Crown prince visits child care facility in Finland

Jiji Press ESPOO, Finland (Jiji Press) — Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko visited on Thursday a maternity and child health care facility, known as neuvola, in Espoo, Finland.

Neuvola, which originally started in Finland, provides constant support for families, from the pregnant period to the time children enter school.

In Finland, such facilities are established in most municipalities, providing free care by professional health nurses and doctors. Some Japanese local governments have adopted the system.

At the Ison Omenan neuvola in Espoo, the royal couple were briefed on the facility and interacted with children, shaking hands and playing with them.

Crown Princess Kiko told city officials that she was impressed by the Finnish system, which is capable of providing wide support for families, according to sources.

Later on Thursday, the couple visited Raasepori, a city in the southwestern part of Finland, to take a firsthand look at the village of Fiskars, known as a gathering site for artists and craftsmen.

After visiting a furniture workshop in the village, the couple attended a dinner party hosted by the mayor of the city.


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