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2013 Vol.1
Measures to Support Children and Child Rearing

2013/01/01

In Japan, the Democratic administration pursued measures to provide greater support for child rearing from birth to entry into the workforce under the slogan of “creating a society where parents can give birth to and raise children without worry.”Although the child allowance that aimed at reducing the economic burden associated with child rearing was not provided as initially planned, it was decided that a new system called the “Support System for Children and Child Rearing” would be introduced to provide seamless services from birth through the various stages of development and, particularly, to promote unified services of child care and education for preschool children. With the goal that society as a whole would support families with children, a new mechanism was created that encompassed programs for supporting child rearing, their financial sources, and allowance payments. While significant progress was made in terms of laws, allowance payments, and systemic improvement, the new system is in a transitional phase, with parts of the traditional system still remaining. It is hoped that the system will provide comprehensive child-rearing support services in order to meet various needs from the child’s perspective and will develop further under the principles shared by the concerned parties during its creation. As child care and education services, relevant regional characteristics, and the needs for child-rearing support and education become diverse, it is especially important to (1) build a mechanism that enables families with children to choose and utilize support programs and services suited to them, (2) create a work environment that enables caregivers to work and raise children in a balanced manner, and (3) provide a mechanism or support that encourages people to become highly skilled caregivers or pursue career development in other relevant fields.

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