An au pair is in charge of taking care of the children and lives within the home of the family. The au pair is provided accommodation and meals and a stipend of spending money. The family gains a loving caretaker for their children and an addition to the family. The idea of being an au pair is becoming more common in Beijing, although the availability and inexpensive ayi is often preferred. Many families hire English speaking au pairs so their child can start learning English at an early age. Au pairs are also particularly useful in China where the au pairs can act as an older brother/sister for children affected by the "one child" policy.
An excellent resource for au pairs in Beijing is the HHS Center. They are a group of experienced Chinese and foreign experts that match foreign youth with opportunities within the city for free. They work with variety of Chinese partners nationwide as well as with professional and licensed international agencies. Find out more about the application process on their site, HHS Au Pair Application.
Another excellent place to look is in expat forums. Here, other expats can give advice on the services they use and what to look for. You can also search for qualified applicants in the Job Listings for China.
If hired through an agency, the agency usually guides the au pair through the process. Most au pairs will receive a Student Visa OR Cultural Exchange Visa depending on their program. For more information on visa, consult the section on Passport and visas.
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