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.
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.