|Pregnancy and childbirth ｜ ｜ Other welfare services|
A variety of services and support are available to help you raise your child. The following information mainly explains public facilities, systems, and financial aid that provide needed consultations and support. Information about daycare centers and kindergartens can also be found.
Periodical health checkup
Infant/toddler health checkupYour baby is eligible for free health examinations to check his/her development and health when he/she is 3-4 months old, 6-7 months old, 9-10 months old, 18 months old and 3 years old. In addition to height/weight measurements and examination by a doctor, you may consult health care professionals if you have any concerns.
Consultation service/Financial aid
The following information mentions various facilities and programs that can offer parenting consultation and support for you. You may also be eligible for financial support programs that help cover your child-related expenses.
Various support systems have been established to help answer your questions and reduce your anxiety about child-raising and also to protect the health of mothers and children.
Home-visit service for newborn babyIn principle, the local government sends public health nurses and certified midwives to a household with a newborn baby within twenty eight days after birth to give advice and answer questions about baby care, prevention of illness, and the baby's daily life. Contact the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside for more details.
Newborn screening test for metabolic birth defectsThe test is provided to a five to seven-day-old baby by taking a blood sample from his/her heel. If test results show that the baby has a certain birth defect, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent developmental problems. The parents are notified of the result by a doctor of the medical institute where the baby was born.
Child guidance center/office (jido sodanjo)The child guidance center/office provides general consulting services for child-related issues. The center accepts inquiries from the child's family members and other concerned persons over the phone or at the counter. The center's counselors may visit the child's home. The center also supports children with certain illnesses or disabilities and works to protect abused children.
These websites provide useful information related to child-rearing.
Several types of childcare financial support are available for households with young children. Applications for these support programs are mostly made at the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where the applicant resides. Application procedures may vary according to each local government, so contact the municipal office for details.
Child Allowance (Jido Teate)Jido teate or child allowance is available to households raising a child under the age of 15. The allowance is provided until the first month of March following the concerned child's 15th birthday. A monthly allowance per child is 15,000 yen for children under age 3 and 10,000 yen for children age 3 and older. There is no income limitation for the eligibility of the allowance.
*Former "kodomo teate" has been changed to "jido teate" since April 2012 (Heisei 24).
Child-rearing allowance (jido ikusei teate)The child-rearing allowance is provided mainly to single-parent households which meet the income limit requirement. There are two types of this allowance: rearing allowance (ikusei teate) and disability allowance (shogai teate).
Rearing allowance (ikusei teate)The rearing allowance is provided to a parent/guardian of a child who does not live with his/her parent(s) due to their death or divorce, or when
- his/her parent suffers from serious disabilities that prevent him/her from being employed;
- has been detained by the authorities for longer than one year;
- has abandoned the child for longer than one year; or
- his/her mother was unmarried when she had the child.
Children in foster care facilities are excluded. The allowance continues until the first March after the child has reached 18 years of age.
Disability allowance (shogai teate)The allowance is provided to a child under 20 years old who falls into categories 1, 2 or 3 covered by the mental disability certificate (ai-no techo) or categories 1 or 2 covered by the physical disability certificate (shintai shogaisha techo), or suffers from cerebral palsy or progressive muscular atrophy.
Dependent Child Allowance (Jido Fuyo Teate)Jido fuyo teate is provided to households with a dependent child, which are headed by a single parent due to divorce or other reasons, or which include either a father or a mother suffering from severe disabilities that prevent him/her from working. The households that meet one or more of the following conditions and whose household income falls under the designated income limitation are eligible for this allowance. The allowance is provided until the first month of March following the concerned child's 18th birthday. The amount of the allowance is determined according to the number of children and the income of the household.
Children who are raised in foster care facilities or whose households are eligible to receive a public pension are excluded.
Special child support allowance (tokubetsu jido fuyo teate)The allowance is provided to a child under 20 years of age who falls into categories 1, 2 or 3 covered by the mental disability certificate (ai-no techo), categories 1 or 2 covered by the physical disability certificate (shintai shogaisha techo), or categories 3 or 4 covered by the physical disability certificate under certain conditions, or who suffer from internal/mental disorders that are equivalent to the above categories.
Details of allowance and application procedures may vary according to each city. Contact the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside for more information.
Hoikusho (or hoikuen; nursery schools) and yochien (kindergartens) are commonly available in Japan for children under school age. Nintei kodomoen is a new type of facilities for preschool age children and refers to those having both functions of hoikusho and yochien. Each facility has different conditions for enrollment age, school hours, and such, and it is therefore important that parents find the one that best fits their needs. We have also listed information of additional support services and other available sources that may help childcare needs not covered by hoikusho and yochien.
Nursery schools (hoikuen/hoikusho)
Hoikusho or nursery school is a childcare facility for children whose both parents are not available during the daytime to take care of their children due to their work, sickness, or other reasons. Hoikusho admits infants and toddlers from age 0 to 6 before they start elementary school. Typically, the hoikusho takes children for eight hours per day from 7AM to 6PM. Some hoikusho are open for extended hours ("encho hoiku") and may keep children until 8PM or so. Hoikusho is a type of welfare facility structured according to the Child Welfare Law and is under the authority of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Both public and private hoikusho are available. The private ones are categorized into ninka (certified) hoikusho and ninkagai (uncertified) hoikusho, depending on whether they are certified by a local municipal government or not. Tuition is determined according to the parents' income for public and ninka hoikusho. At ninkagai hoikusho, on the other hand, tuition is individually set by the respective facilities and is applied to all enrolled children regardless of their parents' income.
Yochien or kindergarten is an educational facility for preschool age children from age 3 to 6 before starting elementary school. At yochien, children gain basic life/study skills through play so as to be prepared for elementary and higher schools. In general, yochien provides approximately a four-hour daily program, but some yochien may keep children for longer hours in a similar manner to hoikusho. Yochien is a type of educational facility structured according to the School Education Law and is under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Nintei kodomoen is a childcare facility designed to perform functions of both yochien and hoikusho (hoikuen). The nintei kodomoen offers a comprehensive program that includes education provided at yochien and daycare service provided at hoikusho to children regardless of whether both of their parents work or not. It also offers consultations regarding childrearing and other childcare support services to families even when their child is not enrolled.
Other childcare facilities/services
The following are additional facilities and support programs designed to cover childcare needs that are not available at nursery schools and kindergartens. Details of available facilities and services may vary according to each city, so contact the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside for more information.
Home childcare service (hoiku mama)Home childcare service is a daycare service provided by childcare givers accredited by the local government at their home. Eligible children are under three years of age whose parents are both working or are sick and cannot take care of them. Application procedures and fees may vary according to each city.
Childcare for sick childrenThe service is available for a child who is sick or is recovering from illness when the child is not being able to attend his/her regular group childcare facilities and his/her parents are not available either to care for the child at home due to their work requirement or other conditions. Necessary childcare and medical attention are provided to the child at a special room attached to the designated childcare/medical facilities or at child's home.
Short stay childcareShort stay childcare is available at designated nursery schools for children up to 12 years whose parents cannot take care of them due to emergency situations such as sudden illness, childbirth, or tending to family members in hospital.
Temporary childcare/ Childcare on particular days or during particular hours (Tokutei hoiku)Temporary childcare is available at designated nursery schools during daytime for children whose parents cannot cope with mental and physical burdens of childrearing. Also, there is childcare service available at designated nursery schools for children whose parents cannot take care of them on particular days or particular hours (Tokutei hoiku).
Mother-child living support facilitiesThe facilities aim to protect and support the independence of single-mother families unable to give adequate care to their child(ren) under 18 years of age for various reasons. Accepted families live together in the facilities and receive advice and support regarding family life, their children's education, and employment. The facilities include living space for the families, a meeting room and a study room and are attended by mother-child counselors, juvenile counselors and other staff. To apply, contact your local welfare office.
|Pregnancy and childbirth ｜ Parenting ｜ Other welfare services|