The older taking care of youngsters!
Who changes baby’s diapers at your home? Mom’s and dad’s cooperative work? Babysitters? Well, at ‘Yui-no-ie’, nursery in Ishinomaki, it is often older kids who change babies’ diapers and put them down for a nap.
Since its launch on February, 2013, Yui-no-ie has been providing not only day-care for children under five-year old but after-school care for children over six. This mixture gives great opportunities for both age-groups of kids; older kids who first said they were not good at playing with youngsters became responsible for taking care of them. ‘Now I know how tough work moms are doing,’ said one of the older girls, whereas younger kids who used to be shy with new people now run up to them, every time they see the older.
Thanks to word-of-mouth of user parents, Yui-no-ie has gradually become well-known in the local community, with the total number of child-days usage reaching over 1,200 as of the end of September, 2013.
One of the flagship services includes a special assist program for job-seeking parents. Under Japanese law, only parents who have jobs are qualified to use an official day-care center, which means that those who look for jobs are not eligible. This is problematic as lack of access to nursery service often prevents parents from actively searching their jobs. We, Project YUI wanted to address this issue via Yui-no-ie and are providing the special program to job-seeking parents for certain period of time for free. Results? Seven moms have used the program, four of which have successfully found their new jobs!! We will continue the program to help parents become financially more sustainable.
This month, three more nurses are joining to serve growing needs, especially in the early morning. Furthermore, the second Yui-no-ie will be soon opening to serve not only as nursery and after-school care center but as a community space where kids, parents and older people could get together. Thanks to contribution from number of donors and GlobalGiving, we will be keeping up the pace and report on further progress!
Time for snack!