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Questionnaire on Daily Life of Children in Japan II Chapter One: Daily Life of Children

<Reference> Definition of Terms
A child's daily life is greatly affected by the child's age and day-care circumstances. Chapter One categorizes and analyses the daily life of children according to the following four categories by age and educational level.

Young children not enrolled in childcare:
children 18 months to 3 years 10 months not enrolled in childcare
Younger children in day-care centers:
children 18 months to 3 years 10 months enrolled in day-care centers
Older children in day-care centers:
children 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months enrolled in day-care centers
Kindergartners:
children 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months enrolled in kindergarten

*Due to the lack of information on children who are 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months and not enrolled in childcare, this category has been excluded from the analysis. All references to young children not enrolled in childcare indicate a child 18 months to 6 years 11 months who is not enrolled in childcare or day-care centers or kindergarten.

In Japan, there are two kinds of facilities children can enter before elementary school. One is day-care centers (hoikuen) and the other is kindergarten (yochien). Day-care centers are run by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and provides childcare to children whose family cannot take care of them during the day time, because such reasons as both parents work.

On the other hand, kindergarten is an educational institution run by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Its function is similar to that of elementary school which classes are taught based on the curriculum guideline set by the Ministry. Since compulsory education starts from elementary school, it is up to the family's decision whether the child goes to day-care centers, preschool, or stays at home.

1. Lifestyle

(1) Sleep Cycles

(1)a. Bedtime (Figure 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5)
Although it is often said that in recent years, children are staying up late at night, but what is the actual situation? Figure 1-1 compares bedtimes in the 2000 report with those in the 1995 report. In the 1995 report, 34.5% of respondents reported bedtimes "later than 10:00". In the 2000 report (hereinafter the current report) the figure increased to 44.3%. We can see that children's lifestyles are becoming more evening oriented.

Almost No Change in Kindergartners (Figure 1-2)
Among kindergartners who are 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months, compared with the 80.9% in 1995 who went to bed by around 9:30, in the current report the figure dropped 2.5 points to 78.4% (Figure 1-2). There is little change from 5 years ago.

Later Bedtimes for Day-care Center Children Overall (Figures 1-3, 1-4)
Among older day-care center children who are 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months, children who went to bed around 9:00 decreased substantially in the current report, a difference of 13.5 points (Figure 1-3). On the other hand, bedtimes of around 9:30, 10:00 and 11:00 increased 6.7, 9.3 and 2.6 points respectively. The common bedtimes in the 1995 report of around 10:00, 9:00 and 9:30 had shifted to around 10:00, 9:30 and 10:30. A greater number of children reported going to bed around 10:00 in the current report compared to the 1995 report.

Among younger day-care center children who are 18 months to 3 years 10 months, children with bedtimes around 9:30 accounted for 53.6% of responses in the 1995 report (Figure 1-4). In the current report, this figure fell below the 50% level to 45.8%, a decrease of 7.8 points. On the other hand, in the 1995 report 45.6% respondents reported bedtimes after 10:00. In the current report this exceed 50% to reach 54.0%, an increase of 8.4 points.

Later Bedtimes for Young Children not Enrolled in Childcare (Figure 1-5)
Among young children who are not in childcare and who are 18 months to 3 years and 10 months, in contrast with the other groups, peak bedtimes are not concentrated in certain hours (Figure 1-5). Similar to the 1995 report, bedtimes are spread over a comparatively wide range. In the 1995 report, bedtimes in order from the most common are 9:30, 9:00, 10:00, 10:30, and in the current report the bedtimes in order from most common are 10:00, 11:00, 9:00 and 9:30. Compared with the 1995 report, the responses of around 11:00 and after 11:30 increased by 7.3 and 4.0 points respectively.

Later Bedtimes for Day-care Center Children and Young Children Not Enrolled in Childcare than for Kindergartners (Figure 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5)
Among young children who are not in childcare and who are 18 months to 3 years and 10 months, in contrast with the other groups, peak bedtimes are not concentrated in certain hours (Figure 1-5). Similar to the 1995 report, bedtimes are spread over a comparatively wide range. In the 1995 report, bedtimes in order from the most common are 9:30, 9:00, 10:00, 10:30, and in the current report the bedtimes in order from most common are 10:00, 11:00, 9:00 and 9:30. Compared with the 1995 report, the responses of around 11:00 and after 11:30 increased by 7.3 and 4.0 points respectively.

We can hypothesize that this results in a later bedtime for day-care center children. Although younger children in day-care center and young children not enrolled in childcare are in the same age range of 18 months to 3 years 10 months, 4.9% of the younger day-care center children have bedtimes around 11:00 compared with 16.1% of young children not enrolled in childcare. There are far fewer younger day-care center children with bedtimes of 11:00 and later because the bedtimes of day-care center children are dictated by the times they must be at the day-care center facility the following day.

(1)b. Waking Time (Figures 1-6, 1-7, 1-8, 1-9, 1-10)
Figure 1-6 shows the overall trend in waking times compared to the 1995 report. In the 1995 report, 59.5% of respondents said their child wakes up by around 7:30. In the current report this increased by 3.8 points to 63.3%. Children waking up around 8:00 decreased slightly over 5 years ago. Children waking up around 8:30 increased slightly. One can say that some children are waking up earlier, and others are waking up later.

Let's take a closer look at the same four groups used in the bedtime analysis. Kindergartners (Figure 1-7): The percentage who wake up by around 7:30 rose 9.2 points over the 1995 report. However, the average waking time of kindergartners who are 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months did not change significantly during the 5 years.

Among older day-care center children, those waking up by around 7:30 rose by 13.3% over the 1995 report (Figure. 1-8). The most common times to wake up in the 1995 report were around 7:00, 7:30 and 8:00. In this report, the waking times were concentrated around 7:00 and 7:30.

Among younger day-care center children, as seen in Figure 1-9, there was a 6.1 point increase from 48.8% to 54.9% in those who wake up by about 7:00. The most common waking times in the 1995 report were around 7:30, 7:00 and 6:30, but this changed to around 7:00, 7:30 and 6:30.

Figure 1-10 shows the waking times of young children not enrolled in childcare. Compared with the 1995 report, there was no significant difference in the percentage of children who wake up by around 7:30 compared with those who wake up after 8:00. We do not see, however, a concentration at one particular time: responses are spread out much more evenly.

Among kindergarteners and older day-care center children in the same age group of 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months, the most common times to wake up for kindergartners are around 7:30 and 7:00 and around 7:00 and 7:30 for older day-care center children.

Among younger children in day-care centers and young children not enrolled in childcare who are within the same age group of 18 months to 3 years 10 months, the most common times to wake up for younger children not enrolled in day-care centers are around 8:00, 7:30 and 8:30, but for younger day-care center children, they are around 7:00 and 7:30. Looking at the average waking times for this category, younger children in day-care centers wake up 39 minutes earlier than young children not enrolled in childcare because of the time they are expected to be at day-care centers.

Sleep time: We took the average bedtimes and waking times of the four groups to calculate sleep time. Compared with 5 years ago, the sleep time of kindergartners decreased 9 minutes from 10 hours 15 minutes to 10 hours 6 minutes. The sleep time of younger and older day-care center children decreased 15 minutes from 9 hours 36 minutes in the 1995 report to 9 hours 21 minutes in the current report. The sleep time of young children not enrolled in childcare decreased 9 minutes from 10 hours 6 minutes to 9 hours 57 minutes.

Given that day-care center children sleep 45 minutes less than kindergartners, we see that children's lifestyles differ greatly depending on the type of daycare in which they are placed.

We can suppose that a lack of sleep is made up during afternoon naps and on Saturdays and Sundays. Perhaps this change is due to the greater observance of Saturday as a holiday over the 5-year period. Nevertheless, adequate sleep is indispensable to the mental and physical development of a child. Even with afternoon naps, a basic lifestyle pattern of "early to bed and early to rise" should be enforced during childhood.

(1)c. Naps (Figures 1-11, 1-12, Tables 1-1, 1-2)
Questions on naps were only asked about young children not enrolled in childcare. There is no comparison with the 1995 report since at that time many did not respond to these questions. This analysis is limited to the current report and excludes non-responses. Data on whether or not a child takes an afternoon nap is summarized in Figure 1-11. Slightly less than 70 percent of respondents said their child takes a nap.

Figure 1-12 shows by age the percentages of children who take naps compared with those who do not. (Responses of 4-year olds are excluded due to their small number.) Over 90% of 1-year olds, slightly less than 80% of 2-year olds and slightly less than 50% of 3-year olds take naps. Among 3-year olds, the number of children not taking naps rises over 50%, and the percentages of children not taking naps exceed those taking naps.

Many Children Take a Nap for 2-2.5 Hours Around 2:00 p.m. (Tables 1-1, 1-2)
Now let's take a look at the first nap time. As seen in Table 1-1, 33.7% of napping children do so at 2:00 p.m., 26.8% do so at 1:00 p.m. and 16.4% do so at 3:00 p.m. Looking at naps by age, the naptimes of 2 and 3-year olds reflect the overall trends in Table 1-2 exactly. The most common four nap times are the same for 1-year olds as well, but the fifth most common time with 5.7% of respondents is 12:00.

How long is the first nap? (Figure 1-12) 38.5% nap between 2 and 2.5 hours. 25.0% nap between 1.3 and 2 hours. 20.1% nap between 1 and 1.5 hours. The trends are the same for children from 1 to 3-years old.

(2) Meals

(2)a. Breakfast (Figure 1-13)
We asked when children have breakfast. The breakfast time was concentrated around 7:30 to 8:30, the same time as 1995. About 80% of children have finished their breakfast by 8:30. We do not see any significant change over 5 years ago. Let's take a look at overall data of the current report. Figure 1-13 shows breakfast times by day-care situation. Breakfast times for kindergarteners and day-care center children are concentrated around 7:00 to 8:30. Breakfast time for kindergartners ranked from most common were around 8:00, 7:30 and 8:30 while the breakfast time for children in day-care centers was around 7:30, 8:00 and 7:00. We see that day-care center children eat their breakfast earlier than kindergartners. Breakfast time for children not enrolled in childcare was concentrated around 7:30 to 9:00. Responses ranked by most common were around 8:30, 8:00 and 9:00. We see that many of these children had breakfast at 8:00 or later. Children enrolled in childcare ate earlier than those that were not, and day-care center children ate earlier than kindergartners. Day-care center children ate the breakfast earliest.

We asked children how much time they spent having breakfast. The overall results of the current report show that over 50% spend between 15 and 30 minutes having breakfast.

(2)b. Lunch (Figure 1-14)
We asked only children not enrolled in childcare about the lunch. Although there was a statistical change in the responses to the question about lunchtime, there was no change with the 1995 report in the overall trend. Lunch times in order of most common were around 12:00, 12:30 and 1:00.

When the results of the current report are looked by area (Figure 1-14) we see that these common times are the same in each area: 12:00, 12:30, and 1:00. However, those who responded around 12:00 accounted for 45.8% in Oita, but only 35.8% in Tokyo, a difference of 10.0 points. Those who responded around 1:30 accounted for 3.6% in Toyama, but 10.7% in Saitama, a difference of 7.1 points. We can extrapolate that on the whole the lunch is eaten earlier in regional areas than in metropolitan areas. In response to the question about the time spent on lunch, the overall results of the current report show that slightly less than 70% indicated between 15 and 30 minutes.

(2)c. Dinner (Figure 1-15)
Comparing data about dinner times for children with 5 years ago, we see in the 1995 report that 50% of children finished their dinner by around 6:30. In the current report the number of children who finished their dinner by around 6:30 had fallen to 40% and over 50% of children have dinner at 7:00 or later.

Now let's take a look at the data by day-care situation. (Figure 1-15) The number of kindergartners who have their dinner around 6:00 increased 4.7 points over the 1995 report, yet decreased 7.1 points for day-care center children and 5.0 points for young children not enrolled in childcare. On the other hand, when the percentage responding "around 7:30" and "around 8:00" are combined, the percentage increased from the 1995 report by 11.2 points for day-care center children and 7.5 points for young children not enrolled in childcare. No significant change was seen in the data for kindergartners.

Since young children not enrolled in childcare do not have the same early morning regimens as children enrolled in kindergarten they no doubt have a later dinner time that is changeable depending on the schedules of adult family members. The current report highlights that day-care center children are returning home at a later time and the effects of this are no doubt later dinner times. Although there were slight differences in data with the 1995 report in the amount of time spent eating dinner, on the whole there was no change in trends. 50% of respondents indicated between 15 and 30 minutes and 30% indicated between 30 and 45 minutes. We see that dinner is taken at a slightly more leisurely pace than breakfast and lunch.

(3) Outdoor Activities

Time Children Leave Home (Figure 1-16)
This question was asked only of parents/guardians of children enrolled in kindergarten/day-care centers. Figure 1-16 compares current data with that of 1995 regarding the time kindergartners and day-care center children leave home.

Compared to the 1995 report, the percentage of kindergartners who left around 8:00 increased 3.9 points and those that left around 8:30 increased 4.1 points, while those who left around 9:00 decreased 5.9 points. We see that kindergartners are leaving home at a slightly earlier time.

The percentage of day-care center children leaving home at 7:30 and earlier increased 8.7 points and those leaving home at around 8:00 increased 5.1 points, while those that left at 8:30 and later decreased. The percentage of children leaving home by around 8:00 increased significantly, 13.8 points over the 1995 report. Day-care center children are leaving home at a much earlier time.

Let's see if early morning day-care has increased over 5 years ago. Looking at starting times reported in the 1995 and 1999 Report on Social Welfare Facilities (edited by The Statistics and Information Department of Minister's Secretariat of Ministry of Health and Welfare and published by Health and Welfare Statistics Association Inc.), we see that in 1995, 71.3% of childcare facilities opened between 7:00 and 7:59. In 1999 this percentage increased 7.7 points to 79.0%. We can say that in recent years the number of early morning day-care centers is increasing.

Time Children Return Home (Figure 1-17)
This question was also asked only of parents/guardians of children enrolled in kindergarten/day-care centers. Figure 1-17 is a comparison with the 1995 report. Naturally day-care center children return home later than kindergartners. This conclusion was the same in the 1995 report. In the current report we see just as children are leaving home earlier, the times that children are returning home are later than those seen in the 1995 report.

Looking at kindergartners, we see that the percentage of those returning home around 2:00 decreased 10.9 points compared to the 1995 report, yet the percentage of those returning home around 3:00 increased 10.9 points. The most common times to return home in the 1995 report were around 2:00 and 2:30. In the current report these had shifted to around 2:30 and 3:00, 30 minutes later. We can hypothesize that this later time is due to later closing times for day care or perhaps the child makes stops on the way home for shopping or perhaps plays with their or even their mother's friends.

Looking at day-care center children, we conversely see that in 1995, 23.7% returned at 6:00 or later. In the current report the percentage increased remarkably to 37.6% (16.3% returned home around 6:00, 12.4% around 6:30, and 8.9% around 7:00 and later). We see that day-care center children are returning home at a later time compared with 5 years ago.

We can surmise that the number of day-care centers that stay open late has increased, and took a look at the increase in these facilities over a 5-year period. Looking at closing times reported in the 1995 and 1999 The Report on Social Welfare Facilities (edited by The Statistics and Information bureau of Minister of Welfare's Secretariat and published by Statistics on Welfare Association Inc.), we see that in 1995, 20.0% of childcare facilities were open until 6:01p.m. to 7:00p.m.. This rose to 37.6% in 1999, an increase of 17.6 points. We observed a significant increase in day-care centers that stay open late. The later times to return home affected dinner times for day-care center children and led to an increase of number of children eating their dinner at around 7:30 and 8:00.

Outside Activities Other than Childcare (Figures 1-18, 1-19, 1-20, 1-21, 1-22, Tables 1-3, 1-4)
This question was asked only of parents/guardians of young children not enrolled in childcare. There were many non-responses and these have been excluded from the analysis.

95.7% of children go outdoors, a result that is not really different from the 1995 report. As you would expect, there are never many children who sit quietly indoors all the time.

Let's take a look at the overall data on the first and second times a child goes outdoors in the current report (Figure 1-18). The most common time that children go outdoors for the first time during the day is 10:00 (40.2%) followed by 11:00 (34.5%). The second time is 2:00 p.m. (24.8%), followed by 3:00 p.m. (19.1%), 4:00 p.m. (15.4%) and 1:00 p.m. (13.2%). In contrast to the first time children go outdoors, the most common to go outside the second time is not concentrated during a limited range, but spread over a relatively wide range of times.

So how long do children stay during the first time outdoors? Table 1-3 is a comparison with the 1995 report. As you can see, the third through fifth most common responses remain unchanged at 1.5 hours, 30 minutes, and 3 hours. There is also almost no change in the percentages.

However, the most common response in 1995 (2 hours, 27.9%) became the second most common response in the current report. The actual percentage was 26.4%, which is not much different from that of the 1995 report. The second most common response in 1995 (1 hour, 27.0%) became the most common response in the current report with 30.6%. We see that the percentage of children going outside for about an hour has increased slightly.

Table 1-4 is a comparison with the 1995 report of the second time a child goes outdoors. The times, in order from most common, are exactly the same as in the 1995 report: 1 hour, 2 hours, 30 minutes, 1.5 hours, 3 hours. Looking more closely at the data we see that compared with the 1995 report, children who go outdoors for 1 and 1.5 hours during their second time increased and those who go out 30 minutes and 2 hours decreased. On the whole, we can see that the amount of time children are outdoors has not changed significantly over 5 years ago. The time a child is away from their home affects and is affected by their lunchtime, afternoon naptime and dinnertime so it would be difficult to imagine that there would be a significant change.

As for children who are not in childcare, who do they go out with and where? In the 1995 report this question asked for a single answer, but the current report elicited multiple answers. We have therefore excluded a comparison between the two and have analyzed only overall data of the current report, excluding all non-responses.

Figure 1-19 is a graph that compares with whom the child goes out when going out during the first and second times of the day. During both the first and second times, 80-90% go out with the mother, although this figure during the second time is 6.7 points lower than the first. Going out with siblings and friends increased during the second time, 9.7 points and 2.8 points respectively. When looked at by age, the trends are exactly the same.

On weekdays the father is not at home due to work. With the increasing number of nuclear families, it is no surprise that opportunities to go out with the grandmother or grandfather are also scarce. Although children are playing with their siblings and friends, we have to conclude that on weekdays, children have few opportunities to interact with anyone other than their mother. If contact with a wide variety of people teaches children how to be considerate of the feelings of others, this data does not indicate that our society today is a good environment for the development of children. However, it appears that recently the number of parents who create opportunities for their children to be around other children is increasing.

Now let's take a look at where children are going when they go out (Figure 1-20). During both first and second times that children go out during the day, shopping is a more common destination than a park or playground. Of course we can hypothesize that during both the first and second times, the child plays outdoors at a park or someplace while accompanying the mother shopping. For the second time in particular, the percentage of children who go out for shopping is 15.1 points higher than those out playing at a park or playground, etc. The percentage of children playing at a friend's house increases during their second time to go out by 9.1% points over the first time.

Next let's compare where one year and three year olds are going during both times (Figures 1-21, 1-22). The overall trend for 1 and 3-year olds is the same. However, 46.2% of 1-year olds are out shopping during their second outing, but compared with 41.1% of 3-year olds, a difference of 5.1 points. On the other hand, more 3-year olds go out to take lessons and to a friend's house than do 1-year olds, by 7.2 and 4.1 points respectively. As children get older, it is more necessary that they have contact with other people. Just going to a park is not enough so they go to a friend's house to play or to take lessons. In Figure 1-22 we see that as children turn 3, they gradually begin take lessons of an educational nature.


2. Education and Lessons

Comparison with the 1995 Report (Figure 1-23)
Compared with the 1995 report, how has participation in educational and other lessons (hereinafter lessons) changed?

Figure 1-23 is a comparison with the 1995 report of lessons by age. One-year olds showed the largest increase in participation (14.0 points). The differences in participation over 5 years ago decrease as the child gets older. For children aged 4 to 6, there is almost no difference with the figures of 5 years ago.

Looking at the data in the current report, we see that when children are 3 years old, about 50% of children are taking some sort of lesson. The figure reaches about 80% for 5 and 6-year olds. Almost all children are taking lessons by the time they start elementary school.

Types of Lessons (Figure 1-24)
Figure 1-24 is a comparison with the 1995 report on multiple answers to the question: what kind of lessons do your child take? The major types of lessons that showed an increase over the 1995 report were activities at public facilities for children (1.4 points), correspondence courses paid for all at one time (2.0 points) and the abacus (0.2 points) (since respondents included students in Benesse Corporation's correspondence courses, correspondence courses in which monthly materials sent about once a month were excluded). Each of these is within 5 points of the figures from the 1995 report and no significant changes were seen.

Decreases were seen in participation in all other lessons besides the three aforementioned and English or other language lessons (which remained unchanged from the 1995 report). Lessons that decreased by 5 or more points were swimming lessons (9.1 points) and music for children lessons (5.5 points).

We assumed that gender would play a significant role in lessons and made the following observations.

Current Educational and Other Lessons (Figure 1-25)
Figure 1-25 provides overall data on the multiple responses given in the current report to the question: what sort of lessons does your child take? The first most common lessons that children are taking at this time are swimming lessons (28.6%), followed by sports/exercise lessons (14.4%) and music lessons (12.1%), excluding regular correspondence courses.

The largest differences in lessons by gender are more boys in swimming lessons (10.4 points) and sports/exercise lessons (7.2 points) while more girls are involved in taking lessons in musical instruments (12.9 points), music lessons (6.4 points) and ballet/rhythmic dance lessons (8.4 points).

Boys in Sports, Girls in Music (Table 1-5)
Table 1-5 shows the types of lessons children are taking by gender and by age. There is little difference by gender for children who are 1-3, with the most common lessons for both groups were swimming lessons, activities at public facilities for children, music lessons, one-time correspondence courses, and sports/exercise lessons. The trends for boys and girls diverge from age 4. For example, lessons in order of most common for a boy who are 6-year olds are swimming lessons (44.2%), sports/exercise lessons (23.8%), language lessons (15.5%) and music instruments (11.0%). For girls of this age the ranking was musical instruments (41.0%), swimming lessons (33.1%), music lessons (13.3%), and calligraphy (12.7%). 40% of lessons consist of sports-related activities for boys and music-related activities for girls.

For children who are 4 to 6, lessons with percentages over 20% were sports-related lessons (swimming and sports/exercise) for boys and music and sports related lessons (musical instruments and swimming lessons) for girls.


3. Family Life

(1) Watching Television
Television has large influence over a child's lifestyle. We want to take a look at the current actual situation, comparing it with the 1995 report.

Interest in/Frequency of Television Viewing (Figures 1-26, 1-27, 1-28)
Figure 1-26 is a comparison of a child's interest in watching television with the 1995 report. There is very little change in the percentages with 5 years ago. About 80% of children have television programs that they want to watch.

Figure 1-27 shows overall data regarding children's interest in watching television by age in the current report. By the age of one, 30% of children are beginning to somewhat understand the content of the programs they watch and 50% of them have a television program they want to watch. The percentage of children who have a program they want to watch increases with the child's age. By the age of 6 almost all children (96.3%) have a television program they want to watch.

Figure 1-28 is a comparison with the 1995 report of the frequency with which a child watches television. Similar to the data seen in a child's interest in watching television, there was no significant change in the frequency. 96 to 97% of children watch television almost every day. The trend is the same when looked at by age, with 90% of children ages 1 to 6 watching television almost every day.

Average TV Viewing Times and Amount (Table 1-6, Figure 1-29)
How much television are children watching in a day? Table 1-6 is a comparison with the 1995 report of the average amount of television watched in a day by age. There is little difference with the 1995 report in the amount of television watched. The largest increase in television viewing time was seen in 6-year olds: 2 hours 58 minutes, an increase of 20 minutes. Similar to the 1995 report, the difference in television viewing time by age indicates that 1 to 3-year olds watch for longer periods than 4 to 6-year olds. We believe this is the result of decreased viewing time as the child is enrolled in kindergarten.

Figure 1-29 is a comparison with the 1995 report of the times during the day that television is watched. We see two-peak time during the day when television is watched: in morning and between late afternoon and evening. Compared to the 1995 report, the peak morning time was slightly earlier while the evening time that had been concentrated between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in 1995 was spread in a wide range of times from 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The change in morning viewing times is connected to earlier waking times. The spread in evening viewing times is the result of the change in the time that children return home from kindergarten and the change in children's television programming hours.

TV Viewing Times by Preschool Enrollment (Figure 1-30)
Figure 1-30 is a look at the overall data in the current report on viewing times by childcare enrollment.

Peak morning viewing time for children not enrolled in childcare (8:30 to 9:00 a.m.) is almost an hour later than for kindergarteners and day-care center children and also longer (over 20% watch between 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.). There is also a small peak that corresponds with lunchtime.

Viewing times in the late afternoon are earlier for children not enrolled in childcare and show higher percentages of television viewing. There is not significantly more television viewing in the evening compared with other children, although almost 10% watch television until 10:00 p.m., later than even children in kindergarten.

Since kindergarteners have to go to kindergarten in the morning, their viewing times are earlier and shorter than children who are not enrolled in childcare. Their viewing is concentrated in the late afternoon and evening. In accordance with their lifestyle, their viewing ends the earliest.

Day-care center children have the same morning viewing times as kindergarteners. Since these children get home at a later hour, their peak evening viewing time is later than for other children. We see that these children watch television until the latest hours.

Viewing Times by Age (Figure 1-31)
Figure 1-31 is an overall comparison by age of daily television viewing times for the current report. We see that 1 and 2-year olds' viewing times are concentrated in the morning and the late afternoon. Evening times (7:00 p.m. and later) were relatively flat (about 30%). A small peak can be seen in the lunchtime that is probably from watching television while eating lunch. For children 3 years and older, the evening peak is added to the morning and late afternoon peaks. The older the child, the higher the evening peak becomes and we can see what appears to be an increase in children watching television while they have dinner. For children 4 years and older, the lunch time peaks in tandem with kindergarten attendance, and morning viewing times are also lower than those for 1 to 3 year olds. Viewing times are concentrated in the late afternoon and evening. For 6-year olds, over 70% are watching television in the evening, the highest level among all ages. However, these children end their television viewing comparatively early. The children watching television until later in the night are the 2 and 3 year olds. As we saw in bedtimes for children 4 years and older, television viewing times are also restricted by kindergarten attendance.

Regional Differences (Figure 1-32)
Figure 1-32 looks at overall television viewing times in the current report by region (Metropolitan Tokyo, Toyama and Oita City). Morning viewing times are the same in all regions. Tokyo and Oita show two peaks viewing times in the late afternoon to evening that bracket dinnertime. We see almost no peak viewing times in the evening in Toyama where evening television-viewing ends relatively early.

With Whom Do Children Watch Television? (Figure 1-33)
Figure 1-33 is the comparison between current report and the 1995 report on people with whom children watched television by age. We see that for almost all ages the percentage of children watching television with their mother increases, while those watching television with siblings decreases. In the current report there is an 11.2% decrease in children with siblings compared with the 1995 report, which no doubts affects these results. Looking at the data in the current report, we see that the percentage of 1 to 3-year olds watching television with their mother is high. However, for children 4 years and older the percentage of those watching television with siblings is greater than those watching with their mother.

(2) Watching Videos

Frequency/Time Watching Videos (Figures 1-34, 1-35)
Figure 1-34 is the comparison between current report and the 1995 report on the frequency with which videos are watched. Compared to the 1995 report, the percentage of children who watch videos almost every day increased 5.6 points. The frequency with which videos are used to entertain a child is increasing. Figure 1-35 is a comparison by age with the 1995 report. We see that the percentage of 1 to 3-year olds watching videos almost daily is greater than that of 4 to 6-year olds indicating that videos are used very often. Compared to the 1995 report, the percentage of children watching videos almost every day increased across all age groups; 8 to 9 points for 1 to 2-year olds and 4 to 6 points for children 3 years and older. We see that the use of videos to entertain children who are 1 to 2 years old is increasing.

Time Spent Watching Videos by Age (Figure 1-36)
Figure 1-36 looks at the overall data by age in the current report for time spent watching videos in a day. Looking at the overall data we see that the amount of time spent watching videos varies widely from 30 minutes to over 3 hours. Looked at by age, we see that 70% of children 4 years and older watch an hour or less of video. This percentage drops to the 60% level for children 3 years and younger. Around 30% of them watch an hour or more (mostly 1 to 3 hours). We see that similar to the frequency with which videos are used to entertain a child, the younger ages watch videos for longer periods of time.

Video Viewing Times (Figures 1-37, 1-38)
Let's take a look at the times during the day that videos are watched. Figure 1-37 is a comparison between current data and the 1995 data on times during the day that videos are watched. Similar to television viewing, the peaks in video viewing times are divided between morning and the late afternoon into evening. Compared with the 1995 report, the percentage of video viewing from the late afternoon into the evening is increasing. The increase is particularly noticeable during the 5:30 to 6:00p.m. peak, with a 6.1% increase.

Figure 1-38 is a comparison of the overall data in the current report of time during which video and television are watched. Television viewing is concentrated at certain times and features high peaks. Video viewing is characterized by gentle curves. The morning peak time for video viewing is later than that for television. As mentioned earlier, we believe that television viewing times are effected by children's programming.

We imagine that once these shows have ended, the child starts to watch a video. The peak times for watching television and videos are almost the same in the evening. Since the child has a bedtime, they can't stagger their viewing and have to choose between watching either television or videos.

Viewing Times by Childcare Enrollment/Age (Figure 1-39)
Next we would like to take a look at the difference in television and video viewing by differences in lifestyle. Figure 1-39 shows viewing times by dividing the data of the current report into four categories by age and childcare enrollment. (The age category of 3 years 11 months is the age at which a child goes to a 3-year kindergarten at the time of the report data collection.)

The percentage of young children not enrolled in childcare (ages 18 months to 3 years 10 months) watching videos at any one time is low, with the largest percentage is 30%. However, they do watch video throughout the day. As mentioned earlier, the peak morning viewing time takes place slightly after the peak viewing time for television. We see that 20 to 30% of young children not enrolled in childcare who are at home spend their time from after 7:00 in the morning to around 11:00 at night watching either television or videos. Television viewing is concentrated during certain times, but the percentage of children viewing is slightly under 70% at its highest.

For younger children in day-care centers (ages 18 months to 3 years 10 months), most video viewing is done in the late afternoon into evening. The viewing time of 6:30 to 7:00p.m. is particularly high at about 40%, the highest percentage compared with other children. Since this time coincides with the peak evening mealtime, we believe that many children are eating their evening meal while watching a favorite video.

The overall trend for older children in day-care centers (3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months) is quite similar to that of younger day-care center children who are 3 years 10 months or younger, but the percentage of these children watching television is higher. Conversely, the percentage watching videos is lower and the most common times are characterized by curves. Peak television times are 7:00 to 7:30p.m. with percentages gradually declining thereafter to below 10% by 9:30. Only a very small percentage watch until 11:00.

Late afternoon video viewing for kindergarteners (3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months) starts around 3:00 p.m. (almost 20%). Viewing peaks at 5 to 5:30 p.m. (slightly under 30%) and by around 6:30 subsides to the 10% level. Since kindergarteners return home earlier than children in day-care centers, their video viewing also starts early and tends to switch over to television viewing at 7:00 and after. The percentage still viewing (of both television and video) at around 9:00 falls under the 10% level. Compared to other children, kindergarteners end their viewing early. This is similar to the aforementioned trend for bedtime and is a unique characteristic of kindergarteners.

With Whom Do Children Watch Videos? (Figure 1-40)
Figure 1-40 is a comparison with the 1995 report. It indicates with whom children watch videos with by age of the child (1, 3 and 6-year olds). Although the chart is abbreviated, we see that overall, the percentage of children watching videos with their mother (current report 31.6% > 1995 report 22.0%) increased, while those watching with siblings (38.8% > 44.6%) or alone (24.7% > 28.2%) decreased.

Looked at by age, compared with the 1995 report the percentage of 1-year olds watching with their mother increased 18.6 points while those watching with siblings decreased 14.1 points. About half of these children are watching videos with their mother. The percentage of 3-year olds watching video with their mother increased 8.1 points while those watching with siblings decreased 9.3 points. Children watching with their mothers, siblings or alone each accounted for about 30% of the total. The pattern of watching videos with the mother tends to diverge from around the age of 3.

The percentage of 6-year olds watching videos with their mother increased 5.3 points, while those watching videos alone decreased 5.0 points. By the age of 6, the percentage of children watching videos with siblings becomes overwhelmingly large at 60%.

Types of Videos Watched (Figure 1-41)
Are children watching more commercial videos or more recorded programs on video? We looked into this question by comparing one against the other. Figure 1-41 compares current results with those of the 1995 report on which type of video the child watches by age.

Looking at the overall trends we see that commercial videos are mostly greatly watched by 1-year olds. The older a child gets, the more they watch recorded programs on video. By the age of 5, more children are watching recorded programs on video than commercial videos.

Compared with the 1995 report, the percentages of children watching commercial videos has increased in all age groups. The increase was greatest among 6-year olds, rising 16.3 points. The lowest increase was among 5-year olds, rising only 7.2 points.

Operating the Video Deck (Figure 1-42)
Figure 1-42 shows the children's ability to operate the video deck by age and gender. Around 60% of 3-year olds can operate a video deck by themselves. By age 6 this figure increased to about 80%. Looked at by gender, across all age groups more boys can operate the video deck than girls. At age 2, slightly less than 40% of boys can operate a video deck by themselves. We see no significant change with the 1995 report in video deck operation percentages.


(3) Consumer Items in the Home
What sort of consumer items are children surrounded by and how are these connected with the child's lifestyle? We chose 11 items in the house, mainly printed and electronic media that are typical of a household environment and looked at how many homes have these items, how often they are used and who uses them.

Comparison with the 1995 report (Figure 1-43)
Figure 1-43 is a comparison with the 1995 report of what items are found in the home. Items that have increased since the 1995 report are PCs (30.3 points) and CD players (10.3 points). Items that have decreased are workbooks (17.7points), educational equipment (13.3 points), word processors (6.6 points) and illustrated reference books (6.0 points).

Although the chart is abbreviated, we see that as a child gets older the percentages of items found in the home that increase are workbooks, illustrated reference books, comic books and video games. Regardless of age, over 80% of homes have picture books, magazines, tape recorders, and CD players.

Comparison with the 1995 report by age (Figure 1-44)
Among the 11 items, Figure 1-44 is a comparison by age with the 1995 report of homes regarding the following items: workbooks, illustrated reference books, and PCs.

All age groups show a decrease of workbooks in the home compared to the 1995 report. The younger the age group, the greater the difference between reports (15.4 points for 1-year olds versus 7.8 points for 6-year olds). For 1 to 2-year olds, about 20 to 30 % have workbooks. This increases to 50% for 3-year olds, and over 70% for children 4 years and older. The older a child gets, the greater their interest.

The trend for illustrated reference books is similar to that for workbooks. Compared with the 1995 report there is a decrease in illustrated reference books in the home across all age groups. In contrast with workbooks, the older the child's age, the greater the difference (5.7 points for 1-year olds versus 11.1 points for 6-year olds).

Compared with the 1995 report, the percentage of homes with PCs has increased across all age groups. The largest increase is seen in homes with 1-year olds, a rise of 40.3 points. The smallest increase is seen in homes with 6-year olds, a rise of only 25.6 points. The percentage of homes with PCs is about 45 to 57%, regardless of the child's age group. There is a significant correlation between the father's educational background and whether or not a home has a PC.

Frequency of Use (Table 1-7, Figure 1-45)
Table 1-7 details overall data on frequency of use in the current report. Use of picture books and magazines on a daily basis is high (picture books, 55.4%; magazines, 24.7%). Over 20% of other items are used only very rarely. With the exception of picture books and magazines, these items do not seem to be used very much.

Figure 1-45 compares frequency of use with the 1995 report. In these results the answers "almost every day" and "3 to 4 days a week" were combined. We see no increase in the use of items by 5 points or more. Conversely, we noted a decrease in use of workbooks (8.9 points), tape recorders (6.3 points), and magazines (5.7 points). The decrease of more than 10.0 points in homes with study workbooks affected the use of workbooks.

Frequency of Use by Age/Childcare Enrollment (Figure 1-46)
Figure 1-46 compares frequency of use by age and childcare enrollment with the results of the 1995 report.

Taking a look at young children not enrolled in childcare who are 18 months to 3 years 10 months, we did not see any item for which the frequency of use increased 5.0 points compared with the 1995 report. Items whose frequency of use decreased by 5.0 points or greater compared to the 1995 report were tape recorders (10.7 points), study workbooks (9.5 points), education equipment (8.7 points), and magazines (7.9 points). The current data shows that use of items in order of most frequent were picture books, magazines, CD players, education equipment, and tape recorders.

For younger children in day-care centers between 18 months and 3 years 10 months, the only item with a frequency of use that increased by 5 points or more compared to the 1995 report was the CD player (7.0 points). Conversely, use of magazines and comic books decreased 7.2 and 5.2 points respectively. The items used most frequently (in the current report) in order of use were almost exactly the same as for young children not enrolled in childcare.

Compared with the 1995 report, for older children in day-care centers between 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months, items for which the frequency of use increased more than 5.0 points were the CD player (13.8 points) and video games (6.2 points). Conversely, items for which the frequency of use decreased were magazines (11.2 points) and educational equipment (7.1 points). Items used most frequently (in the current report) in order of use were picture books, magazines, video games, and CD players. The older these children get, the higher the rate of use of video games.

There were no items for which the frequency of use by 3 years 11 months to 6 years 11 months kindergartners increased greater than 5.0 points compared with the 1995 report. Items for which the frequency of use decreased were workbooks (9.4 points), magazines (6.5 points), comic books (5.9 points), and tape recorders (5.1 points). Items used most frequently (in the current report) in order of use were almost not different from those of older day-care center children with the exception of video games, the use of which was 9.3 points higher (31.3% > 22.0%).

There was a greater difference in the frequency of use of items in the home by age than by childcare situation.

With Whom are the Items Used? (Figure 1-47)
With whom do children use these items at home? Figure 1-47 compares with the 1995 report the person with whom the child is using the item in their home. (From among the 11 items, 2 items of print media and 2 items of electronic media were examined) We note that there may be differences in the data with the master data table since responses of "do not have in home" were not included in this analysis.

Compared with the 1995 report there was no change greater than 5.0 points in people with whom picture books were used. The mother was the overwhelming answer, accounting for over 70% of the responses.

Compared with the 1995 report, there was a 7.1 point increase in mothers using magazines with their children. Mothers accounted for 50% of the people with whom magazines are used. Among other people with whom magazines are used (27.3%), siblings accounted for the largest group (14.3%).

Compared with the 1995 report, there was a 12.1 point increase in mothers using tape recorders with their children. Mothers accounted for more than 60% of the people with whom tape recorders are used. Similar to magazines, other people with whom the tape recorder is used are siblings. We see that about 10% of children use the tape recorder alone.

Compared with the 1995 report, there was a 12.2 point increase in fathers using video games with their children. 46.0% of children use video games with their siblings, the highest percentage among the data. Other people with whom video games are used are the mother, alone and with the father, each group accounting for 10 to 20% each.

People With Whom Items Are Used by Age (Figure 1-48)
Figure 1-48 looks at the overall data of the current report by age for the items "magazines" and "video games". (Excludes responses of "do not have in home")

For magazines, 66.5% of 1-year olds use them with their mother. The older a child gets, the less magazines are enjoyed together with the mother. By the time a child is 5, the ratio of use with the mother is almost the same as use alone. By the age of 6, use with mother accounts for only 20% of total use. At age 1, use alone accounts for more than 10% of total use. This increases as the child gets older. By age 6, more than 50% of children use magazines alone. We also see that use of magazines with siblings accounts for about 20% of use in 5 and 6-year olds.

For video games, use with a sibling accounts for the highest percentage of use. The figure is in the 45 to 54% level for ages 1 to 6. In order of birth, we see that from the second child on, the ratio of use with siblings is higher. Use of the video games with the father accounts for about 30% of use for 1 to 3 year olds, higher than use with other people. For children ages 4 to 6 the ratio of using video games with siblings or the father falls slightly, and those using it alone or with friends increases as age increases.


4. Play

Common Types of Play (Figure 1-49)
Figure 1-49 is a comparison with the 1995 report of common types of play. Types of play that increased by 5.0 points or more compared with the 1995 report were those using natural objects such as rocks or tree branches (7.9 points) and toys such as miniature cars or plastic models (6.7 points). Types of play that decreased was jigsaw puzzles (6.4 points).

Although it cannot be seen on the chart, we did not observe any regional trends for play using natural objects such as rocks or tree branches. In fact, the percentages in metropolitan areas of Tokyo and Kanagawa prefecture were high while those of Toyama city and Oita city tended to be low. Since the data was gathered in February, the data for Toyama city was probably affected by low temperatures. Play using natural objects is probably more greatly affected by lifestyle environment (such as day-care center or kindergarten) than by region.

Common Types of Play by Age/Gender (Table 1-8)
Table 1-8 compares types of play with the 1995 report by age and gender. No significant change with the 1995 report was seen in types of play.

Throughout the ages 1 to 6 the most common types of play was that using park equipment. However, the older the child, the more common was indoor play such as video games or drawing pictures.

By gender we see that the most common play for boys ages 1 to 6 was that using toys. For boys aged 1 to 3, this increased over the 1995 report by 5.0 points. For girls ages 4 to 6, playing with mud decreased 9.0 points over the 1995 report, while playing with park equipment increased.

Weekday Playmates (Figures 1-50, 1-51)
Weekday playmates consist mostly of the mother, siblings and friends. However, compared with the 1995 report (Figure 1-50), the percentages of children playing with siblings and friends has decreased, while the percentages of children playing with the mother, the father, grandmother, grandfather, relatives and playing alone has increased.

Comparing children with relatives from the current report and the 1995 report, we see that the ratio of children with siblings in the current report decreased (1995 report 77.2%, current report 66.0%). Thus compared with the 1995 report, the percentage of children playing with relatives other than their siblings has increased.

Figure 1-51 is a look at weekday playmates by age. The percentage of children playing with their mother has increased across all age groups compared with the 1995 report. The increase in percentages are particularly high in 4 to 6-year old range with the largest difference seen in 5-year olds (23.8 points). Even among 6-year olds, about 40 percent of children play mostly with their mother.

The percentage of children playing with their father has increased across almost all age groups. The increase is most prominent among 1-year olds (11.3 points). Slightly fewer than 20% of 1-year olds play with their father on weekdays.

The percentage of children playing by themselves has also increased across all age groups. Of all the age groups, 4 year olds have the highest percentage of playing by themselves (24.2%) while 1 years have the lowest percentage (15.8%). We did not see any significant difference in percentage by age.

The percentage of children playing with siblings increased among 4 to 6-year olds and decreased among 1 to 3 year olds with the most significant difference among 1-year olds (20.1 points).

The percentage of children playing with friends increased among 1 to 3 year olds and decreased among 4 to 6-year olds. As a result, the overall difference between 1 to 6-year olds evened out. The ratio of children playing with friends for 1 to 4 year olds was in the 40 to 50% ranges, and in the 60% range for 5 and 6-year olds. There were fewer kindergartners among the respondents in the current report and an increased number of day-care center children. The effects of this no doubt extend to the percentage of children playing with friends on weekdays.

Weekday Playmates by Childcare Enrollment (Figure 1-52)
Figure 1-52 is a comparison with the 1995 report of weekday playmates by childcare enrollment. Compared with the 1995 report, the percentage of children playing with their mother has increased. No other significant differences were seen. However, when looked at by childcare enrollment, there are very great differences in weekday playmates.

Young children not enrolled in childcare play mostly with the mother, siblings and friends. The percentage of children in day-care centers playing with the mother and siblings is high, but is low for those playing with friends. Compared with others, a higher percentage of these children play with the father. The percentage of kindergartners playing with their mother is low, while those playing with siblings or friends is high. The trend is quite similar with that of children not enrolled in childcare.

Location of Play (Figures 1-53, 1-54)
Figure 1-53 is a comparison with the 1995 of the two replies chosen from among multiple answers.

Compared with the 1995 report, the percentage of children playing in "an empty lot or park in the neighborhood", "home" and "school playground" increased 7.2, 3.8, and 3.2 points respectively.

The largest decrease in percentage of play at a location was for "a friend's house" (4.2 points). The ratio of children playing with a friend increases the older a child becomes. However, as mentioned earlier, the ratio of 4 to 6-year olds playing with friends on weekdays decreased compared with the 1995 report which no doubt affected this result.

Figure 1-54 is an analysis of the overall data by age for the current report. We see that across all age groups slightly under 80 to slightly under 90% of children play at home. As a child gets older, they increasingly play at a friend's house with the percentages rising from just under 20 % to slightly under 50%. At the same time, the percentage of children playing at an empty lot or park in the neighborhood shows a decreasing trend, down from 40 to 30%. Similar to what we saw in the analysis of types of play by age, this is consistent with the idea that the older children become, the more likely they are to play at indoor activities such as video games or drawing pictures.


5. Parent's/Guardian's Views on Education

Expectations for the Child's Education (Figures 1-55, 1-56)
Figure 1-55 is a comparison with the 1995 report of guardians' expectations for the level of education the child will obtain. 60% of guardians expect their child to graduate from university. This is a decrease of 5.4 points from the 1995 report. Conversely, expectations of high school graduation increased 5.8 points.

We can think of a variety of reasons for this result. One is the relationship with the level of education achieved by the mother. Figure 1-56 shows data from the metropolitan areas in the current report. We see that 83.6% of mothers who had graduated from a 4-year college, 74.3% of mothers who had graduated from a junior college and 53.1% of mothers who had graduated from high school wanted their children to obtain a college degree. It is clear that guardians who have completed higher education (4-year college) have higher expectations for their child's educational level. However, in the number of mothers with a 4-year college degree decreased 5.3 points from 20.3% to 15.0%. We believe that this can be tied to the decreasing expectations for a child to complete a 4-year college degree. As seen in Figure 1-56, another reason is the declining expectation of a 4-year college degree by mothers who are high school graduates compared to the 1995 report. (1995 report 61.1%, current report 53.1%, decrease of 8.0 points) As society places less emphasis on a college degree for employment, there are less expectations for children to receive a high level of education. The reason may also lie in the poor economic growth. We should also note that there is almost no change in expectations for a college degree for children of adults who have a college degree. When looked at by gender, we see that 70% of guardians wish for their boy to complete a college degree while less than 50% do for their girls.

Education Costs (Figure 1-57)
We looked into education costs per child per month. Figure 1-57 is a comparison with the 1995 report.

As you see in the figure, about 1, 000 to 5,000 yen is spent on education for children before they enter pre-school (41.9% in the current report). Although there is no significant change with the 1995 report, those who spent under 10, 000 yen accounted for 70.5% in the 1995 report, but 74.9% in the current report, an increase of 4.4 points. Those who spent 10, 000 yen and more account for 26.9% in the 1995, but only 24.1% in the current report, a decrease in 2.8 points. Even though it is only slight, we believe this is the effect of the poor economic growth. When looked at by age, we see that the higher the age of the child, the more money is spent on education.

Degree of Satisfaction with the Child's Development (Figure 1-58)
We asked if the guardian was satisfied with their child's development. Figure 1-58 is a comparison of the results with the 1995 report.

A combination of the answers "very satisfied" with "satisfied" results in data that is almost identical with that of the 1995 report. A more detailed examination reveals that the answer, "satisfied" declined 9.9 points compared with the 1995 report. Those who are very satisfied increased 10.0 points. When looked at by age, childcare enrollment and mother's employment status, those who are very satisfied showed higher percentages over the 1995 report across all categories. Compared with the 1995 report we can say that guardians are satisfied with their child's development. Even though the guardian may be feeling stress related to child rearing, most households are satisfied with their child's development. Since the degree of satisfaction is high, we can conclude that the child-rearing situation is healthy.
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