How much does a public daycare in Japan cost?

By on June 18, 2013


The curriculum objective of a public daycare in Japan is a mix of both childcare and educational play supervised by city authorized child care professionals.


Although the hours vary depending on municipality rules,  drop off time at public daycare centers in Japan typically starts at 7 am and pick up by 7 pm,   with some places having extended hours until 10 pm becoming common.


Usually closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese public holidays


Public childminders provide parents a daily written report ( in Japanese), about activities of the child and matters that need parent’s action or approval.  This could be challenging for foreign parents with little to no Japanese reading and writing ability.

Meals and snacks

Government-run nursery schools sometimes provide hot meals and snacks as part of the daycare plan while others require parents to fix a lunchbox.  The menu for the month is prepared in advance and shown to parents.  With the cesium contamination issue still a worrying concern by parents, It is better to find out more information from your ward office.

Things to prepare

Parents whose kids are admitted to public daycare receive a long list of items to prepare before admission.  These items usually include indoor shoes, school bag, towels, blankets and mattress covers, extra clothes, caps, and nappies (for infants), all labeled with your child’s name.  Blankets and mattress covers are taken home on Fridays for washing and are brought back to the center the following working day.


Families need to fulfill certain criteria  in order to get a spot.  The family deemed to have the highest need gets admitted first.  Kids who can not get admission are put on a waiting list because of the high demand in daycare.


After admission, the notification clerk at your ward office issues a bill for payment usually due at the end of the month. The cost depends on the combined income taxes paid in the previous fiscal year by husband and wife and the age of the child.  In Minato ward for example, the maximum monthly fee for a 3- year old and below is 57,500 yen, 3 years old 22,600 yen, and 18,000 yen for  4 years old and above. Parents using extended hours are charged extra.  (see chart).

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