One of the most important, and often difficult, tasks when moving to a new place, within your country or abroad, is finding people you can trust for household help. In Paris, femmes de ménage, cleaning women (this is the encompassing title for the job, but there are cleaning men, as well) are extremely common and almost every household employs one for weekly or bi-weekly cleanings. In addition to cleaning, these women (and men) are usually experts at ironing (repassage), making it much more economical to employ someone to iron shirts, for example, than send them out for washing and pressing.
The government encourages the employment of individuals for these positions. They make declaration and payment simple with the chèque emploi service, which is issued by your bank (Please see the section on “Children – Babysitters” for more complete information). Hiring someone legally, whether on a permanent basis or only sporadically, protects you, your household and the employee.
Rates for cleaning range from about 10-15 Euros/hour and could be less or more depending on the frequency of cleanings. If you hire someone through an agency, it is usually double this price, but you can declare half of it on your taxes, therefore basically paying the same as if you hire someone on your own.
There are hundreds of agencies in Paris that offer domestic help. Many offer both femmes de ménage and childcare services. They can provide long-term solutions, or services for once-in-a-while. Some have English speaking personnel.
- Shiva, http://www.shiva.fr, offers ménage and childcare.
- Agence Colette Gargaud, http://www.colettegargaud.fr, offers exclusively ménage and repassage services.
- Domidom Services, http://www.domidom.fr, 123 av Versailles 75016 Paris has a large network with qualified personnel. They provide free estimates for housecleaning and ironing.
- Home Market Services, http://www.home-market-services.com, 147 r Lourmel 75015, Paris, offer services in Paris from ménage, ironing, childcare and tutoring. They have a comprehensive English version of their website.
Individuals advertise in the following venues as well:
- FUSAC and http://www.fusac.com; It costs more to list online, so there are usually more advertisements in the publication itself.
- http://www.craigslist.org has a household category where handymen and femmes de ménage list their services and a childcare category as well.
- The bulletin board at the American Church also sometimes has advertisements and postings for these positions.
- http://www.angloinfo.com also gives referrals for odd jobs, femmes de ménage, and childcare.
- Local boulangeries and the smaller supermarkets often have community bulletin boards where people list their services and numbers.