Babysitting was not a “thing” here, generally, until somewhat recently. Traditionally in Japan the woman stays home while the man works, while families lived with their parents and extended families much more often than in other countries, thus lessening the need for a stranger to come into the home.
Over time all of these facets of Japanese society have changed somewhat, and there has been an increase in the need and availability of babysitting, nanny, and other domestic services in Japan.
In Nagoya, there is regrettably far less selection than in Tokyo or the Kansai (Osaka / Kobe ) area, but even so this increase in demand has brought options for English speaking childcare services here as a happy side benefit too. It is possible to find babysitters through some companies, like the one below.
Second Family English
Babysitting, Culture, and Household Help in English. “Known for our excellent service which goes above and beyond to ensure your child is cared for, we use affection and positive reinforcement with educational activities to help foster your child’s growing mind.”
As well as child-minding, Second Family English offers numerous other services including house-cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, and cultural assistance. “We strive to provide the love, support, and care of a second family.”
Poppins provides babysitter, childcare center, childcare support, and visiting elderly care services. (Limited French language services also available)
Please note that these companies all have their own systems including registration fees and prices. The right company and the price you will pay will depend on your specific requirements, so please see their individual websites for more information.
Ask Around – Make Friends!
Ask other foreign mothers what they do. There are a number of high school kids who speak English (such as NIS or Nanzan International students) who make a fortune in pocket money by watching other smaller kids, but the only way you will find one of these is by word of mouth. You can meet other families and mothers by joining one of these special interest social groups around Nagoya.
- The H&R Group Events – Meet other local English speaking families and local residents, seek advice on living in Nagoya, or help others! Recent arrivals to Nagoya will find these meet-ups especially valuable because there is no better source for news, views and helpful information about life here in Nagoya, Japan than other members of the expat community.
- The Nagoya Foreign Mothers Group – a must for anyone planning to give birth in Japan, this group also is a great place for mothers of young babies. It’s a group with a long history of foreign mothers helping each other out in Nagoya. The group meets every second Saturday, 10:00 – 12:00 at the Nagoya City Women’s Center
- The Cross-Cultural Exchange Association -The “CCEA” was formed in 1982 as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural exchange, international understanding and friendships amongst women of all nationalities living in the Nagoya Area. Social activities, general meetings and special interest groups are some ways in which members develop friendships, discover the local community, and learn about the rich cultural heritage of Japan and other countries.
- The Chayagasaka Cooperative Playgroup – This group meets on Wednesday mornings. Members must have at least one non-Japanese parent who uses English as a first language. To contact, email to chayagasakaplaygroup(at)gmail.com
- Nakamura English Playgroup – This group meets on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, from 10 – 12, at the Nakamura Lifelong Learning Center. All foreign, bi-cultural, and returnee families, and others who are committed to raising their children bilingually, are welcome to join the group.
- The Meet and Greet Luncheon – A monthly lunch where 40+ women of various nationalities, interests, and ages gather to meet, eat, and greet. Great for new arrivals and those seeking new friends. Children’s play area available. English is the language of communication. To contact, e-mail to Nagoyameetandgreet(at)gmail.com
Reference to any business or organization is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an official endorsement by the H&R Group
Photo courtesy of www.secondfamilyenglish.com