• Kyodo

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A certified private nursery in Hyogo Prefecture has lost all its customers for fiscal 2017 after it was found to be secretly accepting children beyond its designated capacity.

Due to the violation, the 46 children who were to be enrolled on April 1 have either been given admission to another facility or will be cared for at home.

Wanzu Mazah Hoikuen in the city of Himeji had accepted an extra 22 children in beyond its approved capacity of 46 after signing direct contracts with the parents, a special inspection in February by the prefectural and municipal governments found.

Following instructions issued by the city, the 22 extra children left the facility, city officials said. The nursery is currently looking after 46 children.

For fiscal 2017 starting April 1, the nursery had planned to continue caring for 37 children who enrolled last year and admit nine more. But the parents have since conveyed that they intend to decline admission in light of the problem, city officials said.

Of the 46 children, 44 have already moved to other nurseries or kindergartens. The parents of the other two want to take care of their children at home, the officials said. The city has no information about what happened to the 22 extra children who left.

The facility gained official recognition as a nursery in March 2015, but the Hyogo Prefectural Government plans to retract its certification by the end of the month, which will turn it into a non-registered facility.

Ikuko Obata, the principal, said she wants to continue caring for children as a non-certified nursery, according to city officials. The city said the nursery will not face any charges for accepting the additional children.

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