Hiring an Ayi

Life in Shanghai is extremely fast paced and always exciting, however, you may find that you don’t have nearly enough time in the day to accomplish all that you need to do. In order to help with some of your house chores and busy work, hiring an Ayi in Shanghai can be very helpful!

“Ayi” can be translated into “Auntie”, but in this case, it is used to refer to a house maid to help clean, cook, do laundry, shop for groceries, pay bills, and even babysit your kids. Most Ayi’s are Chinese women from the countryside and come to Shanghai for better living conditions and higher pay. Most Ayi’s are accustomed to working long hours and are paid accordingly depending on their skills and experience.

Shanghai Properties helps new arrivals not only find homes, but Ayi’s as well. Contact Adrienne Farrelly at manager@shanghaiprops.com and she’ll find you a great new addition to your family. 

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Tips for hiring an Ayi

Hiring an Ayi can be very helpful if you find you are having trouble juggling all of your daily demands. However, here are a few things you should take into consideration before hiring one.

1) Communication
Because most Ayi’s originate from rural China, their English skills will be little, if anything at all. Even if you can speak some Mandarin, she may speak a dialect, and you may not be able to fully understand her. In most cases this problem can be overcome, but this is an aspect of the hiring process that you should expect and be prepared for. In the case you want to find an Ayi who can be speak English, you should expect to pay her a higher wage for her higher skills.

2) Standards
Next to communication comes the importance of explaining what standards exist in your home. For example, how you like the house cleaned, how you like the food prepared, how you like the bills paid, or how you like your children treated. Eastern and Western standards are a little different, so all of these conditions should be made clear so that the Ayi can do her best work and help to create a happy home.

3) Payment
The typical payment rate for your Ayi’s services depends on a couple variables. It depends on her hours, what kind of responsibilities she has (just cleaning or more), how old she is, how much experience she has, and her language abilities. It is your decision if you want to pay her per hour or per month but she may have her own preference depending on her living needs. Usually hourly payment starts from 20 RMB and monthly payment from 400 RMB. The prices can often be negotiated, but you may need some one who can speak Chinese fluently to fully communicate your preferences.

4) Safety
You (and your family’s) safety always comes first, so make sure you are comfortable with this decision before letting an Ayi into your home unsupervised. Relationships with your Ayi can be very different, for example, some people hire live-in help and others just give the Ayi a key and ask her to come at the desired times. If you would prefer to be home while the Ayi is working, that is certainly okay. Just make sure that whatever you choose, you (and your family) feel safe and comfortable at home. It is usually good protocol to hire an Ayi through a reference who has had experience working with foreign families before. Use caution if you hire an Ayi that does not have any references from foreigners, as they may not be accustomed to Western expectations. In some rare cases, Ayi’s have been known to use fake ID cards and commit petty theft. The best advice to give is to just do your research and use good judgment here.

adrienne-black-top-smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or  manager@shanghaiprops.com. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

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