In Japan, child allowance is provided to every family (that includes gaijin as long as they are staying legally) in which a child is in the 6th grade of elementary school or less and annual income less than a certain threshold. You may apply for it anytime. You can get the application procedures from your ward.
I applied for this allowance for my two kids some three months ago. I faced a few problems along the way because I am new here in Yamato. At some point, I started thinking that it was never going to work. But at the end of the day, my kids were certified as recipients for the allowance. I have since received one payment; my life has been made easy. Beside that, the correspondence that ensued with the City office taught me the following Japanese words:
- jidouteate (じどうてあて [児童手当] ) – Child allowance
- shotokushoumeishou (しょとくしょうめいしょ [所得証明書] ) – Certificate of earnings. This is necessary so that the City Office can establish whether your income is less than the recommended threshold.
- inkan (いんかん [印鑑] ) – Seal. Every Japanese person has his own seal. But gaijins like me are allowed to use our signature.
- genkyou (げんきょう[現況] ) – Present condition.
- todoke (とどけ[届] ) – Notification/report.
- tetsuzuki (てつづき[手続き] ) – Processing.
You can also take a look at the words that I learnt as I was searching for an apartment.