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Financial Aid for Childbirth and Childcare in Japan


Welcoming a new baby can often entail financial challenges, and this is particularly true in Japan, where the cost of living can be notably high. Beyond medical expenses, prospective parents should also account for related costs such as baby essentials, ongoing healthcare needs, and potential time off work.

But the truth is, what might seem like a big financial worry at first is inaccurate. The positive side is that Japan's government is supportive and wants to encourage more childbirth, especially because the country has an aging population. The Japanese government provides various forms of support and benefits to families with newborns.

To begin, let's talk about the financial support provided to families across Japan. Two key types of assistance are the Childbirth Lump-Sum Allowance and the Child-Rearing Allowance.

Childbirth Lump-Sum Allowance

Hospital fees for childbirth in Japan are certainly not cheap because it is not covered by health insurance. However, the Japanese government has a special plan to help soon-to-be mothers. Every woman in Japan is eligible to receive financial aid for their childbirth procedures. It doesn't matter if you're Japanese or a foreign resident, or if you are a working mother or a dependent spouse.

The Childbirth Lump-Sum Grant provides an amount of JPY 500,000 for each baby. It used to be 420,000 yen, but the Japanese government raised it in April 2023 to match the current expenses. This demonstrates the government's dedication to supporting expectant mothers. Even if the expense of childbirth happens to be lower than JPY 500,000, you will receive a refund for the remaining amount.

Please note that you can apply for this allowance after giving birth. You can choose whether you'd like the health insurance to pay it directly to the hospital or transfer it to your bank account. If you go with the first option, the payment you owe to the hospital after giving birth will be automatically reduced. If you choose the second option, you'll need to pay the full amount for the procedure and then get the money back later as a reimbursement.

Child-Rearing Allowance

The Japanese government is working hard to make things better for families and kids amid a declining society. One of their initiatives is by providing an allowance to families with kid(s).

Families welcoming newborns will be granted a monthly allocation of JPY 15,000 until their child reaches the age of 3. Subsequently, from ages 4 to 15, a monthly allowance of JPY 10,000 will be provided. Moreover, families with a third child or beyond will continue to receive JPY 15,000 per month.

The child-rearing allowance is given to families every three months. This helps families have a regular amount of money to help take care of their kids' needs. The good thing is that families can choose how to use this money. They can decide what's best for their children, like using it for school, healthcare, or other important things. This way, families have more control over how they spend the money to help their children grow up well.

Financial Aid for Working Mothers

In this economy, it has become increasingly common for both parents to be employed. Yet, due to the nature of childbirth, it's unavoidable for women to require time off both before and after having a baby. Acknowledging the financial impact of this unpaid leave, the Japanese government has taken steps to ensure that working mothers can tap into the maternity and childcare leave allowance.

Maternity Allowance

Working expectant mothers in Japan are not only eligible for maternity leave but also maternity allowance. This allowance is designed to help women who face a reduction in their earnings because they have to take time off from work. To be eligible for the allowance, you should’ve been working in a company and enrolled under your employer’s National Health Insurance. Self-employed women cannot take advantage of this program.

Maternity allowance made the working mother receive two-thirds of her average standard monthly wage over the most recent 12-month period ÷ 30 per day off.

For example, your average monthly salary is JPY 350,000.

350,000 ÷ 30 × ⅔ = 7,777

This means you will receive JPY 7,777 for each day you take off.

You will receive the allowance when you start maternity leave, which covers the period from 42 days before your due date to 56 days after you have your baby. If you have twins or multiple births, you can take the leave 98th day before the date of delivery until the 56th day after that.

Childcare Leave Allowance

As soon as maternity leave ends, working mothers are eligible for childcare leave and its benefits. The period of childcare leave is until the child turns one year old. During this period, the employees will receive financial aid to help them cover daily expenses.

Childcare leave allowance is 50-67% of your average daily salary. The average daily salary is six months' worth of basic income prior to childcare leave divided into 180 days.

For example, your average daily salary is JPY 11,000.

11,000 × 67% = 7,370

This means you will receive JPY 7,370 for each day you take off for the first six months.

After that, it will be 50% of the average daily salary, which is JPY 5,500 per day.

Fathers in Japan are equally eligible to benefit from this allowance. The opportunity extends to both parents, allowing them to apply for the allowance if they fulfill the necessary criteria. This inclusive approach underscores the Japanese government's recognition of the shared responsibilities and roles that both mothers and fathers play in the journey of childbirth and early parenthood.


With all the financial assistance thoughtfully provided by the Japanese government, the journey of childbirth and the responsibilities of childcare shouldn’t be daunting financial concerns. The various allowances and support mechanisms in place reflect a commitment to easing the burdens that parents might encounter, allowing them to focus on the joyous moments and the growth of their children.





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