Departmental Bulletin Paper Community-Based Child-Rearing Support for Families : Based on an Investigation in Sapporo, Japan

Kudo, Haruka

12pp.29 - 37 , 2017-02 , 北海道大学文学研究科
Against the backdrop of a high proportion of mothers who take care of their children at home and the problem of child-rearing anxiety and social isolation among them, the Japanese government has currently expanded child-rearing support via the Community-based Child-rearing Support Centers (CCSCs). They are open spaces for infants and parents in the community, where they can gather freely, communicate with each other, and share their anxieties and worries related to child rearing. There are also many voluntary programs that are similar to the CCSCs in each region, and all of these are often called “childcare salons.” In this study, I categorize these childcare salons into 4 types based on their management bodies, namely, the center type, childrenʼs hall type, Hiroba type, and local-based type. Based on a qualitative investigation conducted in Sapporo, a Japanese urban area, I briefly summarize how these childcare salons support child rearing by “full-time mothers” and affect the formation of their childcare support networks. These childcare salons are diverse in terms of staff members and volunteers, space and facilities, and their opening hours. These features characterize the institutional support provided by these salons, which affects the relational support mutually provided among mothers who avail these services; therefore, different types of social exchanges and network formation are prevalent among the users. These childcare salons embody the idea of the “socialization of childcare” and practically “socialize” child rearing by moving it from the private sphere to the public sphere outside the family and by sharing it among families and people in the community. However, there are still issues and limitations with respect to gender division and family responsibility of childcare.

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