Chinese parents prefer hiring Filipino domestic workers for their English-speaking skills so they can help teach their children the language.

In a commentary from Shine, columnist Li Qian said more and more Chinese parents prefered to hire foreign domestic workers rather than Chinese ones to take care of their children.

Erin Tsai, a US citizen and mother of three, said she was raised by Filipino domestic workers and wanted to hire a Filipino to help take care of her children. Tsai said she already had two Chinese domestic workers, but wanted to look for a Filipino to help out.

“I can’t find a Chinese domestic who can deal with so many things by herself,” Tsai said. However, foreigners were banned from taking low-end jobs in China. Many Filipino maids were working illegally in the country because of the labor ban.

Xu Jun, who works for the CC Shanghai Ayi Agency, said there were about 1,000 Filipino domestic workers with working visas and residence permits in Shanghai, but not all of them were licensed maids.

“They are also illegal, but at least the authorities have their real information and can track them down. Many more Filipino maids remain in the country completely illegally,” Xu said.

Xu said many families want Filipino domestic workers to give their children a boost in English and would like the policy to be further eased and allow more Filipinos to work in China.