Babysitting sites to face stricter guidelines for Japan gov’t site listing

March 9, 2021 The Mainichi

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s welfare ministry will tighten guidelines for listing babysitter matching site operators on its website following recent alleged illegal behavior by some sitters who were introduced on the site, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

Operators will be banned from the ministry’s online list of babysitting sites for at least six months if they fail to follow the guidelines, the person said.

The stricter directives come after the discovery in 2020 that Kidsline Inc., one of the site operators listed on the ministry’s website, did not notify users that two of its registered babysitters had allegedly sexually assaulted children in their care last year.

The ministry also found in January that some of the sitters introduced by the Tokyo-based company failed to register with local authorities despite being required to do so by law.

The ministry currently lists on its website operators which are required to comply with directives crafted in 2015 including submitting child-care providers’ identifications and preparing measures to resolve problems swiftly.

Demand for babysitters is on the rise in Japan as more women enter the workforce, while nurseries are struggling to meet swelling need for child care.

Under the new guidelines, site operators will also be asked to immediately notify users of misconduct by babysitters and submit documents proving their registered sitters all completed proper legal registration with authorities.

The guidelines will also request site operators to interview guardians who post favorable reviews about babysitters to ensure there is no false information.

The ministry will conduct periodic audits and bar those not in compliance from the ministry’s website for at least six months or until the situation is rectified.

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