Cost of nan­nies soars due to in­crease in de­mand

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHI­NADAILY in Shanghai Fang Aiqing con­trib­uted to this story.

New mothers in Shanghai want­ing a nanny to care for them and their ba­bies in the months im­me­di­ately af­ter birth could find that ser­vice be­com­ing ever more ex­pen­sive.

Nan­nies are in high de­mand due to China’s adop­tion of the uni­ver­sal se­cond-child pol­icy and in­creas­ing la­bor costs.

This has also led to con­cerns that there will be a short­age dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val, which will start in late Jan­uary, when it is ex­pected that a nanny’s ser­vices could cost up to 20,000 yuan ($2,920) per month.

Some ne­ti­zens have even claimed that hir­ing a nanny could cost up ward of 30,000 yuan per month — more than dou­ble the rate of a decade ago and about three times the guide­line price of 6,000 to 10,000 yuan set by the trade as­so­ci­a­tion.

How­ever, ser­vice providers in Shanghai con­tacted by China Daily said the price will vary from 10,000 to 20,000 yuan per month.

Be­tween the start of the year, when China re­laxed its fam­ily plan­ning pol­icy, and the end of June, 8.31 mil­lion births were reg­is­tered na­tion­wide. In Shanghai, the num­ber of births be­tween Jan­uary and Oc­to­ber in­creased 12 per­cent year-on-year.

Du Yonghong, a su­per­vi­sor at DOMO, which pro­vides do­mes­tic work­ers, said de­mand had in­creased since the re­lax­ation of the fam­ily plan­ning pol­icy, but in­sisted that her com­pany had not raised prices for Spring Fes­ti­val, nor had it ex­pe­ri­enced any short­age of la­bor.

She said the cost of nan­nies pro­vided by DOMO ranges from 11,000 to 13,800 yuan, de­pend­ing on the nanny’s age, ed­u­ca­tion, skills, rep­u­ta­tion and birth­place.

“Shanghai mothers, in gen­eral, pre­fer nan­nies from Shanghai or the neigh­bor­ing prov­inces of Jiangsu and Zhe­jiang, be­cause they share the same liv­ing habits, cus­toms, tastes and di­alects,” Du said.

An­other in­ter­net-based provider of do­mes­tic helpers, you­fu­, quoted 9,800 to 15,800 yuan per month. It said those in the higher price bracket are ei­ther more ex­pe­ri­enced, bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tors or are cer­ti­fied in ar­eas such as nu­tri­tion.

The com­pany said it had not raised prices for the Lu­nar New Year, but pointed out that work­ers have to be paid dou­ble dur­ing the three-day Spring Fes­ti­val due to na­tional reg­u­la­tions.

How­ever, as most em­ploy­ers set the terms — in­clud­ing salary lev­els — months in ad­vance, price hikes for the be­gin­ning of a new year are un­likely, said Zhang Baoxia, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Shanghai Home Ser­vice In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion.

“It’s true that de­mand for nan­nies and other helpers has in­creased, but the gap is not as ex­ag­ger­ated as some peo­ple have made out,” she added.

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