Diaries of Childcare in Japan
Babies check-up, vaccines and nursery schools and kindergartens in Japan
Pregnancy and giving birth is probably the most worrying part for foreign mothers. But once you have your baby, there are still many things to do.
The Japan Government has different types of childcare support; from newborn babies up to Junior high school. Before being discharged from the hospital, the doctor will examine and check your baby. Every examination will be recorded in your mother and child’s book.
Babies check-up (after birth)
1st-month health check: Height check, Weight check, Chest size, and Head size .
3 – 4 month health check: Height check, Weight check, Chest size, and Head size. Nutritional Status, Nutrition method (Breastfeeding), and Hip Joint (Restriction on Opening and Closing).
6 -7 month health check: Height check, Weight check, Chest size, and Head size. Nutritional Status, Nutrition method (Breastfeeding and Powder milk), Weaning if started, Teeth conditions, Diseases, and any abnormalities.
9 – 10 month health check-up: Height check, Weight check, Chest size, and Head size . Nutritional Status, baby solid foods (how many times), Teeth, Diseases, and any abnormalities.
Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect your children from infectious diseases. Not only your own but the children around you as well. Different types of vaccines will be ready for your baby to get in each check-up. Immunization will be recorded in your mother and child book.
*NOTE: The following types of Vaccine information are based on my son’s immunization record up to 1-year-old.
2nd month – 4 types of Vaccine: One shot of (Hib) Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Viral Hepatitis type B, and Rotavirus.
3rd month – 5 types of Vaccine: One shot of (Hib) Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Viral Hepatitis type B, (Diphtheria・Pertussis・Tetanus・Polio) and Rotavirus.
4th month – 3 types of Vaccine: One shot of (Hib) Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and (Diphtheria・Pertussis・Tetanus・Polio).
5th month – 2 types of Vaccine: BCG and (Diphtheria・Pertussis・Tetanus・Polio).
6th month – vaccine type: Viral Hepatitis type B.
10th month – vaccine type: Influenza.
11th month – vaccine type: (Diphtheria・Pertussis・Tetanus・Polio).
12th month – 5 types of Vaccine: One shot of (Hib) Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Measles・Rubella, Varicella and Mumps.
Types of Childcare systems in Japan
There are two types of Childcare systems in Japan for small children which are the following.
*NOTE: This information is based on my fellow mother who experienced enrolling their children in Hoikuen and Yochien.
Hoikuen (Nursery School): A public Daycare operated by the Local Government. This system is convenient especially for working parents who cannot take care of their children during the day because they need to work or because of some other reason. It is very similar to kindergarten. Generally, you can enroll your child from as early as being less than a year old up to 5 years old. It is an early childhood education and care system mostly to prepare your children for Elementary school in Japan.
The cost for using Hoikuen will be based on the family income for every year. The percentage depends on the place where you live.
Youchien (Kindergarten): A daycare that can be both public or private. These usually accept children ages from 3 years old up to 5 years old. Hoikuen and Youchien are similar in various points. One noticeable difference is that Hoikuen specializes more in favoring working parents while Yochien is quite the opposite. In Youchien, parent participation in some of the children’s activities is expected.
The cost for using Youchien will be based on the place where you live. Every Municipality has a different rule on how much it will cost.
How to apply or enroll in Hoikuen / Youchien?
The system for applying or entering Hoikuen and Youchien is different depending on the place where you live.
In the case of Hoikuen, you can apply directly with an admission fee. But usually, applications through the City hall are free. You just need to attend their consultation session.
For Youchien, the application is mostly direct since it is Private. The admission fee is not always the same.
Here are some example costs from parents in Tokyo.
- Admin Fee: ￥20,000
- Monthly cost: around ￥60,000 (for 5 days a week 6 hours per day)
- Admin Fee: ￥70,000
- Uniform: ￥30,000
- Monthly cost: around￥15,000 (including the School Bus)
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I hope that sharing the information I know may have helped other mothers or future mothers in Japan. For more information about being pregnant in Japan, these other articles may also help you.