Nursery Waiting Lists in Japan Grow for Third Year (News)
Tokyo, Sept. 1 (Jiji Press)—The number of children waiting to enter nursery schools in Japan as of April 1 increased by 2,528 from a year before to 26,081, growing for the third straight year, the welfare ministry said Friday.
The increase is believed to reflect a revision of the definition of such children, ministry officials said. Nursery schools were in short supply amid faster-than-expected growth in demand attributed to a rise in women's labor force participation rate, the officials also said.
The number of children on "hidden" nursery waiting lists stood at 69,224, up 1,870.
Such children are not included in the official tallies of municipal governments due to reasons, including entry applications submitted only for specific child care facilities.
Revising its definition of children on the waiting lists for admission to nursery schools, the ministry decided last March that the lists include children whose parents extended their child care leave due to failure to find vacancies at nurseries, mainly certified facilities.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]