Childrearing and Education
Pregnancy and childbirth
If you get pregnant, notify the Health Services and Welfare Division in your local ward office’s Public Welfare Department (or the Community Support Division of the Higashi Ward Office).
They will give you a Maternal and Child Health Handbook (Boshi Kenko Techo). The Handbook is used to record the health of both the mother and child, and includes check-up and immunization vouchers that can be used for a variety of services. The handbook is available in English, Chinese, Filipino, Thai, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.
Infants can receive two general checkups at medical facilities until the day before their first birthday. The City also offers health advice for 4-month-olds and health checkups for 18-month-olds, as well as 3-year-olds. You will be sent an official notification about these.
Medical subsidies are available for children until the 3rd year of junior high school or until March 31 of the year following their 15th birthday, although this is subject to restrictions based on income (financial assistance for hospital stays and hospital visits is provided for children up to the 3rd year of junior high school and for children up to the 3rd year of elementary school respectively).
Child Allowances are also provided for children until the 3rd year of junior high school or until March 31 of the year following their 15th birthday. Contact the Health Services and Welfare Division, Public Welfare Department of your local ward office (Welfare Division of the Higashi Ward Office).
Nursery schools and similar facilities
Nursery schools (Hoikuen) and similar facilities look after children whose parents or guardians cannot care for them at home during the day because of work, illness, or other similar reasons. This service is provided for children until they enter elementary school. Fees are determined based on the household’s municipal tax, etc.
These facilities include:
- Nursery schools (Hoikuen)
- Nintei-kodomoen (Facilities providing both nursery and kindergarten services)
- Small day-care services (for children aged 0 to 2)
- Day-care facilities established in places of business: facilities created by companies to provide day-care for their employees’ children aged 0 to 2; facilities also accept children aged 0 to 2 who live in their local community
Generally, if you want your child to go to one of these facilities, you should apply by the 10th day of the month before the month your child will start going. However, this does not apply if you wish to enroll your child in March or April.
For more information and advice about applications and fees, contact the Health Services and Welfare Division of the Public Welfare Department at the ward office of the preschool (Welfare Division of the Higashi Ward Office) you wish your child to attend.
These are educational facilities for children before entering elementary school. There are two types of kindergarten: municipal and private.
Municipal kindergartens are for children ages 4 to 5. (Moto-machi, Ochiai, and Funakoshi Kindergartens also accept 3-year-olds.) Applications for children aged 3 to 4 are accepted in November for the following year. However, if a kindergarten has spaces, you can apply at any time. For more information about municipal kindergartens, contact the Teacher Supervisory Division I of the Board of Education (Tel: 082-504-2784).
Most private kindergartens accept children of 3 to 5 years of age. For more information on private kindergartens, contact the kindergarten you wish to send your child to directly.
After-School Childcare Club (Hokago Jido Kurabu)
This program is for elementary school students whose parents usually, for more than 4 days a week, cannot look after them at home after school hours (until around 17:00) because of work or other reasons. For inquiries about eligibility, contact the after-school club you wish to send your child to.
Japanese education system
Education in Japan is compulsory for 9 years. There are 6 years of elementary school, for children from 6 to 12 years old, and then 3 years of junior high school, for children from 12 to 15 years old.
Those who want to continue their education take tests to go on to further education. This includes senior high school (3 years), university (4 years), and junior college (2 years).
For all schools, the school year begins in April and ends the following March. There are public schools (national, prefectural, and municipal) and private schools.
Elementary school, junior high school, and special needs schools
For information about entering municipal elementary and junior high schools, contact your local ward office or the Board of Education School Affairs Division (Tel: 082-504-2469). For information about entering special needs schools, contact the Youth Counseling Center (Tel: 082-504-2197).
Students can enter municipal elementary, junior high, and special needs schools regardless of their level of ability in Japanese. However, the schools they can enter are determined by their place of residence.
Municipal elementary, junior high, and special needs schools teach classes in Japanese. There are no tuition fees, but a portion of lunch and educational material costs is required.
The City of Hiroshima provides school expense subsidies. These are for the costs involved in education and are for households that struggle to send their children to school because financial troubles. For more information about school expense subsidies, contact your school or the Board of Education School Affairs Division (Gakuji Ka) (Tel: 082-504-2469).
Senior high school
In Japan, more than 98% of students go on to senior high school after junior high school. Students must pass an entrance exam to go to senior high schools. However, some schools accept students based on recommendations. For these schools, if a child has not graduated from junior high school in Japan but can prove that they have equivalent academic ability, they may take the senior high school entrance exam.
There are public (national, prefectural, and municipal) senior high schools and private senior high schools. These schools have different curricula, courses (general, industrial, commercial or agricultural, or integrated), and class times (such as full-time, part-time (day or evening), correspondence).
For information about municipal senior high schools, contact the municipal Board of Education Teacher Supervisory Division II (Tel: 082-504-2704).
For more information about other senior high schools, contact the following places:
Hiroshima University High School Tel: 082-251-0192
Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education, Senior High School Guidance Division Tel: 082-513-4992
Association of Hiroshima Prefecture Private Schools, General Affairs Office Tel: 082-241-2805
Universities and junior colleges
To enter a Japanese university or junior college, you must pass an entrance exam, like for high school. If you have not graduated from a Japanese junior or senior high school, but you can prove that you have equivalent academic ability, you can take an entrance exam. For more information, contact the junior college or university you wish to go to directly.
The Hiroshima International School, which teaches in English, and the Hiroshima Korean School, which teaches in Korean, are two international schools in Hiroshima City.
International schools are categorized as Miscellaneous Schools (Kakushu Gakko). They offer curriculums equivalent to those of Japanese kindergarten, elementary, junior high, and senior high schools. Their graduates may be eligible to go on to Japanese universities. For more information, contact the school directly.
- Hiroshima International School Tel: 082-843-4111
- Hiroshima Korean School Tel: 082-261-0028
There are various opportunities to learn Japanese. In addition to Japanese language schools, there are Japanese classes and tutors offered by international exchange groups and local community halls. Japanese language schools charge fees, but classes and tutors offered at community centers or other public facilities are usually cheap or free.
For information about Japanese classes offered by international exchange groups and local community halls, visit the website of Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation International Relations and Cooperation Division (http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/ircd/Japanese/index.html). Under “Japanese Language Classes in Hiroshima,” you can find classes and the contact information for the class provider.
For information about Japanese language schools, contact the school you wish to go to directly.
Child Allowances (Jido Teate) are paid to parents and guardians who are raising children up to the 3rd year of junior high school (until March 31 after the child’s 15th birthday). You must make an application for this allowance.
If you have moved to Hiroshima City from elsewhere, even if you received this allowance at your previous address, you must apply for it again. For more information, contact the Health Services and Welfare Division of the Public Welfare Department of your local ward office (Welfare Division of the Higashi Ward Office).