Ministry to offer parents child-care advice via e-mail

The education ministry will provide child-care consultations via e-mail to make its parenting advice service more accessible to young parents, ministry officials said Thursday.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry plans to establish executive committees in various parts of the country that will respond to e-mails from parents who do not feel confident about their child-rearing skills.

The ministry will seek about 100 million yen in its budget request for next fiscal year for the program, and is planning to conduct a trial run in about 20 locations starting next spring.

It is also considering offering an Internet-based course on child-rearing as well as providing child-care information through e-mail newsletters, they said.

The ministry has been providing parenting support measures by holding gatherings in municipalities. But it turned out that few parents attended these sessions because they were too busy with kids or work.

The executive committees will include education experts and local government officials. Members of private-sector child-care support groups are also expected to assist, the officials said.

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