Child care・One parent

[Question]I need to send my infant child to a nursery school because I’ve started working. What should I do?

[Answer]
 In Japan, nurseries are categorized as welfare facilities for children, run under the supervision of the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry. They are designed for children whose parents cannot look after them during daytime due to work and other reasons. Children should be aged between 0 and preschool age to be admitted. There are generally two types of nurseries: 
1) Authorized nurseries meet minimum requirements stipulated by the Child Welfare Law and are authorized by local governments. Fees can vary depending on the parents’ income, the children’s age and the place they live. 
2) Non-authorized nurseries include so-called baby hotels or overnight care facilities and day care centers and do not necessarily have authorization from local governments. Each facility charge differing fees for their services. Please contact each nursery for information/admission.

To be admitted to an authorized nursery, you need to produce valid reasons, such as work commitments, for not being able to look after their children during daytime. Application can be made at your city office.

[Question]I am a divorced mother who is raising children on my own in Japan. I need financial assistance because I can hardly make ends meet raising my children.

[Answer]
If you are raising your children born between you and a Japanese husband and are now divorced, you are probably staying with “Long Term” residency status. If you have this residential status, you can apply for various forms of public assistance as a single parent. Among them are:

  1. Child Allowance (jido teate) is paid to a family raising an eligible child and isn’t limited to single parent households. Those eligible are residents in Japan, who have completed their resident registration. Foreign residents are also eligible as long as they have completed resident registration and are raising child/ren of the prescribed age bracket. Income threshold applies to recipients. To apply, contact the Child Allowance Section of your City/Ward office.
  2. Child Support Allowance (jido fuyo teate) is paid to a single mother/father or a guardian who looks after a cohabiting child until the first March 31 following the child’s 18th birthday (or in the case of a child with a disability, up to the age of 20.) Income threshold is applied. For more detailed information, please refer to the Osaka Prefecture Government/Welfare Department.

To apply for the above allowance, please contact Child Support Allowance section of your municipal office. More information is available at “Information for Single Parent Households” provided by Osaka Prefectural Government/Welfare Department.