If you move to Thailand with your family, sooner or later you’re going to want a maid or nanny.
Nannies and maids (or mae baan in Thai) play very similar roles in Thailand, so that’s something to consider when searching for one while living in the country.
In general, maids and nannies can clean your house, babysit your children, and cook for your family. If you don’t have children, they can be your housekeeper.
That said, this guide will show you everything you need to know when it comes to hiring a maid or nanny in Thailand, from where to find one to how much they’ll cost and everything in between.
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- Are Maids and Nannies the Same People in Thailand?
- Where to Find Maids and Nannies
- Now, on to You
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Are Maids and Nannies the Same People in Thailand?
While maids and nannies are similar, they actually play different roles.
To put it simply, maids (or housekeeper) are people who takes care of everything when it comes to cleaning. They will make sure every part of your house is clean. Maids also clean dishes and do laundry.
On the other hand, nannies help take care of your children, feed them, play with them, help them develop, take them to swimming classes, and report everything back to you.
Some expats hire both maids and nannies, while others hire only nannies and pay them more to do all the cleaning as well.
If you want to hire a maid or nanny, there are a few options available. Let’s take a look.
In Thailand, you can hire Thai maids or nannies or you can hire them from a nearby country, such as the Myanmar, Cambodia, or Laos.
While less common, you can also find nannies from Africa and Philippines, but it can be illegal since these nationalities are unable to get a work permit for working as a maid or nanny.
Nannies from different countries all have their own pros and cons.
Non-Thai nannies tend to speak better English. Many are also more skilled and more diligent than Thai nannies because they come to Thailand for work so that they can send money home to support their families. So, they tend to have better work ethics.
However, they are some expat families who prefer to hire Thai maids and nannies who can’t speak English. This way, their kids can learn Thai from a native speaker.
When you hire non-Thai nannies you also have to help them with their visas and work permits. Basically, it needs to be renewed every two years and costs around THB6,500 to THB10,000 per year. If you go through an agency to find a maid or nanny, then the agency will help you handle this.
Please note that work permit requirements and procedures for maids and nannies are different from what you have to go through in Thailand. This is because there’s a specific type of visa and work permit for people from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam who do construction and maid or nanny work in Thailand.
The details are listed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Thailand and each of the respective countries.
On the other hand, you don’t have to deal with any visa and work permit issues for Thai maids and nannies.
Certificates and Licenses
Unfortunately, there are no certificates or licenses for maids or nannies in Thailand. In fact, anyone can sign up to do the job.
We’ve even see someone who holds a bachelor’s degree from a reputable university in Thailand leave her resume in a Facebook group and ask for a nanny job.
Since there are no certificates or licenses, this makes it challenging to find a good maid or nanny.
Many expats who move to Thailand find it hard to secure a good nanny, as some of them can’t take care of kids or cook.
But there are also nannies who can cook any type of food, including Western food, know how to take care of kids, and can even speak Thai and English.
So, it’s quite normal not to find a good nanny on your first try in Thailand.
Working from nine to five from Monday to Friday doesn’t apply to maids and nannies in Thailand.
Instead, working hours are very different. Hours are based on what you need. For example, some people ask their maids and nannies to work 12-hour days from Monday through Saturday, while others only hire for weekend work.
While work hours are flexible, if you request odd hours, it can be challenging to find maids and nannies for your family.
Live-In Vs. Live-Out Maids and Nannies
Hiring full-time maids and nannies doesn’t mean they need to live with you. They can come to work in the mornings and go back home in the evenings.
However, many full-time nannies, especially non-Thais, prefer a live-in work situation. This is because they can save money on accommodations and food.
How Much Do Maids and Nannies Cost?
Rates differ based on your work requirements and how competent the maid or nanny is.
To put it simply, you pay around THB200 per hour. For half-day work, you can expect to pay around THB500. For a full-day job (eight hours), then you pay around THB800 to THB1,000.
For full-time maids and nannies, people pay around THB18,000 to THB20,000 per month, on average. For live-in maids and nannies, that cost starts THB15,000 per month. Please note that these are only average rates. Some expats pay more or less.
Some people pay THB22,000 or more per month for live-in maids and nannies.
You can pay them in cash or via wire transfer.
If you hire full-time maids or nannies, you may need to pay their social security. It’s actually a requirement for those who are under the MOU and who come from Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao.
You should also give full-time maids or nannies at least 13 holidays per year.
If you own a company in Thailand, you could put them under the company’s social security, give bonuses, provide health insurance, and treat them similarly to other employees.
Where to Find Maids and Nannies
Now that you know everything about maids and nannies in Thailand, let’s find out where can you find them.
There are actually many ways you can find maids and nannies in Thailand. In the next sections are three of them.
Personal networks are a great way to find maids and nannies in Thailand.
For example, you can ask a maid who works in your office to do part-time work at your house on the weekends. If you live in a condo, some maids at the condo would be happy to clean your condo to earn some extra money.
Or you can ask those maids for recommendations. Maids usually have a lot of connections that you can tap into. Sometimes, they may even recommend their family members to work with you.
However, this method may not work for finding a nanny, since it’s more specific it’s harder. For finding nannies, we recommend expat groups.
Expat groups are a good way to find nannies, especially in groups such as Bangkok Expat Families.
In these kind of groups, expats sometimes write posts in which they are looking for new homes for their full-time nannies because the family is leaving Thailand.
Normally, this is a really great way to find good nannies because they already have experience working with expats. And if their previous family is going an extra mile to find them a new home, you know they must be good.
You can also write your own post looking for a maid. Be sure to list out all information, such as the following:
- working hours
- what you expect your nanny to do, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.
- how many members there are in your family
- how many kids you have
- whether or not you have pets
- expected pay
- any benefits you’re willing to provide
After you post, other members may give you recommendations or a maid or nanny may apply for the job.
If you can read Thai or know someone who can help you, you can also look at specific Facebook groups for maids and nannies in Thailand, such as this nationwide maids in Thailand group and this one for Live-In Burmese and Lao Nannies.
Please note that you should carefully review all candidates when using these groups.
If you want to make sure you get a qualified maid or nanny, you can hire professional recruiters.
While there aren’t any licenses or certificates that qualify maids and nannies in Thailand, these recruiters usually have their own in-house training to improve the skills of their candidates.
In addition, they also help take care of legal issues such as visas and work permits, which will make life easier for you.
Recruiters also offer guarantees and can replace maids and nannies if they’re not a good fit for your family.
These agents may charge a one-time fee of THB5,000 to THB10,000.
Here’s a list of professional recruiters you can use:
With all that covered, let’s go on to the final consideration — contracts.
Unless you hire a professional recruiter, you don’t need contracts when it comes to hiring maids and nannies. When it comes to hiring maids and nannies, the legal system in Thailand is still lacking at the moment.
In these cases, you agree over a handshake. However, this can be beneficial to both you and your maid or nanny.
If your maid or nanny doesn’t perform their job well, you can find a new one without being bound by a contract. On the other hand, if a maid or a nanny doesn’t like working with you, they can also find another family to work with.
However, it’s still possible to make a contract in English and ask your maid or nanny to sign it. But they may not want to sign a contract that lasts longer than one year.
Now, on to You
You should take your time finding a maid or nanny. After all, it’s the person who will stay with you, take care of your kids, and live in your house almost all the time.
If you find a good one, it’s best to stay with them. There are even some expat families who fly their nannies with them no matter where in the world they go to live.