Okinawa Hai fallback


Do you remember those pesky word problems from back in the day?

Jim and Sarah who are hiking in wilderness, decide to leave their tent and walk around a lake. They start going in the opposite directions. Jim hikes at the rate of 3 miles per hour. Sarah hikes at the rate of 2 miles per hour. The perimeter of the lake is 10 miles. How long will it be before they meet?

Wow. I had no idea then how much life would become a word problem. Not that I would have listened. I was busy then. There were boys to talk to and lockers to decorate and fashion to adhere to and deep thoughts to think. But now, I could use some of those darn skills.

Here’s one that’s got me stumped.

Mom has to work twice on Saturdays. Dad is deployed. Her two kids need a babysitter from 7:00 am until 11:30 am and then again from 2:00 pm until 6:30 pm. Mom would prefer someone to come to her off-base house so that the kids aren’t bounced around hither and yon. Mom would prefer an adult with CPR skills. She’d also prefer to have someone who speaks emergency English in case a phone call needs to be placed to her about emergency stuff. Mom needs to pay the babysitter but doesn’t know how much to pay . What is Mom going to do? Is Mom going to get what she wants? Is Mom going to cry in her soup?

This is serious. How do you all deal with babysitting? What are your standards? How much do you pay?

And are there babysitting services that could solve my problem right this very second.

Please say yes.


  1. Hi,I`ve got five kids and had trouble finding babysitters.But I found out japanese colledge students studing to be daycare experts are required to have fourty hours of volunteer work to pass a course. These students english is not good but they are certified in first aid ,aed,and cpr.They go out and help at daycares,group homes and has expirince with special kids. They were happy to volunteer babysitting till the parent was comfortable to hire.All you need is a signature to vouch for their volunteer work for the school.They`re great babysitters.

  2. Hello, I am looking for a fellow mom to trade babysitting duties with. Pre warning I have five kids. I will come to your house and babysit on friday or saturday night for a date night for you and on another weekend you come to my house and watch my kids friday or saturday night for my date night. I am a nurse and extremely experianced with children of any age!

  3. Im looking for a reliable mamasan. We really need someone to pick the boys off school and bring them home with some occasional early mornings which those days they will need to be dropped off. Of course some light cleaning as well. For further information please email me at

  4. My name is Ashleigh Molina and I am 19 and married.I live on Kadena AFB and I work at the CDC on Kadena, Shima CDC to be exact( if you want to reference me). I work monday through Friday 8 am to 5 usually but I can work my schedule around if you need me earlier and get off as early as 2pm. I am just seeking further job opportunities with children because many parents at Shima have complained about Child care not being provided during the evenings and on weekends! Well I am willing to take a step further and help some of yall out! If anyone is interested shoot me an email and I will be happy to work with what you need! Hope to hear from some of yall soon!!


    • Hi Ashleigh,
      Are you still looking for babysitting work? If not, do you know anyone who is? We will be visiting Okinawa 5-9 August and need someone to look after a 2 year old and a 4 year old.


  5. Comment:
    hello my name is gigi am a qualify sitter here in okinawa japan camp kinser, i will make sure your kids are well taken of. they will have a hot breakfast lunch and snack in between they will also learn and explore here in okinawa, i have a 18month old son myself that would love to have some company. i do it all from infants to before and aftercare, so if you been looking for someone to take care of your little ones look no farther i can also pick them up if you dont leave on kinser i can go as far as kadina the fee is 65 a week. fee include: food trips and everything else that i do please email me i cheack my eamils everyday

  6. Hi everyone. I’m in need of a female 18+ to transport school-age children home after activities, to doctor appts, etc. Most days hours will be from 1400 – 1700. Hourly pay plus reimbursement for gas. You must have your own SOFA status and vehicle. Prefer that you live on or near Kadena. Reliability is most important! Needed to start immediately. Please e-mail

  7. Hi I’m looking for a nanny/ mama-san to work in my home to watch a 7 month old baby on kadena. She’s currently enrolled at CDC but I’m tired of her coming home with fevers and viruses. We need help. My husband and i are both active duty and work shift work. If your interested please contact me.

    • Looking for a babysitter to be on call. It is not a full-time gig. I just need someone to watch my children for a couple of hours when it is date night with the wife. So mostly at night for 8 and 4 years old. It would be great for the babysitter to have their own transportation but will make arrangements to pick them up and to take home if necessary. Please contact me if interested.


  8. Hello I am looking for an Sitter to Watch my 7 and 5 year old before and after school and to either drive them to bob hope (Kadena) or put them on the bus. I work 7-4, I would only need you during the week and on days they do not have school. Email me if you can help!

  9. I’m looking for after school care ideas for an 8 and 11 yr old who will be attending Amelia Erhart Intermediate. I get off work at 430 and the on base school age program isnt an option. We have considered a mama san or nanny. Are there any after school programs that pick the kids up? Any ideas appreciated!

  10. Hi! I am looking for someone who can babysit my two children (5 and 2 1/2) 2 to 3 days a week starting this school year. I need someone who can watch my 2 1/2 year old all day and pick my son up from preschool on Camp Foster at 1130am. I would prefer someone who can watch them in my home or at their home on Camp Lester or Foster. I will be doing volunteer work, so my hours may be flexible. I am hoping to work till 3 or 4pm. If you are interested, please e-mail me at Thank you!

  11. I have an almost 2 yr old daughter, she’ll be 2 at the end of June. My son just turned 6 and just about to start summer vaca. I’ll be willing to join a play date group with other parents, like a rotational type of schedule. Please contact me at We arrived on the island about a month ago and don’t know many people just yet but I hope to change that. Thanks Lizz

  12. Hi all!
    We just got here May 1st and I would love to find someone on or near Kinser to share kids with ; ). Here the idea: Each month each of us gets 1 Friday night or Saturday in which the other watches the kids. Like I mentioned, we just arrived so we barely know anyone yet. Ideally you would have kids about the same age. I have one son who is 15 months old. Plus he would love some playtime with other kids while Mommy and Daddy go snorkeling or some other un-kid friendly activity. This would work great with a group of parents too. Anyone interested?

  13. My husband and I are on the opposite side of the spectrum, like some other writers also. Im due in December with our first, and I would like to babysit in our home starting in March. Does anyone know where I start to find a family in need? Thank you for your time!

  14. I am off base near Foster (about 4K from the legion gate) and I am a certified preschool teacher with a one year old. I am currently a stay at home mom, and I would love to nanny (full or part time) in my home. I have a huge area for children to play and a small yard. I am ideally looking for one child, around my sons age, so they can play and learn together – while still having tons of one on one time. Please send me an email if you are interested!

  15. Yes I am willing to observe parents and childrens rountine but I would not charge as long as it was for a reasonable time like only an hour or two. If you want me with you for a full day we could work out some kind of small fee.

  16. The Foster CDC does do a Parents Night Out, but they also did/do another from of free care (I can’t remember the name of it). It was for spouses of the deployed. It goes from like 8am to 5/530pm. I worked there for a while. That’s how I know. It is free. I do not know if they are still doing it or not.

  17. Foster CDC and Foster SAC do a Parent’s Night Out the first Saturday of every month. You do need to either have your child registered in the program OR you can fill out a 1 time use form.

    We have used the CDC for hourly care only as well as for Parent’s Night Out and have been very happy with the job done by the staff there. They are couteous, kind, and warm to my child. What more can you ask for? After going 1 time (for hourly care) they remembered her name and have always continued to provide a safe and FUN environment for her.

    We have also used the SAC for our Kindergartener on Parent’s Night Out. She always has a great time and usually gets to see one or two of her friends from school (which is always a bonus).

    Parent’s Nights Out are free and run from 1700 – 2230. I recommend making reservations early (I believe they start taking them right after the current month’s “night out” is over). There is limited space available (due to child care regulations).

    I know it doesn’t solve ALL of the child care needs on island, but for us, it gave us a well needed “date night” and the kids had a fun time playing with other kiddos!

    Best wishes and thanks for all of the great suggestions!

  18. I think the Foster CDC does a deployed spouses child care day. It’s either the first or second Saturday of each month. I believe it’s free and I believe it’s for all branches. That might only help you out one Saturday a month.

    I also babysit from time to time. I’m married and will be 27 next month. I’m here until 2011 and I do not have any kids of my own. You can email me at

  19. The begining of that post was awkward. Please let me clarify. I will work whenever you need me. Weekdays, Weekends,Day, eveining, nights(midnight shift for any single parents who work or will be working the midnight shift).

  20. Hello all, I just stumbled on to this website trying to find hair salons, but I would be interested in babysitting on weeends or weeknights. I am 28 have my BA and am a certified nurses assistant. My husband works on Kadena as a pilot and have no children or resposibilities. I never thought of childcare because I assumed it would be something that teens or preteens were doing but I would be happy to do it. I can also do elderly care or people/children with disability care. My phone number is 080-3992-9351. I would charge 5 an hour for one child and 7 for two or more children and 10 for special needs. If you would like me to clean while your gone, do laundy, vacuum, dishes etc…please add 2 dollars per hour. Rachel

  21. This might be a little off the subject, but does anyone know about off base before or after school care? The wait list at the Foster SAC is long. I have a 5yr old going to Killin Elementary and I will be working shift work at the hospital. Any ideas?

  22. I found an adult babysitter (26) by placing an ad in the Japan Update online. Just put as much infor has you can about what you are looking for and people will contact you. Interview them to see if you like them.

  23. I have just arrived Okinawa in a few days. I am seeking for a job as a babysister.

    I am a Vietnamese. I have some experience in doing such kind of job. If anyone need, please email me via this email: or please contact me via this telephone number: 080-3954-1568.

    Best regards,
    Tinh (Ms)

  24. If you pick up a copy of “This Week on Okinawa” (available at the BX/shoppette/video story) there are always 5-10 adverts in there for people who do cleaning/babysitting and are available in various areas. That might help.

  25. I will me giving birth in a few weeks! Need a nanny/babysitter/mama-san. Desperately looking for someone to take my 5 year old son to and from Japanese elementary school, help with Japanese homework, and feed. We live off-base in Maehara, Uruma City. Elementary school is 5 minutes away. Japanese speaker with some english, preferred but not required. Please, help me find someone!

  26. I am in dire need of 0730 to 1830 child care. I have done the on base care thing and can’t get both kids in one day care at a reasonable rate (more than half my check ends up eaten up by day care). I am willing to go off base, but I would prefer a mamasan in my home. How much will this cost? The numbers I’ve heard thrown around sound like too much. I have two girls ages 18m and 3 years. I have answered adds in the Japan Update but gotten only one response from someone who won’t be available til the end of the month. Please, Please Please, I need day care to keep my job, any help would be appreciated

  27. How does one find a Mama-san? Are they the same as nannies? We’ll be PCSing in July, and I need someone who can watch the kids (ages 4, 3 and 1 1/2) and potentially teach them Japanese until we get everyone set up in day care, or even in place of day care.


  28. Kellys Joe,
    Does your mamasan have a free day? I’d love to find a mamasan to do about half the day cleaning and spend the other half of the day babysitting/teaching my son Japanese! But I haven’t had any leads for a dual person like that. Let me know!

  29. I think you would have to call Kadena direct. I tried to find a link myself for job openings but had to email corp. in the US. I don’t think they do too much. I know they have an Operation Hero afterschool program but that’s all I know…
    M, I feel your pain, it’s like a juggling contest trying to work with kids and the ever changing plans of the US military…I work FT doing a split shift and it’s a killer at times and that’s working for a VERY flexible company…then I do my freelance photography on the side but not much, no time…
    A, January sometime, still waiting on a date!!!

  30. I ditto Caroline. Not at all sure what they offer. Would love to know!

    So an update. I am trying out some babysitters this week AND I put an ad in Japan Update.

    My need on Saturday mornings and my hope to have care in my home does not make it possible for me to use those hours allotted to me with a deployed daddy. It’s a bummer but I am moving on!

    Hopefully, I’ll find the perfect situation. I have TWO weeks!

  31. You could try the kuru-kuru (not sure about the spelling here) babysitters. They are a network of japanese babysitters so they will always provide babysitting. Some of them speak a little English. Only problem is that they might not have a discount for two children, but maybe that can be resolved. I pay 600 yen per hour for one child. I have phone numbers if you are interested.

  32. Meredith is looking for Saturday care, so the school thing shouldn’t be an issue – I recommended she try the Key Volunteer Network, and unfortunately she’s out of luck there because her family lives off base. AND, she’s not in a heavily American-populated area. I think a Mama-san is a great idea, certainly if she’s a good English-speaker (good enough to communicate to Meredith, who speaks pretty darn good Japanese!)

    I’m really not sure if Kadena’s child care services would come off base (because previously you checked out USMC’s info) but here’s a link I found, look at the bottom of the page.
    It seems they’re individually contracted workers and have to be 18+ years old. If it comes down to it – would you be willing to bring your child to someone’s house?

    Pamela – the youth centers here do a group kids’ night thing sometimes, i THINK – but I don’t think it’s too regular. SO many families here have kids, that I personally found incredibly friendly neighbors who almost immediately offered to trade of sitting for each others’ kids for date nights. ASYMCA is only in the USA. You’re not in Kansas anymore….

  33. do any of the bases offer MCCS Parents Night Out. The one on Miramar is 4:30pm-11:30pm and only $10 per child for all that time. I realise this is on;y for a Sat night date night, but I hope they offer it over there. I have been spoiled having that and working for the YMCA with all their PNO’s! You could try ASYMCA as well, they may have something…

  34. Don’t forget that these teenage babysitters are in school during the day, so that makes babysitting during the week impossible. I see 2 options for you right off the bat, hire a mama-san to watch your kids OR sign them up for daycare at the CDC. They’re the best daycares i’ve ever seen (gov’t subsidized) Depending on your husbands rank the price varies, if he’s also deployed to Iraq or Afganistan, they may have a different price too, not sure on that one. Check it out, from what I hear, mama-sans are awesome!

  35. I’ll chime in here with Mereditz on the question of the going rates… Anytime I ask someone they seem to hmmmm & hawww — don’t know whether it’s because we’re all afraid we’re paying the wrong amount or what?? Michelle mentioned $5 per child — is that what everyone is paying?? Would hate to have three!!

  36. I have had a very difficult time finding child care here – I’ve tried at least 7 different baby-sitters, believe it or not! The Red Cross baby-sitter list usually consists only of very young sitters – perhaps ages 11-14 (and then transportation can be a big barrier). Some of the ones I’ve used have been pretty good at interacting with my daughter, but reliability was often an issue – they seemed to forget our arrangement from time to time.

    Did you try asking Narumi May for suggestions? She seems to have a lot of connections/resources and might know of a bilingual mamasan (or one who knows a little English) who might be available.

  37. Finding a babysitter is tough! Some other places to look….contact the local Girl Scout council on island-they have badges that encourage the girls (some in high school) to become Red Cross certified babysitters. You could try the chapel either on Kadena or Foster for possible referrals as well as the Foster Teen Center. Or contact the Red Cross office directly for their referral list. Last resort…place an ad in the Japan Update weekly paper. As for paying your sitter-ask the Red Cross what they are recommending to girls to charge….if memory serves me correctly the going rate is around $5/child. Good Luck!

  38. There are also a couple questions that need to be answered. Where is the off base house(closes base and how many min. drive.) and what are the ages of the kids that will be watched? With those answers you might get more people willing. Also, is she willing to let a family take them in and have them go to the family events(like t-ball games or parks). This might also help her find a babysitter that is an adult(I know I would be more willing if I could spend the Sat. with my own family while watching hers).

  39. Okay. Yes, answers. I live closest to KAB Gate 1. In Mizugama. Near Navel Kadena. I have two boys. One is 2.5. The other is 15 months. Because I’m only going to be home for that stretch in between 11:30 until 2:00 I would prefer someone here. Just because that will be some time together with them.

    I think I’ll check out the babysitter list that Lisa recommended. Maybe there are some bi-lingual teens on there. If they live close to Gate One that’s easy enough.

    Thanks for the feedback. Sigh.