Au Pair China | Become an Au Pair in China | Smaller Earth UK


Special Offer: Zero program fees with a LoPair scholarship


Living in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing or Guangzhou, with all accommodation and meals provided by your family, you will have plenty of time to gain an insight into this fascinating country. You will also receive a monthly allowance to cover any personal expenses. Working as an Au Pair abroad in China gives 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 new Au Pairs 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. You'll have time to socialise with other international Au Pairs working in your area, before leaving to meet your host family. 

You will be welcomed into a new home with open arms as you adjust to family life in China. Proudly home to some of the oldest historical wonders of the world, this program will enable you to gain an insight into this fascinating country.



Program Details

Families looking to hire an Au Pair want to expose their children to the English language as well as widen 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 program lengths to choose from; three months or six months. You can also extend your stay up to 12 months once you are in China and loving it!  One of the great things about being an Au Pair is the variety of responsibilities it offers. Each host family is unique and has their own schedules, traditions and hobbies - no Au Pair experience would 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 such as 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. As part of the Au Pair program, you will receive 60 class-hours of Mandarin classes per 3 month stay. Having the ability to speak the worlds most widely spoken language will certainly enhance your CV for future employers and will give you a competitive edge. With additional support of a small classroom size and great teachers, your Chinese will improve at a fast rate.

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

What's Included

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.

  • Roundtrip flights
  • A monthly stipend of 1,500 RMB (To give you an idea... A typical meal is 20 RMB and metro ride 3 RMB)
  • Contract completion bonus (for 6 month+ duration)
  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • 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 with 50RMB of initial credit 
  • Transportation Card with 50RMB of initial credit
  • Assigned coordinator in your city
  • Necessary visa documentation for your application

What's Not Included

  • Chinese visa costs (from £85 plus postage & service charges if applicable)
  • Transport to your nearest Chinese visa centre
  • Travel Insurance
  • Signature for medical form (if applicable)
  • Police Check (£45)
  • Travel costs to your departure airport

Need to Know

Location & Accommodation

  • Many Au Pairs are located in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou or Wenzhou but there are many more Chinese cities available
  • Chinese families typically live in big, gated apartment complexes 
  • 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

Age & Required Experience

  • You need to be between the ages of 18 and 29
  • You must have at least graduated High School
  • You must be fluent in English (without a strong regional accent)
  • You should ideally have some form of childcare or babysitting experience
  • 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

When & How To Apply

The program is open year round, however we recommend you apply as early in advance of when you wish to go as you can. Click 'Apply Now' above pay your application deposit. One of our team will be in touch soon after you open an application to answer your questions.

Arrival & 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).  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 to provide you with full support. 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.


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 days off per week, one full weekend off per month and 3 additional vacation days every 3 months. Your time off schedule will vary from family to family and it may not be consecutive days.

Q. How much will I get paid?

A. You will receive monthly pocket money of at least 1,500 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, so 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.

Trust Us

We want everyones trip to be fun, enriching and most of all safe. Heading on an Au Pair programme with Smaller Earth you can rest assured that you'll be going in to a loving family that has been thoroughly vetted and interviewed. 

We ask each Au Pair to provide a minimum of two childcare references, a police background check issued within the last 6 months and a declaration of full health. We ask all of our families to do the same. Our placement team also visit the family homes to ensure they are suitable, comfortable and safe to host international Au Pairs.

Smaller Earth along with our international Au Pair placement teams, provide 24/7 support for all of our Au Pairs. We ensure everyone is fully prepared for their trip with a comprehensive pre-departure guide, advice and orientation where applicable. 


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