. . . English was the main reason why [the woman profiled] hired a non-Korean to take care of her son after school, clean her three-bedroom apartment and do some light cooking.
The program is similar to the western au pair system. An au pair is a foreign national domestic assistant, working for, and living as part of, a host family.
Kim says her son has become much more comfortable with English after interacting with the Filipino domestic help, who spends about 10 hours per day at her house.
``She speaks a little Korean, but I specifically asked her to speak in English to my son,'' said the mom, who is starting to get worried that he would experience linguistic confusion from getting exposed to too much English before learning Korean fully.
Despite some concerns that may rise, education-frenzied mothers like Kim are becoming increasingly open to hiring foreign helpers to get the best of both worlds.
``The demand is enormous,'' said Kim Seok, who runs an Internet site (www.nannyjob.co.kr) that helps connect parents and jobseekers. He explained that Filipinos are most favored because of their English fluency, but Chinese caregivers are also growing popular with moms wanting to teach their kids Chinese at an early age.
Han In-kyung, manager at Family Care, a job placement agency, added that aside from the language benefits, non-Korean workers are cheaper to hire.
Korean housekeepers typically gets paid 40,000 to 50,000 won per four-hour standard shift, but their foreign counterparts receive about 50,000 to 60,000 won for an eight-hour workday. Live-in ``au pairs'' are also less costly.
Found via Extra! Korea. The article says there are some 4,000 foreigners working as nannies here. I very much appreciate not having to take care of some rich lady's kid ten hours a day for half of what I get paid now. It sucks to see these women, who are considered second-rate alternatives to native speaker English teachers, are getting paid half as much for twice as much work. If you browse the Nannyjob website you'll see that these women are charging (or getting, hard to tell) around 10,000 won per hour, or 50,000 won per day, or 1,100,000 to 1,500,000 won per month. But in spite of the long shifts and comparatively little money, this line of work could provide a way for mail-order brides to get out of the house, an opportunity they might not have otherwise. It's just too bad they're getting low-balled for two skills so highly valued by busy, wealthy parents: housekeeping and English teaching.
Chinese nannies are sort of popular among the wealthy and snooty in the US; more on that here, here, and here, though you probably could just google it yourself.