Summerhill Baby opens in August 2013

By on June 17, 2013

For women who have just turned moms, balancing life and work can be a tough ordeal.  With a short supply of daycare centers in the city,  Tokyo mothers get less of what moms in other industrialized countries enjoy. But here’s a bright spot.  Summerhill International school is gearing up for the opening of a new service in town – the Summerhill Baby.   Tokyo families talks to its Director and founder, Monique Keller DeGuchi to find out more.


TFM: Congratulations on the new service!  Please tell us about Summerhill Baby.

Monique: We are very excited about the opening of Summerhill Baby in late August. It will be an exclusive daycare within Summerhill International School which we will call our “Room To Bloom”. Summerhill Baby offers wonderful daily options like soothing aroma therapy with only organic products, baby massage for colic and relaxation, music for enhanced awareness and much much more on a 2-1 ratio of professional nurses and childcarers. Being an integrated part of Summerhill also means that daycare babies that choose to move onto our regular school program benefit from priority enrollment!


TFM: Why did Summerhill start a daycare service?

Monique: Over the years I’ve had lots of moms asking me why I don’t open a daycare where they can put their younger toddlers safely within the same school as their older siblings. Opening a dedicated daycare has been on my mind for a while, and now that our babysitting service has taken off I feel that the time is finally right to extend our school with its own dedicated daycare for babies. We are planning an absolutely beautiful room where your child can bloom!


TFM: Who is it for and how does one get admitted to your day care program?

Monique: Everybody is welcome to use our service, but we have a limited space for up to 8 babies per day.


TFM: The Japanese Ministry of Health reports that the number of working mothers in Tokyo denied entry to public daycare is huge.  It’s indeed a hot topic of debate between local families and the government.  Will Summerhill Baby admit Japanese infants too?

Indeed, we are aware of the difficulty of putting your child in the Japanese daycare system. It has a long waiting list plus it prioritizes lower income families, so if your family earns more than a certain amount of money you will automatically be deemed as “not urgent” and be put at the bottom of the list. While we have a limited capacity, we are open to anyone, aiming instead to provide the best possible care in the best possible environment.


TFM: What are the general requirements for families to be able to benefit from  the service?

Monique: There are no special requirements for joining Summerhill Baby. Simply contact us to schedule a meeting and we will be able to answer all your questions regarding our availability and fees.

TFM:  Are there ground rules for drop off and pick up?  Do you have an open-door policy that allows parents to come in unannounced?

Monique: The hours for drop-off and pick-up is decided by the schedule chosen by the parents as they register. We offer a very flexible program, with a morning, afternoon and full day schedule up to 5 days per week, with enrollment based on 4 terms per year. As such we are per-appointment only. Give us a call!


TFM: Please tell us about the program structure, schedule, environmental setting and your team of caretakers.

Monique: With our extensive experience as an established preschool, our caretakers are well experienced and certified in their field, and caring for the babies in the warmest, safest possible environment. Summerhill is known for the warmth and abundance of love that our children receive during their day, and our daycare will be no exception. As usual we have a bilingual staff to cater to both Japanese and foreign families. We will be open most of the year from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm so that working moms can keep their babies with us and move straight on to the preschool when their child starts walking. Being an extension of Summerhill, mommies can feel at ease dropping off their infants with their older siblings to prepare for work or spend a couple hours to themselves. Welcome to the Summerhill family!


To contact Summerhill Baby,

About TF Tribe