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20 October
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Asia

Japanese parliament approved free preschool education from October 2019

This program, expected to cost ¥776 billion a year

Photo: Kyodo

/NOVOSTIVL/ The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation to expand child care support by offering free preschool education from October, with the move coming as Japan struggles to reverse its falling birthrate. This article appeared in the Kyodo.

The free education program, expected to cost ¥776 billion a year, is a key pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s initiative to widen the scope of social security services. It will be funded by revenue from the planned sales tax hike in October from 8 percent to 10 percent.

Under the program, the government will make preschool education free for all children age between 3 and 5 starting in October. Day care services will be also made free for children up to 2 from low-income households.

If parents send their children to preschools that are not authorized by local governments, a maximum subsidy of ¥37,000 per month will be given to parents of children age between 3 and 5, and ¥42,000 for those with children age 2 and younger. School meals will be charged separately.

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