If you are looking to enroll your child in daycare, nursery or kindergarten, JHI can research information on your options and create a tailor-made list for you in English. We are also available to file necessary enrollment applications on your behalf.
Daycares provide care for the children of working parents. On the other hand, the main purpose of kindergartens is to give children a chance to interact with others of the same approximate age and education.
Keep in mind, entrance to public daycare facilities can be very competitive. JHI has experience handling forms for such facilities, and a properly filed form can increase your child’s chances of acceptance. Contact us for details.
In Japan, there are two types of daycare providers: private daycares, which are owned and operated as a company, and public daycares
You can apply for public daycares through your local city or ward office. Competition is often quite stiff in urban areas due to the growing number of working parents.
Application for private daycares is done directly through the company you wish to use. If you live in an urban area, you can still expect entrance to be competitive. Private daycares are expensive, but some local governments subsidizes partial reimbursement.
Contact us and we can help you fill out your application paper work and prepare enrollment documents. We can also research requirements in your area to give your child the highest chances for acceptance.
Typical day at a public daycare (2 year old)
9:00am: Arrive at daycare
9:30am: Morning tea/snack
10:00am-11:00am: Take a walk to the park nearby, play in the playground, craft-making in the classroom, (in summer) swimming in the pool
After lunch-3:00pm: Nap
3:30pm: Afternoon tea/snack
4:00pm-6:00pm: Play in the playground or classroom. Some daycares provide a light meal around 6:00 for late pick-ups.
Daycare for sick children
Daycares cannot allow children with influenza or a high fever to attend while ill. There are public and private daycares that can take care of your child temporarily during their sickness. The number of facilities, conditions, and prices will vary depending on your area.
These require pre-registration before use. Contact us; we can locate facilities in your area, give you detailed information and make arrangements for registration.
Below is the feedback we received from Marc-Antoni, our recent client. His son successfully got into a public daycare.
Japan Healthcare Info (JHI) is a wonderful service! My family and I recently moved from Canada and we discovered this service online while Googling away for all the help we could get with integrating here in Japan. Our son was about 15 months old at the time, and we were exploring daycare options online when we learnt that JHI could also assist with filing and prepping for his entry into the Japanese daycare system.
For those of you with families, or little ones on the way, you may have already heard how notoriously difficult it is to get your child placed into the public daycare system. Indeed, despite Japan’s low birthrate, Tokyo in particular seems to have babies everywhere! It’s great to see all the mommies and daddies cycling around with an occupied child-seat at each end of the bicycle or strapped into a baby carrier. I’m totally impressed by all the parents going about their day while juggling their little ones. However, all this remarkable baby management is also a reflection of the fact that there is not enough supply in childcare services to meet the demand. Apparently, the government is working on it, and many more daycares are on the way, but this also implies that placement is hard to come by and can be quite expensive. We had our little one in a private daycare for the first 6 months, and the full-time monthly fee was actually comparable to our rent! Why many couples we know decide to keep one parent at home to provide childcare, especially if there is more than one child.
Enter the JHI. We quickly received a response to our request for assistance and have felt supported ever since! Navigating all the government bureaucracy is certainly a skill. It truly is another language. My wife is Japanese, and she can speak and read the language quite well in most cases, but this paperwork is a different beast altogether. Indeed, the number of rejected applicants is quite indicative of this. It’s not a Japanese language issue, as much as it is a governmental language issue, and thankfully the JHI has the skill and experience to get you through it!
I can happily announce that our little one has since been enrolled into the public daycare system, and I have absolutely no doubt it was thanks to Sara and the JHI. The assistance saved us considerable stress and the new daycare is saving us a great deal of money. I would very highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for help in breaking through into the Japanese public daycare system.
In contrast to daycares, there are many different types of kindergartens and preschools and it can be difficult deciding which would be most suitable for your child.
Most kindergartens are privately owned. Some are run by religious groups and teach students about their beliefs. International preschools, where native English teachers provide much of the education, are growing in popularity among Japanese parents.
You can directly apply for the kindergarten or preschool of your choice. Generally, parents are required to apply in October or November of the year before their child will start classes. If you are considering putting your child in a kindergarten, you should start visiting facilities around August or September the year your child turns two. After the school year starts in April, it is very difficult find facilities that can accept your child.
Some localities offer partial reimbursement to local families using kindergartens and preschools.
Typical day at Kindergarten/pre-school
9:00am: Arrive at the kindergarten
9:00am-11:00am: Play in the playground, craft-making in the classroom, various activity classes
After lunch-2:00pm: Classroom activities.
2:30pm: Pick-up time
*No nap time*
Here is the chart to see the different features of daycare and kindergarten.
|Public Daycare||Private Daycare||Kindergarten|
|Owner||Local City||Educational Corporation||Local City/Educational Corporation|
|Age||0-5 yrs||0-5 yrs differs depending on facility||3-5 yrs|
|Size||100 kids/Average||20-30 kids/Average||More than 100 kids. Differs depending on the facility|
|Teacher||Licensed civil servant staff||Licensed teaching staff||Licensed teaching staff|
|Terms||April 1st to March 31st||April 1st to March 31st||April 1st to March 31st|
|Start/end time||9:00-17:00 (7:30-20:00 is the time range for taking in＆picking up)||9:00-17:00 (7:30-20:00 is the time range for taking in＆picking up)||Generally 9:00-14:00|
|Drink and Meal||Planned ＆Prepared by licensed nutritionist.
Formula is also provided.
Frozen breast milk accepted
|Planned ＆Prepared by licensed nutritionist or staff.
Formula is also provided.
Frozen breast milk accepted
|Parents are required to prepare lunchbox|
|Toilet||Parents bring disposable diaper.
Teachers give toilet training
|Parents bring disposable diaper.
Teachers give toilet training
|No diaper is used, teachers help toilet training.|
|Facility||Varies depending on daycare, but often public ones have playgrounds and pools, no bus.||Generally much smaller compared to public daycare. Often no playgruound. No bus.||Varies depending on daycare, but often have playgrounds, pools and bus|
|Activity||Summer festival, Sports day, excursion, Christmas party etc.||Summer festival, Sports day, excursion, Christmas party etc.||Summer festival, Sports day, excursion, Christmas party etc.|
|Health Service||Regular health/dental checkups provided.
Registered nurse is available daily for medical cares.
|Regular checkups provided. No nurse is available daily.||Health checkups are not provided|
|Uniform||No uniform||No uniform||Many kindergartens require uniform and designated bags and shoes|
|Costs||Varies depending on your annual income tax. Average around 10,000 yen/month meals included||Different depending on company and area. From around 40,000 yen to 80,000 yen/month. Meals included.||Varies depending on company and area. From around 20,000 yen -80,000 yen /month plus the enrollment fee|
|Registration||Registration through city hall. Accepted through the year but the deadline for the year next is usually December.||Registration accepted directly to the day care through the year.||Registration accepted directly to the kindergarten. Application time for the year next is usually autumn|