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2014年5月30日 (金)

子育て新制度 保育士の処遇改善になお課題

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:00 pm, May 29, 2014
New child-rearing support system must better meet parents’ needs
子育て新制度 保育士の処遇改善になお課題

Improving and expanding high-quality childcare suited to the specific needs of families with small children is indispensable to counter the low birth rate. We hope the government will steadily implement such measures through its new system to support children and child rearing, which will be launched in fiscal 2015.
 子育て世帯のニーズに応じた良質な保育サービスの拡充が、少子化対策には欠かせない。2015年度に始まる「子ども・子育て支援新制度」で着実に実施してもらいたい。

The government released its draft plan for the official rates for childcare services to be paid under the new system to childcare and other facilities. The rates are determined by service category. In principle, the central and local governments will pay childcare facilities the amount left over after user charges have been deducted from the official rates.
 新制度で保育所などが受け取る「公定価格」の政府案が公表された。保育サービスの種類別に定められている。公定価格から利用者負担分を差し引いた額が、政府や自治体から施設に給付される。

The government’s draft plan for the official rates is characterized by an increase in the salaries of childcare workers, as well as more benefits to facilities that have increased the number of their staff. It is commendable that the government has begun to take steps toward improving the quality of childcare services.
 政府案の特徴は、職員給与を引き上げたり、職員配置を増やしたりした施設に対する給付を手厚くした点だ。保育の「質の改善」に踏み出したことは評価できる。

If the improvement measures are implemented, it is estimated that the profits of average midsize childcare facilities and kindergartens will increase by about 10 percent from their current levels. We hope each childcare facility will make active efforts.
 改善策を実施すれば、平均的な規模の保育所や幼稚園では、収入が現行より1割程度増えると試算されている。各施設の積極的な取り組みを期待したい。

However, the measures to improve the quality of childcare services cannot be said to be sufficient. The government intends to spend ¥700 billion a year from the additional tax revenue from the hike in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, and prioritize an increase in the quota of childcare employees to bring to zero the number of children on waiting lists for admission to childcare centers. The funds designated for improving the quality of childcare services are limited.
 ただ、質の改善は、まだ十分とは言えない。政府は新制度に消費税の10%への増税分から年間7000億円を投入する方針だが、待機児童解消へ向けて保育定員の拡大などを優先する。質の改善に振り向ける財源は限られている。

The government has discussed the need to make further efforts to improve the salaries of employees at childcare facilities and increase the number of staff, but these subjects were postponed due to a shortage of revenue. Measures to improve training programs for childcare workers were also scaled down.
 職員の給与や配置について、一層の改善も検討されたものの、財源不足で見送られた。職員研修の充実などの施策も縮小された。

New childcare category

To eliminate the shortage of childcare workers and improve the quality and availability of childcare services, it is necessary to further improve working conditions. The government should make efforts to secure a source of revenue for that purpose, for example by making effective and flexible use of the budget for social security.
 保育士不足を解消し、保育の質と量を向上させるには、さらなる処遇改善が欠かせない。政府は、社会保障予算にメリハリをつけるなど財源確保に努めるべきだ。

The government’s new system to support children and child rearing aims to expand a new category of certified childcare facilities that integrate current childcare centers and kindergartens. The new facilities will be tasked with childcare, education, and support for child rearing in local communities.
 新制度は、保育所と幼稚園を一体化した「認定こども園」の普及を目指している。保育と教育に加え、地域の子育て支援も担う施設だ。

The official rates for childcare services under the new system are intended to cover the costs of appointing more employees in a variety of roles, sources said.
公定価格も、多様な役割に応じた職員配置の費用を賄えるよう設定したという。

However, it is not clear whether privately run kindergartens will shift to the new category of certified childcare facilities, as the decision will be left entirely to each facility.
 だが、私立幼稚園などがこども園に移行するかどうかは、各施設の判断によるため、不透明だ。

If the parents of a child enrolled at a day care facility lose their dual-income status, the child will be forced to leave. But, a new type of certified childcare facility will be offered to all parents regardless of employment status. The new certified childcare facility will be better suited to the actual circumstances of families with small children. The government must strengthen its support for childcare facilities and kindergartens that wish to shift to the new type of certified childcare facility.
 保育所の場合、親が共働きでなくなれば、子どもは転園を余儀なくされる。こども園なら、親の就労状況にかかわらず利用できる。子育て世帯の実情に合うだろう。政府は、移行を希望する施設への支援を強化する必要がある。

Under the envisaged system, local governments will be obliged to establish a framework for childcare services to cope with regional needs. The new system also includes smaller day care centers, to enable finely tuned responses to such needs.
 新制度では、地域のニーズに応じた保育サービスの体制整備が市町村に義務づけられた。小規模保育なども対象事業となり、きめ細かな対応が可能になる。

With the presentation of the government’s draft plan for the official rates for childcare services, it will become possible for local governments to work out the money they need to operate. Local governments need to map out an appropriate plan to establish the framework to launch the envisaged system as early as possible and make preparations in earnest. They must also make efforts to inform local residents in an understandable manner about the details of various services and their usage under the new system.
 公定価格案が提示されたことで、必要な費用の算段がつく。市町村は適切な整備計画を早急に策定し、準備を本格化させねばならない。多様なサービスの内容や利用法を住民に分かりやすく伝える努力も求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2014)

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