Finding Domestic Help  
It is common for expats to hire a housemaid (in Chinese “Ayi�? to help with the house cleaning, cooking, child-caring and washing clothes. You may hire an Ayi your friends recommend to you, or otherwise, you can go through some Ayi agencies for they have a large source of Ayi of different skills to meet your demands, and if you’re not satisfied with the Ayi they provided, they will change another one for free until you are satisfied.

Ayi can be either part-time or full-time, depending on your needs. Part-time Ayi services generally cost between RMB8-15 per hour if private employed, and RMB15-25 if employed by an agency. And full-time Ayi services (6days work and 1day off) generally cost RMB1000-2000, or RMB3000-7000, depending on their roles and employed privately or by an agency.

Both part-time and full-time take holidays. The longest will be Spring Festival of 7days, and they also receive the other standard national day such as Labor Day, Mid-autumn Day, Tomb-sweeping Day, and National Day. You should pay them for these national days. And if they take longer with your prior agreement, it is customary for you to unpay them, and it is kind of you to pay them, they will work harder to reward you.

Few Ayi speak English, and those who do are certainly at a premium. And of course, English-speaking Ayis cost considerably more. You should learn some useful Chinese phrases or sentences in order to better communicate with your Ayi.
Filipino help is also available in Shanghai. Compared with Ayi, most Filipinos can speak good English and are well trained in housekeeping. If you want to hire a Filipino, you can turn to some agencies or post ads in magazines but the expense of hiring a Filipino is much high.

Generally, Ayi’s insurance is paid by the Ayi agency, just to be safe, you may contact with the agency about the details before hiring.

Warning: Ayis have been known to use fake ID cards and commit crimes from theft to kidnapping. So you should ensure your Ayi is qualified by using a reputable agency or getting a recommendation from your close friends or colleagues.

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