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Maternity and Childcare Leave - Eligibility and Schedule


Welcome. Thank you for joining me for this video on Maternity and Childcare Leave in Japan.

We have 4 videos explaining the Maternity and Childcare Leave system.
 • Overview
 • Eligibility and Schedule
 • Benefits
 • Document Filing

In this video, we will look at the leave eligibility and schedule.
The Japanese healthcare system provides a comprehensive leave package that includes mothers, fathers and adoptive parents.
Leave for the birth of a child is split between Maternity leave and Childcare leave.

Maternity Leave (1:05)
Is taken by the birth mother. It begins
 • 6 weeks - before the due date and ends
 • 8 weeks - after the birth date

In the case of multiple births (such as twins), the leave before the due date is extended to 14 weeks.

It is not mandatory for the mother to take the leave before the due date but it must be granted if she requests it. It is mandatory for her to take the 8 weeks after birth unless a doctor gives permission to reduce it to 6 weeks.

When maternity leave ends, child care leave begins.

Childcare leave (1:49)
Can be taken by mothers, fathers and adoptive parents.

Mothers can take Childcare Leave from 8 weeks after giving birth until the day before the baby's 1st birthday. During this period, if the mother stops childcare leave, she cannot restart.

Fathers can take childcare leave from the day the baby is born until the day before the baby's 1st birthday.

Adoptive Parents can take childcare leave from the day the baby is adopted until the day before the baby's 1st birthday.

Both fathers and adoptive parents can take Childcare Leave for a second time for the same child, as long as they meet the following two conditions:
 • One, they first began and ended their first period of leave within the first 8 weeks
  after the baby's birth and
 • Two, the second period of leave starts before the child's first birthday.

At the end of childcare leave, it's common for parents to enroll their child in nursery school.

Nursery School (3:10)
There are two types of nurseries in Japan, government-accredited and unaccredited. Accredited nurseries meet guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

All accredited nurseries within a given ward, charge the same amount. Generally between 0 and 70 thousand yen depending on the ward.

On the other hand, unaccredited nurseries can set their own fees and can be more than twice the cost of accredited nurseries.

Accredited nurseries usually have more applicants than spaces available, therefore, entrance is based on the parenting situation of each family, such as whether both parents work, or if the child has other potential caregivers.

If no government-accredited nursery is available in the ward where the family resides, childcare leave can be extended for 6 months. A second 6-month extension is allowed if an accredited nursery is still unavailable.

There is also a Special Extension (4:27)
One or both parents can extend childcare leave for two months after the child's first birthday without showing childcare is not available, if:
 • both parents took childcare leave before the child's first birthday and
 • the total period of leave per parent does not exceed 12 months including the 2-
 month special extension

If you are interested in learning more about maternity and childcare leave benefits and the filing schedule, watch our other videos.

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