Some expat families rely on part-time or live-in ayis for babysitting and after-school care in Shanghai. Ayis – many with children of their own – can provide safe and low-cost child supervision.
If you rely on this, clearly communicate your child’s needs to the ayi - the Chinese Domestic helper - and prepare a detailed emergency plan. Despite its size and hectic, urban appearance, Shanghai is a kid-friendly place with active parents’ groups, play centres and accessible childcare resources. Many expat housing complexes have playgroups which help each other out with babysitting.