Japanese nurseries’ take-home dirty nappy rule perplexes parents

Waiting lists for Japanese nurseries are finally falling, but many parents have found that securing one of the coveted places comes at a price – taking home their child’s soiled nappies.

A survey in Japan has revealed that 40% of cities and towns demand that guardians of infant clients take their used nappies.

“I’ve never told the day care that it bothers me because I don’t want to rock the boat. But it’s strange,” said one mother, who returns from picking up her child with three or four filled nappies in a bag that she throws away as soon as she gets home.

“Why should I take them home?” added the woman, whose two-year-old daughter attends a day care centre in Kyoto, where the city government has had the policy in place since 2011, according to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

Baby Job – an Osaka-based child support company that supplies nappies to public childcare providers – surveyed all 1,461 municipalities that run day care centres and found 39% operated a “takeaway” policy.

Even though only one centre is operated, the firm included all cities and towns on the list. Parents return home every day with used nappies from the centre.

The poll found 49% had no such requirement, while 11% were unsure or simply responded “other”.
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