Journalist Mitsutoshi Abe’s “Cutting through Local Politics!
In February of this year, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) released an estimate that the number of children aged 0 to 5 who do not attend daycare centers, kindergartens, or certified kindergartens, or so-called “no preschoolers,” is estimated to be about 1.82 million throughout Japan. The number is estimated to be about 1,820,000 children nationwide.
This is one of the major issues to be addressed by the “Administration for Children and Families,” which will be established next April, and there are concerns that the risk of abuse and other problems will increase if parents and children are isolated in families that are having difficulties raising their children. The government has finally decided to take full-scale measures to address this issue.
We asked a local government official.
According to a local government official, “There are relatively many cases of in-home childcare for children between the ages of 0 and 2 years old. In the case of children aged 3 and older, only a few percent of the children in each grade attend preschool, but we do not know how many of them attend preschool.
However, there is a possibility that these children are attending unapproved facilities, company-led daycare, or facilities exclusively for foreigners, and it is difficult to ascertain whether they are attending daycare at home or at an unapproved facility.
It is difficult to know if a child has no preschooler,” he said.
Since “no preschoolers” include children who use unapproved facilities and company-led daycare services, the exact number of “pure no preschoolers” who do not attend any facilities at all is still unknown. It seems that the exact number of “purely no preschoolers” who do not attend any facilities at all is still unknown.
This is because, unlike elementary and junior high schools, where education is compulsory, the decision to send a child to a day-care center is made by the parents.
As for “no preschool” children
(1) In-home daycare, where children are raised in the home until school age.
(2) Children with medical care are refused admission
(3) Children who cannot attend preschool due to lack of vacancies at day-care centers
(4) Foreign nationals who do not understand the procedures for enrolling their children in preschool
(5) Poverty and deprivation (6) Neglect and other forms of childcare
(6) Neglect and other forms of child abandonment
(6) Neglect and other forms of abandonment of the child.
In a report compiled at the end of 2009 by a study group of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, it was stated that “families who do not use day-care centers and other facilities are isolated from other families due to the shift to nuclear families and the weakening of regional ties.
The report states, “Families that do not use daycare centers and other facilities are isolated and forced to raise their children alone.
The report states, “Families that do not use daycare centers are isolated and forced to raise their children in isolation.
According to an Internet survey conducted by Florence, an authorized NPO, a total of 43.8% of parents of children without preschoolers said they felt lonely when raising their children. The parents who attend day-care centers and kindergartens accounted for 33.2% of the total, indicating that the parents of no preschoolers felt more lonely than those who regularly attend preschools.
It was particularly high among young parents in their teens and twenties. By age group, 57.1% of parents in their teens and 50.4% of parents in their twenties were surveyed.
The aforementioned local government official said
“In the future, the trend toward nuclear families and the weakening of ties in the community may isolate families who do not use kindergartens and daycare centers, leading to poverty and abuse.
We are also in a situation where we are unable to ascertain which of the children without preschool need support, so we will keep a close eye on national trends in order to understand the issues involved.
We would like to keep a close eye on the national trend, and try to understand the issues, etc.,” he said, revealing his awareness of the problem of “no preschoolers.
In an effort to prevent isolation and abuse in the home, local governments make house-to-house visits during infant health checkups and school entry checkups to ascertain the situation in the home. If there are any suspicious signs, the Child and Family Center or other competent authorities are notified to deal with the situation.
Nursery schools and kindergartens are a major safety net for children.
Even low-income families can cover their nutritional needs with school lunches. In addition, the system can quickly detect signs of abuse or neglect in households with inadequate childcare.
In addition, the professional teachers who are in daily contact with the children can recognize trends such as developmental disabilities and link them to appropriate medical care and support.
However, the reality is that all decisions are left to the families who are most in need of such a safety net. Nursery schools and kindergartens.
“To send them to preschool or kindergarten, or not to send them.”
The problem lies in the design of the system, which leaves the decision of whether or not a child should attend preschool or kindergarten to the will of the parents.
The “Free Preschool Education Bill” has already been enacted. However, even if early childhood education is made free of charge, the cost other than childcare fees will continue to be incurred, and if parents have mental health problems that make it difficult for their children to attend preschool, their children will continue to be left without preschool.
If we were to go so far as to offer free preschool education, even if we exclude families that provide solid in-home childcare, we would still be able to offer free preschool education for children who are not in the same household.
“When a child turns 3 years old or older, he or she must attend preschool or kindergarten.
I repeat, preschools and kindergartens should not be mandatory.
Again, preschools and kindergartens are a great safety net for children. It is necessary to provide support for families suffering from “orphanage” and for society as a whole to “publicly raise” children….
Reporting and writing： Mitsutoshi Abe (local political journalist, former TV reporter)
Born in 1956. He has appeared on "3 O'clock You," "Ohayo! Nice Day," "Tokudane! (Fuji Television Network) and eight other programs as a reporter. After managing an advertising agency, he served as a member of the Taito Ward Assembly in Tokyo from 1999 to 2007. After that, he became the first public secretary of a member of the House of Representatives. Currently, he continues to report and write about various administrative and social issues from his unique perspective.
Photo： Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Afro