Tokyo Ward Launches Service Taxiing Children to After-School Porgram Amid Surging Numbers of Children Waitlisted for Care Services

Courtesy of Bunkyo Ward
A child boards a cab to go to an after-school program facility which has vacancies in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, on Monday.

In response to a sharp increase in the number of children waitlisted for after-school programs, Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward launched on Monday a cab service taxiing children to and from facilities with vacancies.

According to the ward, the number of children waiting for after-school programs, which had been around 20 to 30 in recent years, surged to 97 as of April 1 of last year. The ward increased the number of centers by 10, but several children remain on the waiting list.

The children from the vicinity of an elementary school in Otsuka district of the ward are taken after school to a vacant center about 2 kilometers away from the school. Then, they are sent back home around 5 to 6 p.m. The service is free, and three children were transported to the center on Monday.