Nov 11, 2018

The Annoying Childcare Form

A current major cause of irritation in my life is this form:

The Annoying Childcare Form photo

It looks fairly innocent and it should be. My children are enrolled in public childcare because my husband and I work. To confirm that we are still doing so, we get these forms twice a year to give to our employers. Their task is to list the amount of days and hours we have worked each month during the past six months, and indicate that we are going to continue working into the future. It’s bit annoying for everyone involved and the value of it all is a bit questionable. Still, it shouldn’t be terribly complicated.

Yet it is. I work part-time for three separate companies and that means three copies of the form need to go out, get filled in, returned to me, and then submitted. That already triples the likelihood of there being an issue, and there are always issues.

For one, all of my companies have, at some point or another, insisted that they need the original copy of the form. There isn’t an original copy. I’m not sure who prints out the form, childcare or the city, but it is most assuredly just that - a printout. It’s even available for download on the city website (there you go, hoikuen users of Chiba city). The additional copies I personally need are done by me. There’s nothing original about it but getting it off the internet themselves? Or even typing the information in and then printing it? Keeping a copy from last time and just updating the dates? Absurd!

A far bigger gripe, though, is getting my employers to accurately note the hours I work for them. I need to work a minimum number of hours a month, 60, to keep the childcare places, so getting this right is important. There is no question around what I’m paid or anything like that, just a need to record my actual work time. Yet this is also problematic. One company sometimes includes clean-up time and sometimes doesn’t. One company notes only my teaching hours and will not put in the one hour break between classes, let alone the preparation time required to teach each lesson. The other company has somehow said that I only do two days of work for them per week even though it is now three. All of these oversights add up and there is nearly always someone to follow up and remind of my actual workload.

Because of these points and my work involving lots of dispatches and not a lot of time at head office, getting the forms back in time can also become difficult. More than once, I have been on the brink of spelling out that if i cannot keep my children in childcare, I cannot work for them.

If you work full-time for a single company, it’s probably easier to manage all of this though you’re possibly not completely immune to the above mentioned problems. The original document issue isn’t solely for part-timers and my husband’s company will write that he finishes work at 4:45pm each day, which is laughable. 

Unfortunately for me, these problems are unlikely to go away. As irritating as this is, it doesn’t counter the benefits of working part-time into the short-term future and until my children are older, that means needing childcare services... and that means this accursed piece of paperwork will need doing and my employers, it seems, will need nagging.



I'm Australian and married to a Japanese (post)man. We live in Chiba with our two children, where I work as an English teacher. I try to post something here once a week, and I also have a personal blog over at http://lyssays.wordpress.com/