back to Nursery・Kindergarten

小さいこどもと一緒の留学・研究生活を計画している方へ To those who are thinking about to conduct your research/study while raising a young child


After arriving Japan, many parents find it difficult to send their child to a nursery. In Japan, the academic year at nurseries/kindergartens start in April. In case you would like to send you child from April, it is necessary to apply around November-January in the previous year. Also, if your potential nursery is publicly-run, you need to have an official residence registration in the city/ward when applying. Please collect necessary information beforehand and discuss with your spouse/family how to balance your research and taking care of your child, when you plan your study/research in Japan.

1) 東京大学の学内の保育園 Nurseries on Campus


There are nurseries located on the various campuses of the University of Tokyo that can be used by those affiliated with the university. (Faculty, Staff, Students)
See more details

2) 認可保育園 Accredited nursery schools


These are nurseries which have passed criteria for space, facilities, staff members and credentials, activities held by the nursery etc. that have been set by the Japanese government. These facilities are largely assisted by government funding. Both public and private facilities have the same fee system, the amount that is paid is determined by the age of the child and families income that is paid the previous year. (The higher the income and younger the child, the more expensive the fees) The time that the nurseries operate is usually 7:30 until past 18:00. Some facilities have “extended time” of about an hour past the normal operating hours.


The conditions for putting children in nursery is that their caretaker cannot take care of them at home due to the caretakers work, study, or being sick. Many people in Tokyo seek to put their children in a nursery so there is no guarantee a child will absolutely be able to enter.

窓口:居住地の市区町村役場 Apply at your local Ward or City Office
*You can NOT apply directly to the nursery

認可保育園の申し込み方法 How to Apply for Accredited nursery schools


Application for entrance into accredited nursery schools (Most international students take this option) takes place at the City or Ward office of the area the nursery is located. There are areas where you must be a resident of that area to apply for nursery, other areas allow those who are not living but working or studying in the area to apply for nursery. However, in that case those who are not residents of the area are usually given lower priority than those who are residents.

入園の申し込みはいつでも出来ますが、通常月の中旬ぐらいに、次の月の入園申し込みの締め切りが設けられています。4月入園の場合は、12月~1月に申し込みを受け付け、 2月末か3月頭に選考結果が発表されるのが一般的です。東京など入園希望者の多い場所は、年度の途中からの入園は非常に難しく、4月入園申し込みが最も入園できる可能性が高いです。

Application for entry to the nursery takes place throughout the year but there is a deadline for application each month for the following month. For those wishing to put their child in a nursery from April, the application takes place in December and January and acceptance results are delivered around the end of February or beginning of March. As there are many people in Tokyo who wish to use the nurseries, it is very difficult to get a place in the middle of the year. The best chance of entering the nursery is for applying to enter in April.

3) 認可外保育園(無認可保育園)及び認証保育園等(東京都の場合)
Non-accredited nursery schools or Tokyo Ninsho (licensed by Tokyo local government) nurseries

窓口:入園を希望する園に直接 Application Directly at the Nursery


Besides the previously stated accredited nursery schools, there are also non-accredited/Ninka-gai (unauthorized/Muninka) nurseries. The facilities, contents of nursery activities, and fees differ per nursery but on the whole the fees are higher than authorized nurseries. Non-accredited nurseries also have more flexible time schedules with many offering services during the night or on holidays. Application should take place directly at the nursery.


Among non-accredited nurseries, there are some that have passed of the regulations for the facility or number of staff members and thus receive some funding from local government. These are called “Ninsho Hoiku En” in Tokyo and “Yokohama Hoikushitsu” in Yokohama. Some cities offer financial assistance to the families of children who are attending the nursery.

4) 保育ママ Hoiku Mama Home Daycare


Some areas offer a “Hoiku Mama” (home daycare) service which is located at the home of an individual who is authorized to provide child care. (Usually a nursery teacher, kindergarten teacher, teacher or nurse.) The age range that qualifies is until 2 or 3 years old. Up to three children can be looked after by one Hoiku Mama. Financial Assistance is provided by the local government.

窓口:居住地の市区町村役場 Application at your City or Ward Office



To learn more about Kindergarten and Nursery application, and the life with children in Japan, please visit our office and obtain the booklet for family.