Guide to finding an ayi (domestic helper) in Shanghai

Having a reliable ayi (domestic helper) can make daily life more convenient and enjoyable in Shanghai. They offer such services as cleaning, cooking, and childcare, and can work part-time, full-time, or live-in. Consider your requirements, explore referrals or agencies, and choose an ayi who matches your needs.

Here's a helpful guide to finding the right ayi for you.


Rates and expectations:

  • Part-time ayi: Rates typically range from 40 yuan (US$5.51) to 60 yuan per hour.
  • Full-time ayi: Rates start from around 8,000 yuan to 12,000 yuan, depending on experience and language skills.
  • Higher rates may be charged by ayis with more experience working with expat families or with specialized training in such areas as infant care or cooking.


Referrals and agencies:

  • Referrals: Some expats find ayis through recommendations from friends or colleagues.
  • Agencies: Many people use agencies, as they can provide pre-screened ayis who meet specific requirements.
  • Ayis with previous experience working for expat families often have letters of reference or certificates related to housekeeping skills.


Choosing an agency:

  • Discuss expectations: If you decide to use an agency, clearly communicate your expectations upfront.
  • Agency fees: Agencies typically charge a one-time fee when you sign a one-year contract with an ayi.
  • Agency fees can vary, ranging from one month of the ayi's salary to 50 percent of their monthly salary or more.
  • Insurance: Some agencies provide free insurance packages for ayis, while others may offer links to purchase insurance separately. 
  • Compare services: It's recommended to contact different agencies and compare their services based on your specific needs.


Additional help:

Seek out the neighborhood committee to get recommendations for ayis in the community;

To find childcare or help with your newborn, seek advice from doctors and nurses at hospitals.


Some ayi agencies for expats:

Xinmu Domestic Service

   Tel: 18221787923

Ayi Matchmakers

   Tel: 18721557841

CC Shanghai

   Tel: 021-52682952


Source: City News Service