things that cost money and take away all of your time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wish there will be more to come!

Just those 3 years ..... it ain't enough!

The complete school-system should be free, at least from kindergarten to high school.

So, fully agreed with "Jonathan Prin"!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now all they need to do is build more schools!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is doomed. Everything can't be free. Way too much social welfare going out.

And just as I suspected. They say the need to raise sales tax because of the pension system and debt but they didn't even get the money yet and their already making new programs to speed the supposed increase in revenue. They just can't stop spending money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait another few months when the actual details come out about the 2% increase in the consumption tax.

The income from the increase is supposed to go to fund these issues, but the actual income is going to be a hell of a lot less because of all the things that will be exempt from it.

Those exemptions were put in to appease the LDP supporters who are getting older and do not want to see their money going to the younger generation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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