After more than six years in Guangzhou, I have finally hired an ayi (housekeeper) to help me with household work and to take care of the baby when I work. Finding the right ayi wasn’t easy, but now she has worked for us for one month and become like a family member to us.
The first question that locals as me is why I need ayi when I live next door to the grandparents. In China is common for the grandparents to take care of grandchildren when the parents are working and earning a living. Well in our case nainai (grandma) already has a 10 month old grandson to take care of which keeps her busy enough. I also admit thinking that a hired person would more likely do things the way I want them to be done.
Finding an ayi is a bit easier if you live in the city center in areas like Tianhe, Zhujiang New Town, Liede or Ersha Island. Of course the prices are higher as well and the monthly salary of a full-time cleaning ayi or nanny starts from 4000rmb and can go up to 7000rmb.
As we live far from the city center, in a very local village, my options were limited. Finally through my connections I found our ayi, who is a sweet young woman who came to Guangzhou last year to earn a living. As her experience is quite limited still and she eats and lives with us for free, her monthly salary is just 2200rmb.
At first it was strange to have someone around all the time, but we have gotten used to it quickly. Our baby girl likes her a lot and she takes care of her three afternoons per week when I’m working outside. Besides that she cooks lunch and dinner, and takes care of our household chores.
If you are looking for an ayi or nanny, it’s best to find one through recommendations like I did. Ask your friends in WeChat and you will surely get plenty of recommendations depending where you live. During the Summer many families leave Guangzhou and good housekeepers are available for hire.