The concept of using ayis is an opinion divider in Shanghai.
Some people don’t want a totally random stranger from a totally different part of the world to take care of their kids. They worry about the true care going into the care.
For others, they have long term ayis that are fully part of the family. They stay together for years and years.
You could say that there are different ‘levels’ of ayis.
Most Shanghai expats, and many Chinese people, have ayis to come in and do the cleaning.
Then, some will cook and clean.
Some expat families have one ayi to cook and clean, and one to take care of the kids.
Some expat families use a service such as AuPair China to use a foreign au pair to take care of the kids.
Some tips are:
- The one and only way to find a good ayi is with recommendation. It takes time.
There is no one trusted ayi agency. Ayis are people, and people are different. To really get an ayi you can trust takes time to find a personally recommended one.
- Many will always be on the look out for a raise.
Always agree ALL terms in writing. Leave no error for confusion or mis-understanding.
- Don’t trust an ayi unless it is with a personal recommendation.
We cant stress enough how the recommendation is crucial. We have seen alarmingly bad care from ayis who take kids out to play areas, the street and so on.
It may seem harsh to say that, but this is simply honesty. As mentioned, some families to have ayis for even a decade and they are family. But it’s always good to be overly cautious with someone who is taking care of your kids!