The health ministry will create a database of babysitters who have been convicted of sexual assault to prevent them from continuing to work with children unbeknownst to parents and local municipalities.
The plan to create the database, which is likely to be rolled out in April, comes after two men who were registered with a babysitter matching app were separately arrested earlier this year for sexually assaulting children under their care.
Babysitters, whether working independently or through an employer, are required by law to register with either the prefecture or city they work in.
But because there is no centralized system for local municipalities to share information about babysitters who have been convicted of sexual assault, they can simply move to another city and work with children again.
The database would list babysitters who have been accused of sexual assault, then update their status if they are found guilty and issued an administrative order to stop working.
While the database is intended to be used by local municipalities, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is considering making it available to employers and matching app operators so they can avoid hiring offenders.
The health ministry is also mulling making part of the database viewable to the general public on the government’s childcare portal Kokodesearch.
Even if uploaded to the portal, the information on convicted babysitters will likely be limited to administrative orders, with details of the sexual assault omitted due to privacy concerns.
Demand for babysitters is on the rise in Japan as more women enter the workforce while nurseries struggle to meet swelling childcare needs.
The government is aiming for the share of women with jobs to increase from the current 77 % to 82 % by 2025 even though more than 12,000 children were unable to enroll at a nursery due to a lack of availability as of April this year.
Article first published in The Japan Times on Oct. 25.
One minute chat about babies.
Collect words related to fighting crime, e.g., police, security, surveillance, data.
1) convict: when a judge or jury finds someone guilty, e.g., “He was convicted of arson.”
2) unbeknownst: without the knowledge of someone, e.g., “Unbeknownst to her parents, Abby skipped school often.”
3) omit: to leave out or leave unmentioned, e.g., “The article omitted the fact that Japanese people wear face masks often.”
Guess the headline
Japan to create database of b_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _s convicted of sexual a_ _ _ _ _ _
1) What is the database for?
2) How can a babysitter with a criminal record continue working?
3) Why is there increased demand for babysitters?
Let’s discuss the article
1) Have you ever had/hired a babysitter?
2) What do you think about the database?
3) How can we improve child care in Japan?
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