In this page, I will explain how to set up a nursery school ( nursing school = preschool = day care center =Hoiku en = hoiku jo ≒ kindergarten ) in Japan.

nursery school Japan

nursery school in Japan

In the case, you want to start international nursery school ( preschool = day care center ) in Japan, or you want to start ordinary nursery school ( preschool = day care center  ) or you want to take in and look after children as a business, you need to know a lot of matters relating to law and tax.
In the case your facility takes in and looks after preschool children, you need to register your facility with authority.
Even if you start this kind of business at your apartment, you still need to obtain permit from authority or register your facility with municipal government.
If you obtain authorization from government, it means that your school becomes authorized nursing school = Ninka hoiku en.
And even if your facility is not unauthorized nursery school but register with government ( Actually, in order to operate your nursery school, you need to register your facility with government. ) and obtain its certificate, you can apply for some merits.
In the case, you register your facility with Tokyo metropolitan government, officer of Tokyo metropolitan government will come to your facility to investigate situation of operation.
Then, if your facility satisfies necessary standard stipulated by Tokyo government, you can acquire certificate.
You can display this certificate at your facility.
Then, it will be beneficial to acquire trust from your customers.
And when you acquire this certificate, your customers do not have to pay consumption tax with respect to school expenses.
If you do not register your facility with Tokyo government, it is illegal and they can order you to close your facility.
In Japan, there are several kinds of facility where some organizations look after children.
At first I want to explain difference between kindergarten ( Yochien ) and Nursery school (Hoiku en ).

Kindergarten Nursery school
Age of children from 3 years prior to entering elementary school. from 0 year prior to entering elementary school
Average nursing hours from 9 am to 2 pm from 7:30 am to 5 pm
Nursing expenses Public kindergarten : determined by municipal government.
Private kindergarten : determined by operator
Authorized nursing school ( Ninka hoiku en ): determined by municipal government.
Unauthorized nursing school ( mu Ninka hoiku en ): determined by operator.
 Necessary License license of kindergarten teacher ( yochien kyoyu shikaku ) license of nursery school or nurse ( Hoikushi )
 the competent  authorities Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; MEXT
( Monbu kagaku sho )
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
( Kosei rodo sho )

The purpose of kindergarten is teaching small children.
The purpose of nursery school is taking in and looking after children while their parents are working.
So, the competent  authorities is different.

So, a person who has license of kindergarten can not act as nursing school teacher and a person who has license of nursery school teacher can not act as kindergarten teacher.

But, recently this difference is becoming vague and there are facilities called Nintei kodomo en ( authorized child facility ).
This facility has both of features.

In the case, parents are working and can not look after their children, they will leave their children with nursery school.
Or some parents will leave their children with kindergarten and after closing time of kindergarten, they will leave their children with nursery school that has distinctive feature.

In some nursery schools, Teachers speak only English language and they can teach English language for Japanese national children.
It will attract Japanese parents.

In order to start kindergarten in Japan, you can make it base on incorporated educational institution  ( Gakko hojin ).

The easiest way to make your preschool is that you make it based on nursery school in Japan. Law relating to Nursery school is stipulated in ” child welfare act  ( Jido fukushi ho = 児童福祉法 )”.

Basically, there are two kind of nursery school I( Hoiku en ) in Japan.

You can establish authorized nursery school ( Ninka hoiku en ) and unauthorized nursery school ( Ninka gai hoiku en = muninka hoiku en ).

Authorized nursery school is established in accordance with the child welfare act and it satisfies specific standard.

For example, area of facility, the license of workers, the number of workers, facility to make meals, sanitation and authorized by governor.
( Even if you do not obtain authorization of government, your facility needs to satisfy several standards.
It includes floor area of facility, the number of workers, the license of workers,  sanitary facility etc. )


In the case of authorized nursery school, Japanese government support necessary expense to operate the facility, thus, authorized nursery school expense will be affordable..

( It differs depending on the amount of taxable income of parents.  From 0 yen to 30,000 yen per a month ).
When parents ( guardian ) want to leave their child with authorized nursery school, they need to make application at city hall where parents reside.

And if parents can look after their child by themselves ( they are not working etc )、they cannot leave their child with authorized nursery school.

On the other hand, in the case a facility does not satisfy specific standard stipulated by government, or even if it satisfies standards stipulated by government, but because of reason of government side ( Japanese government do not authorize surplus facility, though the number of authorized nursery school is not enough at all…. The number of children who is waiting for entrance into authorized nursery school is over 20,000.  They are called “Taiki jido” = children on waiting list. Because, Japanese government do not want to pay a lot of money to sustain authorized nursery school.  ),  if it is not authorized by government, it is ” unauthorized nursery school ( muninka hoiku en = muninka hoikujo = 無認可保育所 )”.

When parents ( guardian ) want to leave their child with ” unauthorized nursery school”, they need to make application at the facility. Nursery expense is determined by the facility, so it will be higher than authorized nursery school. 
Even if parents can look after their child by themselves, they can leave their child with the facility.

And operation of some unauthorized nursery schools are sufficient from the viewpoint of serving customers first. Some unauthorized nursery schools look after children even for 24 hours. This is called ” baby hotel  “.

I think you have already understand difference between kindergarten and authorized nursery school and unauthorized nursery school.

So, I will explain how to set up a unauthorized nursery school in Japan.
If you make unauthorized nursery school in Tokyo, competent government is Tokyo metropolitan government = Tokyo tocho = 東京都庁.
You need to collect necessary information to register your nursery school.

In the case, you start unauthorized nursery school in Japan, you and your facility need to satisfy several conditions.

In the case a person operates a childcare facility and if the number of infant ( his age is under one year old. ) and little children is 6 or more than 6 , she needs to operate her facility according to this standard.
 At the timing of starting of school ( Maybe, she will open entrance gate at 7 or 8 am in the morning.), she needs to prepare one full time worker for three infants ( his age is under one year

She needs to prepare at least one employee for 6 little children ( In the case age of little children is one or more and less than three year old).
She needs to prepare at least one employee for 20 little children ( In the case, age of little children is three years).

She needs to prepare at least one employee for 30 little children ( In the case age of little children is four years).

However, the number of employees should be two or more than two at all time.

One of third of Persons who engage in childcare should have childcare qualification ( Hoiku shi = license of nursery teacher ) or nurse ( Kangoshi )
In the case, number of persons who engage in childcare is two, at least one person should have such qualification.
At all time, it is better that licensed nursery teacher or nurse should working at the facility.

In this paragraph, calculation of number of persons should based on full time worker.
Full time worker means that she works at least six hours per a day and at least 20 days per month or at least 120 hours per a month.
In the case of part time worker, she needs to calculate based on his working hours.
At all times, the number of persons who engage in child care should be more than one.
She needs to prepare childcare room ( Hoiku shitsu ) and kitchen and lavatory.
However, in the case she makes lunch out side of her childcare facility or children brings lunch box from their house, she does not need to prepare kitchen.
However, she needs to prepare necessary facility to heat lunch box, preserve food.
She needs to separate kitchen and nursing room to prevent children from entering into kitchen.
She needs to prepare at least room area of 1.65 ㎡ or more for one child.
It is better that she prepares Nursing room for infants ( Basically, his age is under one
year old. ) other than room for little children.
Otherwise, children may step on infants.
If she can not prepare another room, she needs to prepare partition etc.
Nursing room should have enough lighting and ventilation.
As for bed for infant and little children, she can not lay down multiple persons at same bed at the same time.
Lavatory should be separated form nursery room and kitchen.
Lavatory and nursing room should have exclusive use hand washing equipment.

Approximately the Number of lavatory should be at least one for 20 little children.

The childcare facility should be equipped with emergency disaster countermeasure and emergency exist door etc.
She needs to make specific, concrete plan to tackle with disaster and conduct periodical evacuation drill.
She needs to conduct evacuation, fire extinguish drill at least once a month.
She needs to prepare emergency exit door other than gate way.
As for exit doors, each doors should not be close to another door.
emergency exit door of child care facility

She needs to make nursing room at 1 st floor of building basically.
If she can not make nursing room at 1st floor, she needs to prepare necessary measures as below.

In the case, she makes nursing room at 2nd floor of building, she must satisfy all requirements below.

1   She must prepare necessary equipment to avoid fall of children.
2  The child care facility should be fire-resistant buildings or semi-fire-resistant buildings .
3  She should prepare indoor stairs or outdoor stairs. ( as for ordinary use )
She also needs to prepare emergency stairs or balcony where students can use for evacuation, or fire escape slope or outdoor stairs.

Content of nursing.

She needs to prepare occasion that children can play outside of childcare facility.
She needs to prepare necessary toys, picture books according to age of children.
She needs to keep stable connection with parents of children. She can prepare correspondence note book between parents and teachers.

In the case she makes lunch, She needs to prepare menu in advance.
(   Kindergarten of my children notified me of menu in advance. )
She needs to conduct monthly physical measurement etc.
She needs to carry out heath check of children at the timing of entrance of facility and twice a year.
If she cannot carry out such duty, she can receive medical examination report ( kenko shindan sho ) or scanned copy of mother – baby notebook for medical and welfare records ( Boshi techo ).

At the timing of entrance, she needs to receive contact information of student’s family doctor and his physical constitution.
And she also needs to collect information of hospitals near the school and let all employee know.
She needs to carry out medical examination of employee at the timing of employment and once a year.
She needs to carry out stool examination once a month regarding to employees for making meals.
She needs to prepare necessary medical supplies.
In the case a student is infected with infectious disease, she needs to demand his parents to go to his family doctor.
This apply to the case there is a possibility of that.
When he returns to child care facility, she needs to demand his parents to provide paper that can indicate his recovery.

As for tooth brush, cup, towel, handkerchief, she ask children and parents not to share each other.
In the case, she lay down infant, she must do it on his back.

She must make list of name of employee, contact information, scanned copy of employee’s qualification, curriculum vitae, papers that can indicate date of employment.
She must prepare roster of each employees.

She must prepare necessary documents pursuant to labor standard laws.
She must prepare directory of students and birth date of students, health condition, contact information of parents, content of contract.
She must keep drawing that can show acreage of facility.
She must show content of her service at the suitable place where potential clients can find out.

She must explain content of contract toward prospective clients.

Once prospective client applied for entrance of her facility, she needs to provide paper that can indicate content of contract.

This is a part of application form to register nursery school with Tokyo metropolitan government.
application form for making nursery school

Moreover, matters relating to building standard act ( Kenchiku kijun ho )

.Assumed the case you purchase real estate and operate nursery school there.

If the room area of your building is more than 100 ㎡, you need to make application for change of intended usage.( =Yoto henko = 用途変更 ).

For example, you purchases a real estate and the intended usage of the real estate is residence. But, now you are going to use the real estate as nursery school.
In that case, you need to apply for change of intended usage.
This is stipulated in building standard act.
In the case your real estate is located in Edogawa ward, Tokyo prefecture, you need to submit application form of change of usage.
This process is very complex one. If you hire architect ( Kenchikushi ) in this process, his fee will be 500,000 yen.

So, you want to proceed this process by yourself.
If you purchase real estate for operating nursery school, you need to confirm whether authority can permits change of usage in advance.
You need to know this matter if you purchase a residential real estate with over 100 ㎡ and change into share house.

Matters relating to fire prevention act ( Shobo ho = 消防法 ).

In the case, you operate nursery school in your real estate, you need to notify your facility of local fire department office.
A lot of children will come to your nursery school. If there was a fire or disaster, fire department needs to take care of your facility immediately. So, when you operate nursery school, you need to submit notification form to fire department.
And when you submit this notification form for fire department, you also need to submit notification paper that clarifies the name of manager of fire prevention measures.

Thus, you need to appoint fire prevention manager ( Boka kanrisha = 防火管理者 .
And in order to assume as fire prevention manager, you need to pass test. This test is carried by fire department and its relevant organization. And fire prevention manager needs to supervise the status of fire prevention measures. .
So, the person should be there all the time. You cannot appoint a person as  fire prevention manager if he is part time worker and most of days, he is not in your facility.
You need to appoint fire prevention manager among full time employee.

fire prevention manager boka kanrisha Japan


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