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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Big need for mother-and-baby nurses (3)

By Huang Ying (China Daily)

10:57, February 20, 2012

"The operating costs of agencies would significantly rise if they employ these women workers because they will have to pay employee insurance fees. Further, rural women entered the industry simply in the hope of making money and don't want to end up living in the city," said a staff member surnamed Xu from China Home Service Association, who preferred not to be identified. He added: "That's why 90 percent of enterprises in the industry are intermediary agencies."

The cost of confinement nurses has been pushed increasingly high by the competition between household service agencies amid a growing demand for caregivers aged between 35 and 50.

The monthly pay of a confinement nurse was just 3,500 yuan ($555.56) at most in 2007. Last year the price surged three times, which propelled the figure to between 6,000 yuan and 9,000 yuan a month, Cui said, adding that a few individuals receive more than 10,000 yuan.

"New household service providers will bid a higher price for experienced practitioners because it helps them to gain market share," Cui said.

At Baby Care & Education, there are three levels of confinement nurses. Their pay ranges from below 5,000 yuan to 8,900 yuan a month, depending on quality of service and experience.

Many people saw the potential of the market and remain optimistic about the industry's prospects.

"As a baby boomer born after 1980, I realized that people of my generation are getting ready to give birth now. Many of my friends are demanding a good-quality confinement nurse," Yuan Weijia said when asked about her intention to open a high-end yuezi club to serve up to 31 clients in the Tongzhou district of Beijing.

Yuan is chairman of Better Care Confinement Club, which is scheduled to officially start operations at the beginning of March. Her full-time job is as vice-president of the capital market division at Deutsche Bank AG.

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