Regarding the story “Japanese early education staff feel least valued among eight OECD nations, survey finds” (Oct. 27), I agree that one of the reasons is inadequate financial support from the government, but there should also be more powerful and effective management.

Despite the growing focus on early childhood education and care (ECEC) in recent years, the average public spending in Japan in this area has remained the same for five years.

According to the report, spending priorities in Japan are on staff recruitment and salary improvements, but only 22.6 percent of the respondents are satisfied with their salaries and the biggest barrier to effective education is staff shortages. What’s more, the main sources of stress among current staff are “having too much administrative work to do” and “lack of ECEC staff to carry out work.” This leads to reduced motivation among staff, which can be reflected in children’s academic performance. Therefore, more organized management is needed in the ECEC system.

The benefits of ECEC for children cannot be overly emphasized. However, due to a lack of support from the government, the goals of ECEC cannot be fully achieved. Better policies are needed to improve the ECEC system.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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