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Japan With Kids - Forums: Day Care in Japan: .Price
By JM on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 10:12 am:

My Partner and I are considering a move to Tokyo with our now 18month old son. What is it like getting daycare in Tokyo and how much does this cost? Nothing is written in concrete yet but we are beginning to do our homework, so to speak, to see if the idea is worth it or not. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks all

By Steve K on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:16 pm:

Hi J,
Public daycare costs depend on the ward you would be living in and your income. An average family would pay around 15,000 yen (but that's a ballpark figure, at best). Getting accepted is the hard part, depending on your neighbourhood. There's a long waiting list at every daycare in my ward. Private daycares are easier to get into, but the cost may be upwards of 80,000 yen.

By Bethan Hutton on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:38 am:

Public daycare (hoikuen) costs vary according to the age of the child, the family income, and I think how many children you have at the same facility - the younger your child and the higher your income, the more you pay. Presumably it will also vary in different parts of Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan.

There is a fee cap; I think when my son was at hoikuen a couple of years ago the most you would pay (in my area - central Tokyo) was around Y55,000 a month for one child. There may be an extra charge if your child stays for extended hours (eg arrives before 8am or stays after 6pm) but meals are included.

Getting a place at public daycare is the hard part - it is not just who applies first, they have a points system depending on your level of need, eg are you working or studying part-time/full-time, are both parents working, do you have family nearby, do you have other obligations like looking after elderly parents etc. It is also much easier if you apply in January for the start of the school year (April), rather than midway through the year.

Private daycare costs vary a lot, but for example the place my daughter uses charges about Y66,150 a month full-time (up to 6pm) for babies under 1 year old, Y57,750 for 1 and 2 year olds, and Y49,350 for 3 and up. There are extra charges for meals and snacks(about Y400 a day).

There are also various other plans available, eg if you don't work full-time, you can have a contract for 16 days a month (Y50,400/Y45,150/Y39,900 for the same age groups as above), or if you work late hours, they open until 1am, and keeping a baby there until 1am costs Y80,850 a month.

Obviously all private facilities have different fees, but this should give you some idea. And of course private daycares don't take your income into account like the public ones.

Depending on the age of the child, there is also the option of using a "hoiku-mama" - home-based child-minder. These are registered with the ward office, and you apply in the same way as for hoikuen. The cost is often lower than for hoikuen, and people often use them as a kind of 'fill-in' service if their child can't get into hoikuen half-way through the year. They often just take younger children.

By Janine Boyd on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 4:19 am:

I have heard that if you have 3 or more children the government may be able to provide a subsidy of about 25000 yen toward childcare, or preschool education for Child No3 +
This subsidy has previously only been applicable to those children attending government childcare (hoikuen) or Government supported kindergartens (shiritsu or watakushi ritsu youchiens). The latest news is that they will now pay this subsidy toward attendance fees at schools/centers outside government centers like totally private care, or even international schools. The application deadline is Jan 31st 2005.
1. If someone could clarify if what I have heard is correct I would greatly appreciate it and
2. If you could also tell me if it is means tested

By Peter E on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 7:17 am:

"have heard ...", I think you need to quote a URL here so people can investigate.

As for point 2, it almost certainly is means tested.

Fees for hoikuen are a function of your income, with a cap around 60000y/month, and there's a small quantity discount.

I'm not really sure any more, since Nabeyokocho Hoikuen (Nakano) was so bad, we moved number 1 daughter to Yoyogi International nursery (name changed??)

The totally private daycare that we looked at in Nakano-ku was ... nasty. Those are usually the last resort for mama's that cant get places in the government one and yes, I think there is a subsidy for the low-income families.

By Janine Boyd on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 8:02 pm:

Thanks for your reply Peter
My source for this info was in the local free monthly magazine delivered to the residents of Maebashi city, Gunma prefecture called "Maebashi" (November issue). The information I have managed to decipher appears to say that from the third child Maebashi residents will be able to receive this new considerable subsidy to the childcare fees and whats more, you can claim this payment to help pay for totally private center fees too (Rinkagai centers) which have previously been overlooked by government fee relief.

I also went to city hall today and confirmed that this new subsidy is NOT means tested.

The reason I posted this somewhat vague info to the board is that the deadline to put your forms in is the end of this month. I was hoping to let other people know that this kind of subsidy may be available in your own local city hall too and might be worth enquiring about. Maybe someone with 3 or more kids has heard of a similar thing in their own city hall and can elaborate more of the details for the sake of those of us who can get local news due to language barriers.

I have 4 kids AND I manage a totally private international kindergarten, so its good news for me and good news for the parents attending our school.

Sorry to hear of your bad experience with a private childcare center in Tokyo Peter. I have included the picture website of the school I manage in Maebashi called Maebashi International Kindergarten so you can see for yourself that not all totally private childcare centers are a last resort, and some infact meet the needs of the families by being top facilities

By Monica S. on Monday, May 2, 2005 - 8:01 pm:

I will need someone to take care of my son for about 2 hours, 5 times per month, while I attend class/seminars. I don`t want to use a daycare nor have money for a babysitter, so I already contacted a professor of Child education at my university and she is going to introduce me some students that could be interested as for a part time job. I have an appointment next week and would like to know how much can I offer them per hour. My son will be 6mo then, and I will let them choose to stay on campus or come to my house, that is very near. I think they may also be interested on the way I take care of him, since I come from South America and I m mothering him on the indigenous way, so I could kind of exchange a babywearing class or lend them reading material, etc. Consider that they won`t need to travel at all. I don t want to miss the opportunity to have a personalized daycare on campus!
What is a reasonable price per hour?

By Nancy on Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 12:03 pm:


You could also try and contact schools that offer an IB program at the high school level. The requirements of the IB diploma include CAS (Community, Action, Service) hours. Beginning with Grade 11, Students need a minimum of 50 hours in each section. Babysitting hours may count as long as the CAS supervisor has given prior approval and the student will not be paid. There is a list of international schools on this website, or you can look up schools in Japan through the IB website As for babysitting wages, students generally ask for anywhere from JPY 850 to JPY 1,500 per hour. It does vary. It does sound like a wonderful opportunity for someone to learn about your approach to raising your son.

By Zainolrafidah on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 12:30 am:

I am looking for someone/ daycare near to Tsurumi Station to take care of my daughter for about 1 1/2 hours, 8 times per month, while I attend my Japanese class near Tsurumi St. I am able to pay up to 500/1 1/2hr only.Could anyone suggest me the cheapest and the nearest nursery / daycare to Tsurumi St.If do,please contact me

By yvette takizawa on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 10:52 pm:

im yvette!im a philippine citizen married to a japanese .i have this big frustration on teaching kids.i've always dreamed of being a teacher be it a language teacher or not but because it wasnt a high-paying job in my country my father didnt allow me to pursue a career in desire in teaching just got higher when i married my husband and deliver our first kid.i wanted to put my kid in an english daycare as he was growing cause i want him to be bilingual.but because most of the english daycares are expensive and far from our place we settled to a japanese so afraid now that im losing his interest in english cause when i talk to him he would talk-back in japanese and he had lost interest in watching english videos,dvds and tv programs that i usually let him watch and he was enjoying.i've been researching for years on how i could solve this until i found and saw posted messages of worries and needs of moms like me and an idea popped-up in my head...why not start an english daycare or an english playroom...this way its like hitting two birds in one stone...fulfilling my dreams and helping my child be a bilingual! so to shorten my mail i would like to ask if you could give me some tips or ideas oh how i could put-up an english daycare or maybe just an english playroom if i wont be qualified to be an english daycare owner.should i be needing a degree?how much capital should i need?im planning to have the daycare or the playroom in our own house.anyway,i live in taito-ku,tokyo.i would really appreciate and be thankful with all my heart if you could help me on this.your reply is highly appreciated.

thank you,

By Crystal Davidson on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 12:24 am:

I have been offered a job in Japan. My husband is currently a mechanic, but he's considering doing English daycare while we are in Japan, as there seems to be a great demand and he absolutely loves kids. I've noticed all of the babysitters advertising seem to be women (of course, this is so in the US as well.) I was wondering what you all think would be the reception of a male child care provider, based on your experience. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

By Steve K on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 10:10 am:

Our daughter's goes to a kindergarten whose staff includes one young male teacher. When she went to daycare as a baby/toddler, it had one male attendant working with the kids there, and the daycare was happy to advertise that fact as a selling point to moms and dads. However, unless your husband speaks Japanese, he'll probably be limited to looking for work at an English-language kindergarten or English-language school with courses for kids.

By Abeer_fawaz on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 11:21 pm:

i am egyptian coming as scholar to osaka medical college in takatsuki at middle may, my daughter 4 months at that time.
i have no one to look for her.
is there space for my baby?
if ican not find place i may cancel my scintific mission

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