Seven-Eleven Japan Co. is set to launch day care facilities at two of its outlets for employees of its franchise stores as part of efforts to address manpower shortages, the convenience store giant announced on Aug. 10.
The day care centers, called "Seven Nanairo Hoikuen," will open their doors in Tokyo's Ota Ward and the city of Hiroshima this autumn, accommodating children aged 0 to 2 on the second floor of Seven-Eleven outlets. By creating a better working environment for employees of child-rearing age, the company is looking to address chronic staff shortages and respond to the long waiting lists for day care places.
Applications for enrollment at those child care centers will start in mid-August, before they open sometime around late September or October. While the facilities will primarily be aimed at regular employees of Seven-Eleven Japan as well as the owners and workers of its franchise outlets, local residents can also apply for some slots.
The capacity at the Ota-ku Ikegami 8-chome store's day care will be set at 30, while that for the Hiroshima Nakahiro 3-chome outlet will be 19. The day care centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
The company headquarters will foot the rents of the facilities while utilizing government subsidies.
The fees for the facilities are still under consideration, but the company says it wants to "set the fees cheaper than the standard levels in the area." As the firm deems the new day care service as part of its welfare programs for its workers, and franchises will be footing part of the cost, the fees for its employees will be lower than those for general users.
"We would like to properly respond to the labor shortage problem and create an environment for our franchise employees to be able to work without worries," said Shizuma Noda, director and executive officer of Seven-Eleven Japan Co., during a press conference at the company's head office in Tokyo.
Noda suggested that the company will consider establishing additional day care centers mainly in areas with long day care spot waiting lists, in conjunction with the central government and day care center operators.