Hiring a maid, an ayi (literally auntie), in Shanghai is relatively simple. Managed apartments have their own in-house ayis who are much cheaper (15 RMB – 20 RMB/hour) than agency-hired ayis (20 RMB-30 RMB per hour). As an expat, when you first come to Shanghai, the advice you may get from fellow expats will be not to hire Shanghainese ayis. This is primarily because they have been brought up in the city and the perception is that these ayis are less hardworking than the ayis who migrate to Shanghai from the villages. Whether this is true or false is a matter of opinion and my advice would be to follow a common theme throughout this guide: go on the strength of another expat’s recommendation.
Maids usually work 6-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, and are usually willing to cook, shop for groceries, babysit in the evenings and come in on weekends to help out with entertaining if required. Almost all ayis live in their own homes, since most of them have families. However, some expats with small children employ ayis to live with them to perform babysitting, cleaning, cooking, and other chores.
Ayis usually get off the week of Chinese New Year, as well as at least 3 days over the national May Day and October Day holidays. They often get time off during your holidays as well, although many will be willing to come in several days a week to dust, water the plants, pick up mail, and generally make sure that there are no household emergencies. Most Westerners continue to pay their ayis when they take a holiday.
If you don’t have either the time or the inclination to train your ayi to clean the way you are used to it being done, it is best to hire an ayi from an agency. Agency ayis, though more expensive, often have at least of smattering of English and are accustomed to working for foreigners, which is not always the case with the cheaper ayis. You can hire your ayi by the day and pay her each time she comes to you or, once you find an ayi you like, you can hire her for set dates in the month and pay her on a monthly cycle.
Room 103 Mei Long Er Cun Yimei Road
Yue Li Housework Services
102, 34, Lane 151 Wuxing Rd
Fan Wei Nanny Agency
57 Xihuan Road
Zi Yun Nanny Agency
Jia 42, Tran Shan Er Cun
T: +86 21 6229 5944
AyiPro Home Service Inc.
Unit 113, Jinqiao Mansion
No. 255 Xinjinqiao Road
Pudong 201206, PRC.
Shanghai Dejia Housekeeping Service
706,254 Zhijiangxi Road, Shanghai
Shanghai GNI Housekeeping
Rm 501, Bldg 8,
No 58 Yang Gao Zhong Rd
Jin Qiao, Pudong,
Phone: 68712199 / Snow Wu 13817969242
Yueli Housework Services
102, 34, Lane 151 Wuxing Lu, Chengqiao
Phone: 5844 8931