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Childcare support series ② What is Young Carer (Caregiving Youth)? Whole family support


Hello everyone, this is the Shiga Prefecture Child and Youth Affairs Bureau. In Shiga, we aim to create a prefectural government for and with children, with “Children, children, children (Kodomo, kodomo, kodomo)” as our keyword.
Do you know what a Young Carer (Caregiving Youth) is? They are children who are responsible for the daily chores and family care that adults are supposed to take care of. For example, there are cases like this.

Doing household chores and taking care of young siblings
Have elderly family members to watch over and care for
Have a family member with a disability or illness to care for or nurse
Working after school to support the household
Interpreting, etc., to support family communication

For children, “helping out” is a wonderful experience that leads to personal growth. However, the continued heavy responsibilities and burdens that are not appropriate for their growth can affect their mental and physical health, and unable to spend time being a child, some children give up on their dreams and career paths for the future. Sometimes children think that supporting their family is normal, and because they love their family so much, they are unaware of their own SOS and unable to talk about it, even if they are suffering.
In Shiga, we provide support for young carer with the keyword of “whole family support” to these children and their families with various problems. Through a non-profit organization, we provide a consultation service and a place where people in similar situations can get together, and we have also placed a Young Carer Coordinator to provide support.

Some children of foreign nationality are unable to express their true feelings because of the language barrier, or they are unable to have time for themselves due to their family’s need for interpretation. Let’s all support each other to create a society that ensures all children to have time to play and learn in the community and at home. Children are the treasure of society. Children and families who are struggling, please consult with us.     (From the Young Carer Coordinator)

Kokoron Dial

Concerns of children/ youth and their parents/ guardians.
TEL 077-524-2030
9:00am~9:00pm(Excluding Dec 29th - Jan 3rd)
After 9:00pm, you will be connected to 24h Child SOS Dial.

Information on consultation services in each municipality

Please inquire about the support and services you can receive.

More smiles for children! ~ a different place to spend time

There are many organizations in Shiga that supports children. “Young Carer support group”(★) are organizations that help children when they are having a hard time at home, when they want to relax, or when they need consultation. “Kodomo Shokudo (Children’s cafeteria)” is a place where children can enjoy free or low-cost meals. (Some groups are open to adults in the community.)
“Ibasho (a place where one belongs)” is a place where children can spend their time as they wish. Let’s go have some fun!

NPO Kodomo Social Work Center

NPO Serikawa no Kappa

  • Content: ★Young Carer support, Ibasho, Online consultation
  • Venue:2-3-4 Kawahara Hikone
  • When: Everyday
  • Contact: 0749-20-9084

Tabunka Kyosei Shien Center SHIPS

  • Content: Multicultural Kodomo Shokudo
  • Venue: 1-13-12 Kusatsu Kusatsu
  • When: Sat
  • Contact: 077-561-5110

Kanchan no Chisana Ie

  • Content: Multicultural Community Exchange, Kodomo Shokudo
  • Venue: 956-2 Jorakuji Azuchi-cho Omihachiman
  • When: 10 times a year
  • Contact: 090-3708-3315

NPO Yanchadera


Otsu Alternative School Triumph

  • Content: Alternative school, Ibasho, Watercolor painting class
  • Venue: 4-3-25 Hamaotsu Otsu
  • When: Tue, Wed, Fri
  • Contact: 050-5374-0311

Child Village

  • Content: A third place for children and adults (Ibasho)
  • Venue: 2-39-4 Hieidaira Otsu
  • When: 4th Sat 10am - 4pm
  • Contact:
・Please contact and confirm before you go.確

♪ There are many more “ibasho,” “shokudo,” and play sites for children ♪

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Childcare support series① When a child is born


When a child is born, there are many procedures to be done at your local municipality office. For children of foreign nationality, procedures at consulates (embassies) and immigration offices are also required.

Procedures at the municipality office

  1. Birth Registration
  2. In general, the father or mother submits a “Birth Report”(Shusshou Todokesho) to the municipality office within 14 days of the child’s birth.
    Things to bring: Maternal and child health handbook (Boshi techou), Birth Report (Shusshou Todokesho)/ Birth Certificate (Shusshou Shomeisho) (given at the hospital where the child was born)
    *Obtain two Certificate of Acceptance of Birth Report (Shusshou Juri Shomeisho) for submission to the consulate (embassy) and immigration office.
  3. Child Allowance (Jidou Teate)
  4. Allowance that is provided to guardians of children up to junior high school age. (*Some changes are scheduled to be made within the fiscal year 2024)
    Please apply within 15 days from the day after the birth.
  5. Child’s Health Insurance (Kenko Hoken)
  6. If you are a member of National Health Insurance, please apply for your child’s insurance card.
    In the case of social insurance, please ask your employer to enroll your child in the insurance program.
  7. Welfare subsidies for medical expenses (infant) (Fukushi Iryohi Josei(Nyuyouji))
  8. Welfare medical care ticket (infant) (Fukushi Iryo Jukyuken (Nyuyouji)) will be issued from the age of 0.
    In Shiga Prefecture, preschool children (from birth to the first March 31st after turning the age of 6) are issued a pink ticket, and there will be no self-payment for medical expenses covered by insurance. Subsidies for children’s medical expenses after schooling differ depending on the municipalities.

Procedures at the embassy and immigration

  • Within 30 days after birth, apply for a residence permit for your child at the immigration office.
  • Things to bring: Parents’ passports, residence cards, Certificate of Acceptance of Birth Report (Shusshou Juri Shomeisho), and certificate of residence for households including children.
  • Obtain your child’s nationality and apply for a passport at the consulate (embassy) of your country.
  • Check with the consulate (embassy) for application procedures.

For the health of the child and mother

After giving birth, the health of the child and mother are regularly checked. Most of the various health checkups, classes, and visits are free of charge, so be proactive about using them. If you have any concerns, feel free to consult.

  • Post-partum checkup (Sango kenshin)
  • At the hospital where the child was born, the health condition of the mother and the development and health of the child will be checked.
  • Newborn visits (Shinseiji houmon)
  • Within 2 month after birth, a public health nurse will visit the house to check on the mother’s recovery and the child’s development. (Send the “Newborn visits request form” (Shinseiji houmon iraisho) given to you with the Maternal and child health handbook (Boshi techou) to the health center to apply.)
  • Vaccination (Yobo sesshu)
  • From 2 month after birth, consult with your pediatrician about the vaccination schedule.
    Things to bring: Maternal and child health handbook (Boshi techou), medical history questionnaire
    ★Vaccination Multilingual Information
    Vaccination Research Center    
  • Health checkup for infants and children (Nyuyoji kenshin)
  • 4-month checkup, 10-month checkup, 1 and a half year checkup, 2 and a half year checkup, 3 and a half checkup
    (Timing may vary by municipality)
    Things to bring: Maternal and child health handbook, Health checkup form, Health insurance card, Welfare medical care ticket (infant) (Fukushi Iryo Jukyuken (Nyuyouji))
    ※A multilingual medical questionnaire may be available, so please ask when you make an appointment.
  • Baby food classes (Rinyushoku kyoushitsu)
  • Baby food classes are held in each municipality. Nutritionists and other professionals provide guidance, and answer questions about baby food. Although baby food differs according to country, culture, and religion, etc., they can be helpful.

I’m concerned about my child’s growth and development…

First consult at health checkups and with the family doctor.
Municipal’s public health center
Municipal’s development support center
Pamphlet for foreign parents on developmental disorders
(Information and Support Center for Persons with Developmental Disorders)

I want to discuss my concerns on child rearing…

Municipal’s Family and Child Consultation Center  Please consult with the municipality office.
“Kokoron Dial” telephone consultation
TEL: 077-524-2030
(Child rearing support center Consultation by telephone or in person is available)
Child Guidance Center dedicated number for consultation

Is it child abuse…?

Child Guidance Center dedicated number for child abuse

I need someone to look after my child for a while… (advance registration required)

Family Support Center
Family Support Center
This program connects “people who needs help looking after the child” with “people who wants to look after children”, and provides transportation to and from childcare facilities, as well as childcare when the guardians are ill.
Temporary childcare service (Ichiji azukari)
Temporary care of children at childcare facilities when the guardians are ill or on errands.
Childcare for sick or recovering children
Childcare for sick or recovering children
If the guardians are unable to take care of the sick child at home, temporary childcare is available at medical institutions and childcare facilities.

I want my child to be taken care at a childcare facility while I work…

Children from the age of 0 can be taken care at nurseries, certified childcare center, and at non-registered nurseries. To use these childcare facilities, you need to obtain a certification of use from your municipality. Please consult with the municipality office.

I’m raising a child by myself…

In addition to financial and employment assistance, support for household chores and childcare is available. Please consult with the municipality office.

I want to go out with my child…

Regional Child-rearing Support Center
Regional Child-rearing Support Center
A place where guardians and children gathers to interact and discuss concerns and worries with each other.
Children’s Center (Jidokan)
Children’s Center (Jidokan)
A facility that assists children’s development through healthy activities.
♡Shiga Prefectural Biwako Kodomo no Kuni
Shiga Prefectural Biwako Kodomo no Kuni
A large children’s center (Jidokan) with lots of playground equipments. 2981 Kitafunaki Adogawa-cho Takashima

If you have any concerns, please feel free to consult!

★If you have any concerns with the language, please call “Shiga Foreign Residents Information Center”


For the baby born in Shiga and their family, a gift of “Congratulation and Thank you” will be delivered, with the message that the whole society are supporting the birth and child rearing. Target: Babies under one year old  ※Advanced registration is required.

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To raise your child with security ~About the public support system~


Child rearing costs a lot of money, including child support and educational expenses. In Japan, there are various public systems that financially support child rearing. Some require application, so check the application timing and let’s make good use of it.

Child allowance system Jidouteate seido

Child allowances will be provided to those who are raising children from birth to the age of junior high school graduation. If the parents are separated, priority payment will be given to those who live with the child. If the parents live abroad, and the parents designate the person who is raising the child in Japan, it will be paid to that person.
[INQ ] 各市町

Kindergarten, nursery, elementary and junior high schools tuition : Free of charge

Kindergarten, nursery, and certified child care facilities 3 to 5 years old classes tuitions are free of charge. For households with exemptions from municipal residence tax, it is also free for 0 to 2 years old classes. If you are certified with “Need for Childcare” for reasons such as employment, there are subsidies to extended childcare services at kindergarten too. Public elementary and junior high school tuition are free of charge.
[ INQ ] Contact the municipal office Cabinet office HP
  Cabinet office HP

Financial Assistance System Shugaku enjo seido

This system assists part of the expenses necessary for entering school such as school supplies and PTA membership fees, for parents of students attending public elementary and junior high schools. Parents covered by welfare and who are equivalent to this are eligible.
[ INQ ] Through the school you are enrolled, or the Municipal Board of Education 

High School Tuition Support Fund Koutougakkou-tou shugaku shienseido

For households with annual incomes of less than 9.1 million yen, students enrolled in high schools (including technical colleges and Upper Secondary Specialized Training School) will be supported for tuition fees. Instead of being paid directly to parents, the school will receive it and apply it to tuition. 
[ INQ ] Through the school you are enrolled. 

High School Supplemental Scholarship Fund Koukousei-tou shougaku kyufukin

To reduce the burden of educational expenses other than tuition fees, there are support for low-income households with high school students.
[ INQ ] Through the senior high school where you are enrolled. In the case of a private school, the Shiga Prefectural General Affairs Department, the Promotion Division of a private school and prefectural university, or in the case of a national and public school, Shiga Prefectural Educational Bureau, General Education Division.

New System for Higher Education Support (Tuition reduction and exemption, and Benefit-type scholarships)

Depending on household income, etc., there are support for exemptions or reductions in tuition and entrance fees at universities and vocational schools, as well as benefit-type scholarships. You can apply while you are in high school. 
[ INQ] Through the school you are enrolled or scheduled to enroll, or Japan Student Services Organization

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Health Insurance Series 5  When you have a child 


Health insurance is not only a payment for when you get ill. There are several kinds of benefits. In this issue we will introduce the benefits you can receive from the health insurance when having a child. For those who are expecting a baby, this is a system we want you all to know.

Does insurance apply for childbirth? “The Childbirth Lump-Sum Allowance”  (Shussan ikuji ichijikin)

Normal pregnancy and childbirth are not a disease, so it is not covered by health insurance. You cannot receive consultation with 30% expense.
By using “The Direct Payment System for the Childbirth Lump-Sum Allowance” childbirth costs are subsidized.
At the hospital, you need to pay the cost only for exceeding the subsidized amount.
Subsidy amount :
420,000yen per child
(Hospitals without the system of medical compensation for severe Cerebral palsy are 408,000yen)
Applies to :
Childbirth after 4month of pregnancy (85 days), including stillbirth.
How to apply :
Procedures can be done at the hospital by signing the application documents.
The Childbirth Lump-Sum Allowance URL:
*Select language English, Chinese(simplified, traditional), Korean, Spanish, Portuguese are available. 

What if you take a leave from work for childbirth? “Childbirth allowance” (Shussan teatekin)

When you take a long term leave from work due to pregnancy and childbirth, your salary may not be paid and you may have difficulty in making a living.
If you have health insurance at your company, by applying for “Childbirth allowance”, allowances are paid as livelihood security. (Dependents childbirth are not eligible. Municipality’s National Health Insurance does not have this system.)
Amounts of benefits :
2/3 of the average amount of salary in the last year
Eligible period :
42 days before birth date (Multiple pregnancy 98 days) + 56 days after delivery
How to apply :
Apply for health insurance through your company.
Childbirth allowance URL:
* Select language English, Chinese(simplified, traditional), Korean, Spanish, Portuguese are available. 
Social insurance premiums deducted from your monthly salary are also exempted during maternity leave.
Please consult with the general affairs of your company.

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Information on Child Development and Support


There are various efforts to monitor the health and development of children in Japan.
In Shiga prefecture, newborns are screened for impaired hearing through the “newborn hearing test”. Upon request, newborns are also tested for “congenital metabolic disorder” to detect illnesses that delay development due to poor metabolism or secretions and provide treatment to prevent the occurrence of disabilities.
Infants and toddlers have municipal health checks, and young children are consulted before entering elementary school.
Other than monitoring vaccinations, checking documents, and consulting to concerns from guardians, health checks are conducted at specific stages of a child’s development for early diagnosis and treatment of disabilities by health care professionals. For example, traits of certain child developmental disabilities are only visible at certain developmental stages, so it is important to receive health checks at the specified age determined by each municipal government.

Organizations for those with developmental disabilities

There are opportunities for learning and other facilities to suit the needs of each individual.
Age 0 - 6 Infant child health check
Hoikuen、Kodomoen、Youchien、Child development support office、Child development support center
Age 7 - 15 Consultation for schooling
Elementary school・ junior high school(regular class, resource room, special needs class)、Special needs school(elementary course, JHS course, SHS course)
Age 16 - 18 Consultation for schooling
Senior high school、Secondary special needs school、After school activity services (day service)
Age 19+ Higher education・employment consultations
university, etc.・vocational school、company etc.、services based on Comprehensive Support Law for Persons with Disabilities(support office for work transition, support office for maintaining employment, etc.)
Organizations available for consultations or concerns regarding child development.
  • developmental support center, health center, disability welfare section in each city or town
  • medical institution (pediatrician, psychiatrist)
  • Shiga Prefectural Education Center ℡ 077-588-2505
If you do not know where to contact, or if multiple disabilities coincide requiring more specialized care, contact “Shiga prefecture medical welfare one-stop consultation desk”
Shiga prefecture medical welfare one-stop consultation desk
℡ 077-569-5955
☆The National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities has information in foreign languages. Please use as a reference.
The National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities Mutli-language information

Download (PDF)

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Website for Supporting Children and Parents / Carers of a Foreign Origin Living in Japan


Research group for promoting the Early Childhood Development of children with foreign roots in Japan (Head office: International University of Health and Welfare) has made a "Website for Supporting Children and Parents / Carers of a Foreign Origin Living in Japan" in 10 languages (English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Myanmar, Bengali, and Nepali).

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Website on parenting for foreign residents


Kanagawa International Foundation made some short movies about "Parenting in Japan" as follows.

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Expanded Free Preschool and Daycare


The free preschool and daycare expansion will begin in October 2019. Please contact the establishment directly or your city hall to find out the extent and conditions of the expansion, since they vary depending on the establishment.
In the case of kindergartens (yochien), daycares (hoikuen), certified centers for early childhood education and care (nintei kodomoen), and other establishments
Free for children in classes for 3- to 5-year-olds. In the case of children from 0 to 2 years of age, free for households exempt from paying residence tax.
In the case of daycare services provided by a kindergarten
You must get a proof of required daycare services from your city or town of residence. Using kindergarden’s services and depending on the number of days of use, fees up to a maximum of \11,300 per month may be waived for daycare services.
In the case of unlicensed daycares
You must get a proof of required daycare services from your city or town of residence. Fees up to \37,000 per month may be waived for children from 3 to 5 years of age. In the case of children from 0 to 2 years of age from households exempt from paying residence tax, fees up to \42,000 per month may be waived.
Support for children with disabilities of preschool age
Free for children from 3 to 5 years of age who receive developmental support for children with disabilities of preschool age.

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Please check the website of the Vaccination Research Center.

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Please let us know immediately if you suspect child abuse.


Child abuse hotline(24-hour service)
 Dial : 077-562-8996(Japanese)
Chuo kodomo katei sodan center (Central Family Consulting Center)
 7-4-45 Kasayama, Kusatsu City  TEL: 077-562-1121
Hikone kodomo katei sodan center (Hikone Family Consulting Center)
 932-1 Koizumi-cho, Hikone City TEL: 0749-24-3741
Otsu・Takashima kodomo katei sodan center(Otsu and Takashima Family Consulting Center)
 4-4-5 Nionohama, Otsu City  TEL: 077-548-7768
Dial : 189 (Japanese)