The need of the hour is urgent and simple; economic conditions are forcing many mothers to look for jobs. But as we reported earlier, it is easy to find daycare for pets than for humans, and the government is under pressure to find a quick solution. One of the proposals that came up was the integration of kindergartens and daycare to a new facility called “kodomoen”. However, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito Party have quashed the bill for lack of long-term vision.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s proposal sought 700 billion yen from the consumption tax revenue to be directed towards the formation of the kodomoen facility. Daycares take in children aged 0-6 who stay up to eight hours a day where as kindergarten takes in children aged 3 and older for four hours a day only.
The government estimates almost 25,000 mothers of preschool age children are unable to find a suitable daycare facility. The LDP and New Komeito favor the motion to expand the number of licensed child-care facilities rather than creating new facilities. They also objected to the plans of “kodomoen” being operated by the private sector and NPOs, with subsidies from the government. I agree, its better to expand the tried and tested method of daycare than venturing into something new that will drain the nation of much-needed funds.