The Education Ministry is planning to set up a day care center within the National Education Center in the heart of Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki administrative district in April, it was learned Saturday.

It would be the first such day care center to be established in the heart of the nation’s bureaucracy.

Details of the project, such as fees and operating hours, have yet to be agreed upon, but ministry officials said they would like to invite workers at other government ministries and agencies, as well as private companies located in the area, to also use the facility.

In addition, visitors and people participating in functions and events in the district will also be able to use the center to look after their children temporarily, the officials said.

Practical data on child care obtained through the proposed center would be used as reference when studying future policy measures to support child-rearing, they added.

The facility would be operated as a welfare project under the mutual aid association of the education and science ministry, which is to be created after the regrouping of government ministries and agencies in January.

Actual management would be entrusted to a social welfare corporation with experience in managing child care centers, according to the Education Ministry.

While many ministry staff have expressed support for the idea, some question whether it would be worthwhile to take the children on the crowded commute to central Tokyo and point out that the Kasumigaseki environment is not really good for children, the officials admitted.

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