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Babysitters in great demand amid daycare shortage in Japan

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I am still perplexed why people do not just open more day care businesses. They would make a fortune.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am still perplexed why people do not just open more day care businesses. They would make a fortune.

I don't know about the regulation but that might have something to do with it. Also... a lot of neighborhoods complain about the noise of anything to do with children... it's too much hassle for anyone wanting to open up a child care center. I guess there are more reasons as well.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

My area is opening many, like when a large shop, etc on a ground floor closes down you will see a crèche soon after. Of course no outdoor area so the kids are taken for a walk to the closest park?

You don't need to buy land and custom build.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wouldn't want to open a daycare centre, initial outlay, regulations, long hours, finding qualified staff, dealing with not one parent a dozen or more who's child is for them the cutest most special child in the world. Neighbors. And the margins are pretty small, unless you charge a lot, back to square 1 many people simply cannot afford it. Opening a business just to pay wages is not really a business.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

With all the regulations, the ROI isn't great, workers are payed 150K yen a month, big responsibilities, little reward.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

For God's sake please be careful about who you leave your kids with

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

why people do not just open more day care businesses. 

Government regulations and centralized control of the system present various barriers to entry.

caused by a lack of facilities and nursing staff.

Caused by central planning, rather than free market price signals.

Y’all have no troubles getting a haircut when you want it for a price you are willing to pay right? Don’t need ministry of Welfare telling us how to do everything and arranging it for us.

Cut our taxes some and let us take care of business ourselves.

Do not depend solely on emails when you ask someone to take care of your children for the first time," 

Gee, thanks for that tip.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Note this especially:

Poppins Corp, a leading supplier of babysitters

And it’s a corporation... free enterprise...

"We want to hire more people, but we have to keep the quality of service,"

A corporation that wants to provide a level of service.

This is good. This is what we consumers want.

Why not have corporations running daycare service too, without all the government involvement? If corporations can provide baby sitting services that are in high demand then they certainly could run daycare services as well.

Profits for corporations like Poppins, wages for their workers that are attractive, and services for families.

Abe could have overhauled the system four years ago already. Do it now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As of April this year, the number of children waiting to enroll for public daycare in authorized facilities was 26,081 across the country, caused by a lack of facilities and nursing staff.

"caused by a lack of facilities and nursing staff." No it's not! It's caused by a lying leader that promised to address and solve this problem nearly six years ago and has done nothing about it!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My 10month old daughter could not get into day care but it means the Mrs gets 4 more months off with part pay.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Apparently, some of JTs readers feel that caution is not necessary when leaving their small children with strangers. Something I don't understand, especially in light of stories that have run on this forum about unqualified people injuring and or killing children that they were taking care of. I know there are readers who thumbs down my posts just because it's me.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Caused by central planning, rather than free market price signals.

Wrong answer really, anyone can open a day care center if they choose to, IF they have the qualifications. THAT is the problem.

You are talking about public funded facilities, and those are not "centrally planned" in the manner that the national or prefectural governments are involved, they aren't, it's the local municipalities that determine the needs and the system for providing daycare centers.

There are not enough qualified daycare workers for one major reason, typically speaking it takes roughly 3 years, or a Junior College qualifications to be certified as a daycare worker. That costs money.

Also after graduation the pay and hours suck big time, and few people want to work in that environment. If day care workers were paid like the typical salaryman there would be literally millions knocking on the doors of facilities looking for jobs!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Interesting article.

It seems there are no licensing or regulatory requirements to be a "babysitter" so I wonder if someone can open a "babysitter" center somewhere. If so then that would be a valid business. On the other hand the regulators may find issue with that. Regardless if it is possible and someone trustworthy and capable of looking after children did so it would be a good thing. I lived in a place before where someone did this under the auspices of a language center for small kids and it ended up being a good deal for everyone involved (and the owner did very well and was genuinely a caring person).

@Michael Jackson - Just my opinion - I do not think any readers here feel that caution is unnecessary at all when leaving children with caregivers (strangers). Maybe the way you wrote your message came off as a bit patronizing. I am guessing you did not intend to do so (as the article specifically mentions a child that was killed). I did not down vote you (I do not down vote or upvote comments) - just giving you my take

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It would be nice if babysitting circles in neighbourhoods could develop organically in Japan, which flourished when I was a child growing up in Britain in the 80s. My mother was a member, it was free of charge, and it worked on a points system where people earned points for babysitting other members' children in the evening and spent them on having babysitters for their own children. It seemed to work extremely well, with my parents regularly going out for dates unlike me and my wife. I wonder if such a system would work in Japan or even in Britain in these hyperanxious days.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

the number of children waiting to enroll for public daycare in authorized facilities was 26,081 across the country,

where did these figures come from? A Japanese friend in ward of Osaka told me there is a 5600 child waiting list. Interesting to see how much of Abe’s new budget that included childcare, will actually go there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I believe the real issue finding the baby sitter is that there are less resources.

The typical baby sitter was for me between 16 and 20, and a know person to my parents (a neighbour's child in fact).

Because of demography, you have with time more adults than children, so you get less possibility. Add to this less time to chat or meet with neighbours.

I lived in Yokohama in a 10 storey buiding and find amazing that neighbours were "quiet" beyond imagination : no discussion, no party.

I thought it was me being the gaijin but no, even Japanese did not take time for discussion.

Using a corporation company inflates prices. Not for me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if Japanese companies have in house daycare to take care of staff's children? the very least workers could work in peace, knowing their children are nearby and they could get to them in no time should there is emergency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thats what happens when you put a stressful job with high responsibility but low pay on offer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

anyone can open a day care center if they choose to, IF they have the qualifications.

But why not let us responsible parents decide how to care for our children?

I have no problem with people selecting desirable service based on qualifications if they value that, but who is to say how much qualification is sufficient, other than each set of parents themselves?

it's the local municipalities that determine the needs and the system for providing daycare centers. 

It’s still a form of central planning, rather than decentralized decision making with parents deciding what service is needed, where and how good it has to be by paying money for it.

I was in my local municipality office several weeks back and frankly disgusted to see tens and tens of paper pushers sitting around in the office of the child care section, giggling and laughing first thing in the morning, while parents in my area are among those with the toughest struggles to secure service.

Cut the lot of them, give us our taxes back and let us take care of it ourselves. It could only get better, and won’t get better with all these clowns sitting around in the office sucking away our scare tax payer money.

There are not enough qualified daycare workers for one major reason, typically speaking it takes roughly 3 years, or a Junior College qualifications to be certified as a daycare worker. That costs money.

I personally never demanded this. Government did.

Also after graduation the pay and hours suck big time,

Pay sucks because of the government meddling, as opposed to allowing service producers and consumers mutually agree to prices.

and few people want to work in that environment.

You got that right - many public workers switch to become babysitters when they become aware of the opportunities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Babysitters in great demand amid daycare shortage in Japan

Maybe I'm old fashioned but all this talk of daycares and babysitters seems really dystopian. I had an actual mother when I was growing up. The headline should read:

Mothers in great demand amid mother shortage in Japan.

(*of course it could also be a stay at home father)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Using a corporation company inflates prices.

Might do, depending on the type of service you would demand.

Using a government system results in thousands of people paying tax, and still going without anyway.

I’ll take my chances with corporations who live or die by their ability to provide what consumers demand at the right price and place.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The story starts with an example of a lady who needs a babysitter on "Monday night" and then talks about the shortage of regular daytime childcare and babysitters filling in for it. Regular childcare does not look after kids at night time, so the lady will still need a babysitter even if more hoikuens were built.

We've got three kids and my impression is that Japanese parents have no idea how much childcare at hoikuens is subsidized. They pay 30,000 a month, or typically under 15,000 in inaka, for full time care for an under three with meals and snacks provided without realizing that the government is paying many times that in a subsidy. So when these parents come to need out-of-hours childcare or one-shot childcare, what Westerners mean by "babysitting", they are shocked at how much someone expects them to pay. Some Japanese ski resorts have creches for infants too young for ski school, and they typically charge 8,000 yen a day, about 1200 an hour. Its about the same at soft play areas in shopping malls, although they don't take under threes. That's for a facility with other kids. Anyone wanting private babysitting for kids at home should expect to pay more. Chiyoda ku says that babysitters for 25 kids costs 360 million yen a year. Yep, 120,000 a month per kid, pretty much the typical cost of childcare in the UK, a comparable First World country. That is the real cost of childcare. Not 30,000 or 15,000 a month. The sooner people wake up to this, the sooner we can have an adult debate about public services and taxation and government priorities in Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder if Japanese companies have in house daycare to take care of staff's children?

my hospital does and it is a great system. all big companies should do so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed, many Japanese companies now run their own creches.

Locally there is a 24/7 private Crèche, no enrollment just drop the kid off but charges run between 1.500-2.000/hour just for someone supervising the kids.

Even standard daycare charges extra if you want to pick your kid up after-hours.

Most common babysitters here are still the grandparents, many kids in my sons class went to them till a parent collected them on the way home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Locally there is a 24/7 private Crèche, no enrollment just drop the kid off but charges run between 1.500-2.000/hour just for someone supervising the kids.

Right....you win, you know more Words with friends! How many point for "Chreche"?

Ala chingada!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Honestly, though, with all the life prospections and the modern responsibility culture in Japan, I guess I will enjoy myself watching over someone's child. Since some fail to do it for their own. They might even feed me before seeing off!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe I'm old fashioned but all this talk of daycares and babysitters seems really dystopian. I had an actual mother when I was growing up.

Ghastly pejorative post.

I had 'an actual mother' when I was growing up too. It didn't stop her being a mother, or made her less of one. She worked to put a roof over our heads and to put food on the table - it's called being a responsible parent and a good example to her children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I had an actual mother when I was growing up.

Also, this is Japan. If the mother wishes to maintain her career path then she is virtually mandated by the prevailing culture here to keep working, because she will struggle to re-enter the work force in a meaningful way if she takes years off to focus on child rearing.

That’s not a reality I like, but it is how it is here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Luddite

Sorry if my post caused any offence. I certainly didn't mean to chastise anyone for using a babysitter or daycare. It was just meant to be a reflection on how radically the economics and commercialisation of our society has shifted over the past 30-40 years to the point that even a middle income two parent household will struggle afford to having one parent raise the kids full time. The lack of choice is what is dystopian in my opinion.

@fxgai

she will struggle to re-enter the work force in a meaningful way if she takes years off to focus on child rearing

Very true. This is a huge problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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