How to find an Ayi

How To Find An Ayi

By lee-mack June 1, 2012


This article is posted on Shanghai Family and reposted here as we found this to be great information (


No matter where you are from you should always know the going rate for products and services in Shanghai. Here in China it's easy to pay too much or cause embarrassment  by offering too much or too little. When it comes to household help ayis and drivers are the first two people that expats hire. And coming from the west this might be the first time you've ever considered hiring help. Below we've put together some helpful information before you start your search.

There are a number of ways to find an ayi. The first thing you need to decide is what you need her to do. Will it be just laundry and household chores; or will she need to cook and help with the kids as well? A good place to start is to ask friends and neighbors how and where they found their ayi. Another way to start your search is by checking classified ads. Here are a few good starting points:


Shanghai Family classifieds


Shanghai Mamas

City Weekend classified

Or you could consult an ayi agency. Her are some places to help you get started:


China Ayi

Le Yu

CC Shanghai

Fuxin Maid

Bumps n Babes

Once you get a few interviews scheduled you need to start thinking about salary. To hire an ayi for just a light cleaning the going rate is RMB500 - 1,000 per month based on hours. If you are looking for a full time ayi that will clean, cook and help with the kids the cost is usually between RMB1,500 and 2,500 per month (an English speaking ayi will cost almost double what her Chinese only speaking ayi does). For full-time childcare salaries can go up to and over RMB5,000 per month. If you have the space and were comfortable with the arrangements you might want to consider a live-in ayi. And because you are providing both room and board salaries are lower, between RMB2,000 and RMB5,000.

Another resource that is a fantastic reference is The Ayi Survival Guide. It's a great quick reference to help smooth communication issues that might crop up. And here is an article about managing Ayi relationships.