Understanding Threats to Young Children’s Green Space Access in Unlicensed Daycare Centers in Japan
- What is the role of UDCs in providing children with access to green space?
- What are the practices of UDCs in providing green space access?
- What is UDC caregivers’ perception of the role of green space for children’s development?
- What is the UDCs willingness to pay for access to green space?
- What factors influence UDCs provision of green space access?
- What is the role of parents for children’s access to green space during daycare?
- What factors influence parents’ choice of daycare?
- What is parents’ perception of children’s access to green space?
- What is parents’ willingness to pay for access to green space?
- What factors influence parents’ attitude towards green space access?
- What are the implications for policy and stakeholders?
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Sites
2.2. Data Collection, Survey Instruments and Data Analysis
2.2.1. Survey of Unlicensed Daycare Centers (UDCs)
2.2.2. Survey of Parents with Children in Daycare
2.2.3. Data Analysis
3.1. Unlicensed Daycare Centers’ Perspective on Children’s Access to Greenspace
3.1.1. Sample Characteristics
3.1.2. UDC’s Practices in Providing GS Access
3.1.3. Caregivers’ Perception of the Role of Greenspace for Children & Capacity of Existing Greenspace to Fulfill this Role
3.1.4. UDCs Willingness to Pay for Access to Greenspace
3.1.5. Factors Influencing UDCs Provision of Greenspace Access
3.2. Parents Perspectives on Children’s Access to Greenspace
3.2.1. Sample Characteristics and Choice of Daycare
3.2.2. Parents’ Reasons for Daycare Choice and Influencing Factors
3.2.3. Parents’ Perception of Children’s Access to Greenspace
3.2.4. Parents’ Willingness to Pay for Children’s Access to Greenspace during Daycare
3.2.5. Factors Associated with Parents’ Attitude towards Greenspace Access
4.1. Caregivers as Mediators: Potential and Limits of UDCs for Providing Children’s Access to Greenspace
4.2. The Role of Parents for Children’s Access to Greenspace
4.3. Implications for Stakeholders, Public Health, and Urban Planning
4.3.1. Implications for Daycare Centers and Parents as Stakeholders
4.3.2. Implications for Public Health
4.3.3. Implications for Urban Planning
4.4. Limitations of the Study
Conflicts of Interest
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|Characteristics||Licensed Daycare Centers||Tokyo Metropolitan Government Certified Hoikusho||Unlicensed Daycare Centers|
|Subtypes||Hoikusho||Kodomo-en||Yochi-en||Type A||Type B||Baby hotel, nursery center 2 etc.|
|Ministry in charge 1||MHLW||MHLW, MEXT||MEXT||Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health (Tokyo)||Local government|
|Legal & regulatory basis||Child Welfare Law||Preschool Childcare Promotion Act 3||School Education Law||Tokyo Metropolitan Government certified hoikusho implementation guidelines||Unlicensed Daycare center supervision standard, Child Welfare Law|
|Catered age||Birth to start of primary school||From age 3||Birth to start of primary school||Birth to 2 years old||Birth to start of primary school|
|Daycare hours||8 h||4 h||13 h||No regulation|
|Size||>60||>35 per grade||>35 per grade||20~120 (half of children should be aged less than 3)||6~29||No regulation|
|Required facilities||Daycare room, playroom, infant/crawling room, restroom, kitchen, dispensary||Daycare room, playroom, restroom, dispensary, drinking water, washing facilities, staff room||Daycare room, kitchen, restroom, dispensary, etc.||Daycare room, kitchen, restroom|
|Maximum child to caregivers ratio||0 years||3:1||3:1||3:1||3:1|
|1 or 2 years||6:1||6:1||6:1||6:1|
|3 years||20:1||35:1 short time 20:1 long time||Min. 1 teacher per 1 grade (<35)||20:1||20:1|
|4+ years||30:1||35:1 short time 30:1 long time||30:1||30:1|
|Minimum daycare room area||0–1 years||Daycare room: 1.65 m2 per child; Infant/crawling room: 3.3 m2 per child||3.3 m2 per child||2.5 m2 per child||1.65 m2 per child|
|2+ years||1.98 m2 per child||1+ room per grade||1.98 m2 per child|
|Minimum playground area||3.3 m2 per child aged 2+ (can be substituted by nearby GS)||3.3 m2 per child aged 2; refer to Yochi-en standard for 3+ years||2nd + lower grades: 330 + 100 × (grade-1) m2; 3rd + higher grades: 400+80 × (grade-3) m2||3.3 m2 per child aged 2+ (can be substituted by nearby GS)||Not required||Not required|
|Study Site||Population |
|Projected Population |
|Population Density |
|Green Space Per Capita (m2) |
|Number of UDCs |
|City||N||Range of Founding Year||Range of Staff No.||Range of Child. No.||Average Staff No.||Average Children No.||Average Student Teacher Ratio||Average Care Time||% With GS|
+ 4 1
|Frequency of visiting green spaces||Never||2.3|
|Less than once a month||3.5|
|2~3 times a month||6.4|
|Once a week||4.6|
|2~3 times a week||19.7|
|Frequency of visiting other forms of open spaces |
(roadsides, commercial settings, etc.)
|Less than once a month||9.2|
|2~3 times a month||7.5|
|Once a week||4.0|
|2~3 times a week||6.4|
|Staying time in green space||Less than 30 min||6.4|
|More than 3 h||1.7|
|Types of green space||Parks||96.0|
|Temples and shrines||24.3|
|UDC Attributes||Visit Frequency||Visit Length||Diversity of Spaces Used||Conflict Encountered||Communication with GS Manager/Owner|
|Age of facility||X||older = slightly longer||older = slightly higher 1||X||X|
|Number of staff||X||X||X||X||X|
|Number of children||X||X||X||Medium increase||Small increase|
|On-premise GS||lower||X||Higher 2||X||X|
|Affected Item||Attribute||Effect Size||Interpretation|
|Overall expectations for GS||Age of facility||0.163 1||Newer UDCs were slightly more likely to have higher expectations|
|Number of children||−0.151 1||UDCs with fewer children were slightly more likely to have higher expectations|
|Visit length||0.149 1||Longer visits were weakly correlated with higher expectations|
|Satisfaction with regularly used GS||Age of facility||−0.185 1||Newer UDCs were slightly more likely to be less satisfied|
|Visit length||0.243 1||Longer visits were weakly correlated with higher satisfaction|
|Diversity of GS used||0.153 1||Higher diversity were weakly correlated with higher satisfaction|
|On-premise GS||0.374 2||UDCs with GS were moderately more likely to be more satisfied|
|Utility gap between expectations and satisfaction||Age of facility||−0.261 1||Newer UDCs were slightly more likely to have a larger utility gap|
|On-premise GS||0.373 2||UDCs with GS were moderately more likely to have a smaller utility gap|
|Visit length||0.251 1||Longer visits were weakly correlated with a smaller utility gap|
|Diversity of GS used||−0.177 1||Lower diversity was weakly correlated with a larger utility gap|
|Willingness to pay||Staff number||0.445 2||Lower staff number was moderately correlated with higher willingness to pay|
|Opening hours||0.246 2||Shorter opening hours were weakly correlated with higher willingness to pay|
|Diversity of GS used||−0.414 2||Lower diversity was moderately correlated with less willingness to pay|
|Donation degree||Age of facility||−0.297 1||Newer UDCs were slightly more likely to be willing to pay a smaller amount|
|Diversity of GS used||0.211 1||Higher diversity was weakly correlated with willingness to pay a larger amount|
|Study Site||Number of Samples (N)||Parents with Children in UDCs (%)||Education Undergraduate or Higher (%)||Housing with GS (%)||Mean Age|
|Aspect of Perception||Factors||Effect Size||Interpretation|
|Satisfaction with green space access during daycare||City||0.013 1||Parents from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya are less satisfied; Parents from Sapporo, Kitakyushu, and Kyoto are more satisfied|
|Education||−0.05 2||Educational attainment was weakly correlated with lower satisfaction|
|Income||−0.037 2||Income was weakly correlated with lower satisfaction|
|Frequency of GS visits by caregivers||0.039 2||Lower frequency was weakly correlated with lower satisfaction|
|Gender||−0.229 3||Men were slightly less likely to be satisfied|
|Age||−0.057 2||Age was weakly correlated with lower satisfaction|
|Having GS in facilities||0.219 3||Parents with children in daycare without on-premise GS were less likely to be satisfied|
|Utility gap||Gender||0.146 3||Men had on average a larger utility gap|
|Having GS in facilities||0.159 3||Parents of children in daycare centers without on-premise GS had a larger utility gap|
|License||0.288 3||Unlicensed daycare centers had a larger utility gap|
|Frequency of GS visits by caregivers||0.039 2||Frequency was weakly correlated with a smaller utility gap|
|Amount of donation||Income||0.057 2||Income was weakly correlated with higher donation amounts|
|Frequency of GS visiting by care-givers||−0.068 2||Frequency was weakly correlated with lower donation amounts|
|Gender||7.61 1||Women reported on average lower donation amounts|
|Having GS in facilities||8.57 1||Parents of children in daycare centers without on-premise GS reported on average lower donation amounts|
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Rupprecht, C.D.D.; Cui, L. Understanding Threats to Young Children’s Green Space Access in Unlicensed Daycare Centers in Japan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1948. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061948
Rupprecht CDD, Cui L. Understanding Threats to Young Children’s Green Space Access in Unlicensed Daycare Centers in Japan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(6):1948. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061948Chicago/Turabian Style
Rupprecht, Christoph D. D., and Lihua Cui. 2020. "Understanding Threats to Young Children’s Green Space Access in Unlicensed Daycare Centers in Japan" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 6: 1948. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061948