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New managerial posts for day care workers seen as way to raise salaries

In an effort to keep experienced day care workers from leaving their jobs, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is looking to increase their salaries through new managerial positions, it has been learned.

    According to soon-to-be-released results of the ministry's latest survey on day care center financial management, the average monthly salary of workers at private child care facilities is around 260,000 yen, and the average monthly salary of workers at public day care centers is around 290,000 yen. Both rise by over 100,000 yen when a day care worker is promoted to the managerial post of "chief day care worker," for a monthly salary of around 370,000 yen at private day care centers and over 400,000 yen at public day care facilities.

    However, it takes around 20 years of continuous employment before the post can be reached at either private or public day care centers. Since in many cases there are no managerial posts other than chief day care worker and the day care principal, there is little rise in the salaries among day care staff in their late 20s to early 30s, and this is considered one reason for the shortage of child care workers.

    To help address the situation, the ministry is looking to offer two new managerial posts starting from April next year -- a "deputy chief day care worker" position and a "specialist leader" title -- that can be reached before the chief day care worker post. In addition to requiring at least seven years of experience, the positions will require that workers have finished training on career-related subjects like child care for preschoolers and children with disabilities, dietary education and allergies, sanitation and safety measures, and support for parents and guardians. The new posts will add 40,000 yen to the day care workers' monthly salaries.

    Additionally, the ministry is considering creating new "work category leader" positions aimed at young day care staff. They will require at least three years of experience and completion of training in the same kinds of career-related subjects. The worker will become a "leader" in the subject they completed training for, and are envisioned as receiving a raise of around 5,000 yen to their monthly salary.

    The ministry aims to finish work on the plans for the new system by the end of the year. Some 100 billion yen is expected to be required for the project, and the ministry is working with the Ministry of Finance to make final adjustments to the proposal.

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