Yokohama, the only Japanese city with enough childcare facilities

YOKOHAMA: According the World Economic Forum’s gender gap report for 2013, Japan is one of the worst places for working women in the world.

Out of 136 countries, it ranks 105th – down four spots from last year.

A shortage of childcare facilities in Japan has been keeping many women out of the workforce.

Demand for childcare service is high – with 23,000 children across the country on waiting lists for enrolment.

But one city that is bucking the trend is Yokohama. 160 new nursery schools have sprung up in the city of 3.7 million people over the last four years.

A popular nursery in the city, Doronkokai, is located at the top of a train station, which makes it convenient for working mothers to drop off and pick up their children.

It also takes advantage of its location to expose young ones under its care to various community trades in the area.

Aika Yasunaga, president of Doronkokai, said: “In this area, if you walk around you find that its filled with shopping arcades, so in the morning we spend time in nature, then in the afternoon spend time communicating with people and mingling with the local community, as in touring around the shopping arcade to see how the tofu workers, fish sellers work.”

In April this year, the city of Yokohama declared the number of those on the waiting list to enrol in nursery schools was zero.

Three years ago Yokohama was the worst city with the longest waiting list. The whole situation changed with the introduction of personalised enrolment services.

Fumiko Hayashi, mayor of Yokohama, said: “Before, the ward office sent a one-way notification stating the application (for a place in nursery school) has been received. We’ve decided to deal with each and every person. Over 4,000 people have received calls or have met our ‘nursery concierge’ and asked about their needs and recommended places.”

Getting more women to work is part of the plan to revive the Japanese economy, according to measures introduced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

Source Article from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/yokohama-the-only/899132.html
Yokohama, the only Japanese city with enough childcare facilities
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/yokohama-the-only/899132.html
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カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク

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