National

Worker shortage eating into Japanese day care centers' profits, survey shows

JIJI

The profitability of private preschools, nurseries and certified day care centers plummeted from fiscal 2016 to in fiscal 2018, a Cabinet Office survey has found.

The drop is believed to be the result of rising labor costs caused by the shortage of child care workers.

Profit margins for private nurseries fell to 2.3 percent from 5.1 percent, the survey said Thursday. It sank to 3.8 percent from 6.8 percent at private kindergartens and to 2 percent from 9 percent at private certified day care centers.

Methods for collecting data on interest and other information differed partially between the surveys for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2018, but the Cabinet Office said this didn’t significantly affect the figures.

The findings were part of a survey on the management of child care institutions the Cabinet Office submitted to a panel on Thursday.

The survey also found that the salaries of full-time day care workers had improved from the last survey. While average length of employment and salaries at private nurseries in March 2017 were 8.8 years and ¥262,158, respectively, the figures for March 2019 were 11.2 years and ¥301,823.

Experts say support measures by municipalities, combined with national-level policies, led to the rise in pay.

The survey, conducted in June and July, covered 16,000 institutions including public and private nurseries. Valid responses were given by 8,847 institutions, or 55.3 percent.

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