Caregivers' high turnover is a problem for orphanages

Caregivers' high turnover is a problem for orphanages

China's orphanages face challenges in retaining and attracting caregivers, as nannies are able to earn higher wages from private employers.

Tan Mingzhu, director of a child welfare home in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, said that she felt anxious as almost every month, several child care workers are quitting because of low wages.

Tan's welfare house is home to about 270 children who have severe diseases or disabilities, including cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.

"Each caregiver in our house needs to take care of about four disabled children at a slender monthly salary of about 1,200 yuan (S$245), but a yuesao, who takes care of the new-born baby and mother, in Nanchang earns about 5,000 yuan to 6,000 yuan a month," she said.

Tan's institution has about 80 caregivers and the turnover rate is worryingly high, especially among young nursing-school graduates.

"I often hear loyal caregivers complain that if I can't raise their wages, they'll have to leave because of rising prices and the high costs of raising a family," she said.

A child care worker from the institution who wished to only give her surname as Zhang said she has no idea how long she will continue to work at Tan's orphanage.

The 38-year-old, along with her husband and their 10-year-old child, live in a low-rent house provided by the government for low-income families.

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