To all the mothers from Australia who now live in Tokyo raising your children.
Have you considered using a babysitting service and give you a break for a little while? Raising children is such a hectic job. If you are from oversea and living in Japan, you must be having a lot of stress other than mother’s duties too. Did you know that there are many babysitting/nanny service in Japan alike in Australia? Why don’t you give it a call and take some free time yourself or with your partner?
- 1 3 major differences in awareness between Australia and Japan
- 2 How to find a reliable babysitter/nanny with ease in Japan.
- 3 What about Matching Site?
3 major differences in awareness between Australia and Japan
Babysitting is known as volunteer activity for students in Australia.
As with Japan, the students in Australia also start looking for a volunteer activity for their resume to apply for a job, and some do because they simply like to help others. Babysitting is recognized as a volunteer activity in Australia, so you can state that experience on your resume as a positive point. Whilst nobody writes babysitting experience on the resume in Japan unless you are one of the Childcare Academy students and applying for a nursery school teacher. To be more accurate, when we look for a volunteer activity in Japan, babysitting never comes to mind as a volunteer work.
It is one of the major choices as part time job for high school students in Australia.
Being a babysitter/nanny is one of the major choices as part time job in Australia.
There are 2 ways to apply for a job. Either you make your profile on a matching site and wait for a client to contact you, or you find your own client yourself.
One of my Australian friends used to part-time as a babysitter in Sydney and she says that babysitter is a very common way of earning some money for high school students. In her case, she had her own client already so she did not make a profile on the web page. There are a lot of demands on using babysitting service in Australia so it is possible asking each other between neighbors when you get close to each other, thus it is easy for young people to have a childcare experience even if you have no experience raising a baby. Personally, I consider this is a great custom/feature of Australia, feeling a baby in your own hands when you are younger and learn how we grow up. I think through this experience you learn the importance of life.
In Japan, on the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, babysitting is not a choice as part time job for high school students. It is just too risky and we would rather choose the other options, such as home tutor, festival staff, than risking yourself.
Au pair is widely accepted in Australia.
What is Au pair? In short, it is a study abroad system. You visit a family as a homestay and babysit their children or do housework. What you exactly do depends on the family.
I wish I could meet the service when I was in Australia with working holiday visa.
This is a popular option for those who is planning to go to Australia with student visa or working holiday visa in Japan. What’s good about this system is that you do not need to care about the rent nor for food, furthermore you get paid by host family and the working hour is limited (25～35hrs/week). In contrast, we do accept Au pair in Japan too, but it is not as popular service as that in Australia.
Australia is one of the leading countries adopting a guide line in terms of the quality and evaluation of childcare, alongside with the women having more working opportunity into society. There are variety of style for childcare system in Australia such as long daycare center (similar to nursery school), family daycare scheme (home-based childcare) and many more. If I was to say it, Australia is the pioneer regarding childcare support.
Childcare support in Japan, on the other hand, has gradually been gotten popular in the past 5 years or so. But the availability for babysitting service is still low. The reason why babysitting service is behind in Japan is because of our national trait.
Some Japanese mothers say that they feel guilty leaving their children to others. Even if it is only for a few hours they feel sorry for their children. Besides, I consider this is also our rooted-culture that we do not easily invite total stranger in our house, especially in Tokyo.
I believe the more business goes around, the worse vicious business arises. Thus, it is not easy for us to trust others and the best way to avoid any troubles is not having any business unless it is necessary to you. The users of babysitting service are usually wealthy family in Japan.
But don’t worry, there are many reasonable but still reliable babysitting service in Japan.
How to find a reliable babysitter/nanny with ease in Japan.
You can choose between finding a babysitter on your own from matching site and you sign up an agency and they send you a babysitter. I highly recommend the latter one. Why?
If you do not mind reading each listed potential babysitter’s profile and message, the matching site might be interesting to you. Their profiles show their personal information (age, nationality etc..) with photo, experience in childcare and their message, contact the one you chose, set up the first meeting with that particular one, and finally order him/her as babysitter. As you can see, you need a lot of time and effort till you find the right one for your children.
I agree that some people find it without any trouble at all to find the best match for your children with your own eyes, however, I am the one prefer “easy” and “simple”, so I would go for signing up an agency. Of course, all the babysitters think of safety as a top priority, but as you know, children are unpredictable, and you cannot be sure about anything when it comes to children. But in any situations, if you belong to an agency, you get back up for any property damage, kids/sitters injury during the session. And I consider it is much less trouble if you have a point of contact in between a babysitter and yourself.
Our company, Little Hug, welcomes both families contacting in Japanese and English.
What about Matching Site?
I still remember the brutal case happened in March, 2014. A man called himself a babysitter registered on a matching site killed a 2-year-old boy.
This event opened up a guide line and since then it is not that everyone can register on the matching site anymore. Today, as I mentioned earlier, you get to check all the babysitter’s information before you officially order. And before they put their profile on the web page they must meet the agency owner for their character check and they also need to attend the orientation.
Whoever pass these steps are allowed to put a profile on the web page for free and they get to decide the hourly price themselves. Thus, if you would like to use the service with low budget it is reasonable. But I should mention that the babysitter-side has advantages on the matching site, which means, even if you find a good babysitter who suits your needs and good match with your children, they get to decide which client to go along with, in other words, they choose the client with better conditions for them. So, as mentioned earlier, if you are thinking using the service for a short time, it may be better to just pick up an babysitter from a matching site.
But if you look for a long term with a stable babysitter, I consider that it is much better to sign up with an agency and let them handle the schedule. If you think that the babysitter they sent you does not match, you can always consult with the agency and they are going to support you.
Some mothers say that babysitting service brought them a good influence for their children.
Nowadays, the COVID-19 has been around all over the world and one-on-one sitting is much less risky than childcare in a big group.