There is growing concern regarding the problem of children waiting for licensed daycare services in Japan's metropolitan areas. In addition to the large number of children on the publicly announced waiting lists, there is an even larger group of underlying demanders, who would otherwise choose to apply for licensed childcare services if the waiting lists were not so long. The present paper attempts to use the contingent valuation method to estimate the underlying demand for licensed childcare services in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. As a result, we find that the underlying waiting rate for licensed childcare services is much higher than the publicly announced waiting rate; that the shortage of service supply for children aged below 1 year old is especially prominent; and, that the total number of children (age ≤ 3) in the status of underlying demand even exceed the present enrolment considerably. Copyright 2005 East Asian Economic Association..