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Au Pair in Beijing


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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.

What the au pair Must Know

    Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency, there are a few typical requirements:
  • Be conversant in English/Mandarin (depending on the family)
  • Be between 18-27 years old
  • Have a High School diploma or equivalent
  • Be able to commit to at least a 6 month placement
  • Have at least 6 months child care experience
  • Be able to provide 3 references regarding your experience and character
  • Be in good physical and mental condition as evidenced by a Physician's Report. Agree to a background check.
In addition to these requirements, it is common for families to ask for non-smoking, possession of driver's license, responsible or non-drinkers, and for females. Many au pair families prefer native English speakers. Some agencies may also require time spent tutoring.

What the family has to do

    The family has to welcome the au pair in thinking that she is not just an employee, but an important part of the family. Therefore they will make sure:
  • The au pair must have her own bedroom.
  • The au pair will work to a maximum of 40 hours per week with a minimum 1.5 days off during the week with one free weekend a month. In addition, they should receive about 4 days paid vacation every 3 months
  • They understand that having an au pair does not mean having a servant. Au pairs may be asked to do some housework as agreed upon in the contract.
  • It may be of benefit to register the au pair at the family doctor.
  • The family should pay an allowance. The amount should be written into the contract, but around 1,200 RMB a month is average. A completion bonus is common if they have met the terms of the contract.

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.

Visa

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.



Update 12/05/2011

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