Welfare panel to seek registration system for baby sitters after boy’s death

JIJI

A welfare ministry panel of experts proposed Monday introducing a registration system for baby sitters in the wake of the death in March of a 2-year-old boy while in the care of a man in Saitama Prefecture.

The panel members said they will issue their final opinion in October, and the proposal for a system requiring baby sitters register with local governments is likely to be included in it.

The panel’s final report is also expected to demand that operators of baby-sitter search websites run background checks.

Currently, there is no public certification or registration system for baby sitters in Japan, unlike nursery school teachers.

According to a survey in March and April by the ministry, only 15 of 109 local governments across the country collected information about baby sitters in their communities.

In the case of the 2-year-old boy, a male baby sitter in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture, was arrested on charges of abandoning the boy’s body. The boy’s mother had contacted the man via a website.

One of the panel members said the woman may not have had access to all the child-rearing information she needed because of her harsh financial situation. She was not receiving child care allowances despite financial hardship.

It is necessary to provide information via smartphones as younger generations do not use personal computers very much, the member said.

Another participant said that nighttime child care services should be strengthened.