(Nikkei: October 10, 2014 – p. 4)
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will create a new system for “childcare workers limited to special areas.” They will be able to work in national strategic special zones. Aside from the regular childcare worker examination, an annual exam will be administered. Those childcare workers will work in the special zones for about three years. After three years, they will be allowed to work across the nation. The ministry is expected to introduce this system first in Kanagawa Prefecture. The ministry’s aim is to deal with the shortage of childcare workers by increasing the number of examinations.
This will be included in a regulatory reform plan, which the government is expected to present to its advisory panel on national strategic special zones. A bill that the government will submit to the extra Diet session will stipulate the creation of a new certificate for childcare workers. This system will be introduced in special areas in other prefectures at their request.
At present, the examination for childcare workers is conducted once a year. The level of difficulty of the examination limited to special areas will be the same as that of the regular exam for childcare workers.
As the government has advocated “zero-waiting for nursery schools,” the ministry will deal with the shortage of childcare workers. (Slightly abridged)