Kindergartens are educational institutions for pre-school children. They are supervised by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and usually cover a one to three-year span. The goal of the kindergarten is to foster children's mental and physical development and to accustom them to group activities. Many infants and pre-school children, whose parents work, are ill, or otherwise unable to care for them during the day, attend public or private daycare centers (hoiku-en), operated in their municipality. Daycare centers come under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.