AU PAIR | CHINA | Smaller Earth US


FROM $750 / 3 MONTHS

Work Abroad as an Au Pair in China

Families looking to hire an Au Pair want to expose their children to the English language as well as broaden their cultural education. You will work with Smaller Earth prior to departure to ensure that you are matched with a suitable family. There are two different time periods you can work in China: three months or six months. If you're having a great time and would like to stay for longer, you can extend your stay up to 12 months after your arrival in China.

Program Highlights:

  • You will be matched with your host family, prior to departure from your home country, based on your preferences, experience and what the family is looking for
  • Work up to 30 hours per week, with all accommodation, food and a monthly stipend included
  • Receive Mandarin language classes plus monthly courses about Chinese culture
  • You will have full support from your local coordinator who will host regular 'welcome' meetings for new Au Pairs on the program, giving you the chance to socialize and share best practices with other Au Pairs just like you!

Live in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and many other Chinese cities with ALL accommodation and meals provided by your family. You will also receive a monthly allowance to cover any personal expenses or perhaps a few adventures around China in your free time. Working as an Au Pair abroad in China will give you a perspective on the culture as well as valuable childcare experience.

After landing in China you will be met by our partner to join other au pairs on the program for a 3-day arrival orientation and training camp. This will equip you with the skills needed to be a successful Au Pair and gives you time to adjust to a new culture, and socialize with other international Au Pairs working in your area, before leaving to meet your host family. What a fantastic way to spend a gap year!

Roles and Responsibilities

One of the great things about being an Au Pair is the variety it offers. Each host family is unique and has their own schedules, traditions and hobbies - no Au Pair experience will be exactly the same. Smaller Earth will strive to match you with your host family based on shared interests and expectations as part of your individual service.

You will work as an Au Pair for up to 30 hours per week, with responsibilities ranging from playing with children, taking them to and from school and preparing snacks for them. The main purpose of the position is to develop the English language skills, of those you are Au Pairing, through tutoring and conversation. You will be a role model for the children in your care and they will look up to you for guidance and support.

Learn Mandarin

As part of the Au Pair in China program, you will receive 60 class hours of Mandarin classes per 3 months of your stay. Each class is typically 45 minutes in length. Having the ability to speak the worlds most widely spoken language will certainly enhance your resume for future employers and will give you a competitive edge. With additional support of a small classroom size and great teachers, your Mandarin will improve at a fast rate!

The Social Scene

Wherever you are located your local coordinator will create social opportunities so you can meet other Au Pairs during your stay. Your assigned coordinator will ensure that you make friends with others in your area, so you always have a group to hang out with in the local coffee shop! There will also be organized trips to see the local sites and explore the wonders that China has to offer. You will go through your arrival orientation with other Au Pairs and will spend this quality time together as you adjust to life in China. You will then be able to meet up with the same Au Pairs at your weekly Mandarin lessons and culture courses.

Age & Required Experience

  • You need to be between the ages of 18 and 29
  • You must have at least graduated High School and be able to provide documentation
  • You must be fluent in English without having a strong accent
  • You should be in good health and physically fit
  • You must have a clean criminal record
  • Have a strong interest in China and a willingness to be open minded

Location and Accommodation

  • You will be located in either Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou or one of the many other Chinese cities where host families reside.
  • Chinese families typically live in apartments 
  • You will have your own bedroom and will normally share a bathroom
  • It is normal for three generations of the same family to live together in the family home

Arrival and Orientation 

When you arrive in China, you will be met by our partner at the airport. They will take you through 10 hours of intensive training at the 'Arrival Orientation and Training Camp' (AOTC) in Hangzhou.  During your orientation you will train alongside new Au Pairs and will learn everything you need to know about your placement. Your local coordinator will be in contact with you throughout your placement and will be on hand to provide you with full support. An emergency phone number is also available for 24/7 use. Your coordinator will provide you with the contact details of the other Au Pairs in the surrounding area so you can arrange social events with new friends during your time off.

How to Apply

Simply start your application! You will be asked to choose a departure date and make a deposit of $100 to confirm your job placement. Not quite sure when you want to go? That's okay! Simply start your application and we will be in touch about how to plan out your time as an Au Pair in China.

What's Included?

Smaller Earth will provide you with the necessary support to ensure your time in China is successful! From your application documents and visa application to airport pick up and support while in China, we will work to make your transition seamless and your experience the adventure of a lifetime!

  • Round Trip Flights!
  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • A monthly stipend of 900 RMB (about $145 USD) To give you an idea, a typical meal is 20 RMB and a metro ride is 3 RMB.
  • 24/7 emergency phone number in China
  • 60 hours of Mandarin classes per 3 month stay
  • Monthly cultural courses plus training materials
  • Medical, accident and liability insurance
  • City Map
  • Mobile SIM card 50RMB (about $8 USD) of initial credit -- We advise Au Pairs to bring their own cell phone to China for use when they arrive at the airport and in case they get lost. The local SIM card will then be used to get in touch with other Au Pairs during your stay and also help you communicate with your host family when outside of their home.
  • Transportation Card each with 50RMB (about $8 USD) of initial credit 
  • Assigned local coordinator in your city
  • Necessary visa documentation for your application

What's Not Included?

  • Chinese Business Visa (S-2 Visa) fee (approx. $140USD)
  • If necessary, the fees associated with using an Embassy-approved Visa Mailing Service
  • Travel Insurance

Q. When Should I apply?

A. We recommend that you apply 4-5 months prior to the date you would like to start your placement in China. This will give you plenty of time to complete the required documentation and for us to match you with a host family, apply for your visa and for your flights to be booked. 

Q. How long does the process take to find me a family?

It can take up to 12 weeks for a suitable host family match to be made. 

Q. How many hours a week will I be expected to work?

A.  Au Pairs can expect to help their host family for up to 30 hours per week duties may include, but are not limited to, childcare, tutoring English and some light household duties. 

Q. Will I get any time off?

A.  An Au Pair can expect at least 1.5 consecutive days off per week, one full weekend off per month and 3 additional vacation days every 3 months. 

Q. How much will I get paid?

A. You will receive monthly pocket money of at least 1,000 RMB, you may also receive a quarterly and completion bonus. The cost of living in China is relevantly cheap, for example a meal at McDonalds is £1.50, lunches up to £1 and a Chinese beer 25p.

Culture, Attitudes and Personal Habits. 

It can be difficult for an Au Pair to get used to living with a new Chinese family, but remember it is equally as difficult for your Chinese Host Family to get used to a new person in their home! They will welcome you into their lives, welcome them into yours. It's a good idea to take a small gift from your country for the family to show them your heritage and culture. 

Be respectful of house rules and stick to them, make sure you communicate regularly with your new family and do not be afraid to ask any questions. Your host family will be happy for you to work together on a schedule that can work for both parties. Do not come home late or stay out over night without prior notice/consent. Ask the family before inviting friends into your new home. 

Personal Hygiene is important to families, so inquire when you may use the washing machine, or if your clothes can be washed together with the families. Keep your personal space clean and tidy and treat the rest of the home as you would your own. During meal times and other family activities, try to be on time, help with washing and cleaning up (unless you are asked not to). Chinese people look highly upon hospitality treats such as offering tea to the house guests! Respect and be open minded to the eating habits of your host family. Different cultures have different definitions and views on privacy, do not feel uncomfortable discussing this topic with your host family.

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