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Hospitalization of single mother with young child

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Hospitalization of single mother with young child
By Martine on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 12:17 pm:

Would anybody have any hint or idea about what to do when a single mother has to remain in hospital for weeks or months and there is nobody home to take care of the kid?
I have a 5 year old daughter and might have to remain some months in hospital for a difficult pregnancy. I am trying to figure out what to do with my daughter and how to manage to remain as close to her as possible. Does anyone know of hospitals with full time child care facilities, or this sort of thing? Thank you for any hint!

By Tara on Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 12:27 pm:

I called City Hall now to ask them about what options exist. It seems that (at least here in Tokyo) they break it down by how long the child will need care. Martine, I know that this is not what you are looking for, but I thought I would post the info here in case someone needs it in the future.

(All information for short-term care is for Adachi ward, Tokyo. Each ward is different, but the information here will give you the general idea of what is available.)

"Kodomo Shooto Sutei Jigyou" (こどもショートステイ事業 "Short-stay operations for children")
In cases in which the parent(s) encounter an issue such as the following and has no other means of caring for the child.
- hospitalization (for illness, childbearing, etc.)
- illness of a family member requiring the parent to care for the ill person
- accidents, injuries, etc.
- funerals, business trips, etc.

Eligible children:
Children more than 18 months old, until they graduate from elementary school (age 12).
Up to 3 siblings can be placed with a single caregiving family; for 4 or more siblings, the children would be separated into two placements. Children from different families are never placed with a single caregiving family.

Care provided:
Meals and other daily care

Length of time:
Up to 6 nights/7 days. Not available from December 29 to January 4.

At homes of caregiving families designated by City Hall (and therefore within your home Ward/City. In my ward, there are 6 families designated as caregivers)

From 1,000 to 3,000 yen per night (determined based on parent's income)

Other info:
Parent is responsible/financially liable if the child breaks things in the caregiver's home, damages the home itself, etc.
Parent must provide pajamas, toothbrush, etc. for the child (list of items to be provided is available online).
During the placement period, the child does not go to school or attend his/her other outside activities (that is, the child is not taken to soccer practice or whatever other activities s/he is normally involved in). The child just stays with the caregiving family.
Other rules and information can be found online. The Adachi-ku version can be viewed here:

Contact information:
This program is administered independently by each individual city/ward. Call your ward/city office, or run an Internet search (in Japanese) for your ward/city + "Kodomo Shooto Sutei Jigyou" (こどもショートステイ事業) for the direct number.
The direct number for Adachi Ward, Tokyo is (tel) 03-3606-1333, (fax) 03-3606-7444 and their email address is: kazenoko [at]

If it's a weekend and you need help, try calling the main Tokyo Metropolitan office at 03-3202-4152.

("Longer-term" is defined as anything longer than 6 nights/7 days.)
Care is provided at a facility instead of with a family. These facilities exist in each ward/city but in Tokyo, they are administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Office, not individual wards. I believe that these facilities accept children up to age 18. My understanding is that the children have tutors within the facility-- i.e., the children do NOT go to the local public school near the facility, so that the children do not have to deal with the pressures of a new (and temporary) school in addition to the changes in their home life. This is what I gleaned from talking to someone who was not directly involved in it, so that would need to be confirmed.

Contact information for longer-term care in Tokyo:
Tokyo-to Jidou Soudan Sentaa (東京都児童相談センター "Tokyo Metropolitan Consultation Center for Child-related Issues")
Open 9 AM to 5 PM; main office is in Shinjuku.
(tel) 03-3208-1121
(fax) 03-3208-0084

There is also an "emergency hotline" open from 9 AM to 8:30 PM Monday to Friday, and 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. That number is:
(tel) 03-3202-4152
(fax) 03-3208-1162

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

By Tokyomama2three on Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 1:28 pm:

Tara, what great information to have, thanks for posting. Good luck to you Martine.

By Martine on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 2:26 pm:

Thank you very much Tara for the very precious information we are all benefiting from thanks to you! Thanks!!!!

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