WORLD 40 pct of Japan nursery schools fall short of capacity


40 pct of Japan nursery schools fall short of capacity


14:31, April 09, 2023

TOKYO, April 9 (Xinhua) -- At least 40 percent of nursery schools in Japan failed to meet their April 2023 enrollment quota, due partly to a shrinking demand for childcare as a result of the declining birthrate, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

File photo: AFP

The survey was conducted in February and March on 109 prefectural capitals, government ordinance-designated cities, Tokyo's 23 wards and heartland cities. A total of 103 valid responses were received, according to the Japanese newspaper.

Of the roughly 18,000 nursery schools overseen by 103 local governments, about 6,800 failed to meet their intake quotas in the first round of admission screenings for April, the survey showed.

Apart from the falling birthrate, the lack of childcare workers and parents' preferences for certain facilities are believed to be attributed to the shortfall, it said.

The number of applicants fell 2.3 percent from last year to a total of 286,400. Some 71 municipalities reported a decrease, with 57 citing a "declining preschool population."

When asked what the challenges were regarding capacity issues, 43 municipalities said some nurseries were unable to fulfil their capacity due to a lack of childcare workers.

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