Need at-home help? For everything from pet services to childcare, personal chefs, grocery delivery services and more, we have you covered!
Although we live in one of the most convenient cities in the world, we parents sometimes need a helping hand (or even just a break!). Yes, many of us are lucky enough to have extra help at home, but emergencies arise, and we find ourselves looking for alternatives. So what do you do in a pinch, when you either need childcare, pet-sitting services, a quick meal or even want some much-needed “me” time? We’ve compiled a list of services that can lighten the load and bring a little zen to even the most harried parents! Here are some go-to alternative resources that we think should be in your contacts.
Need someone on short notice? Babysitter.hk is touted for its prompt and polite customer service and professional nanny services. You are able to choose whether you want a permanent nanny or temporary nanny. Many nannies are also specifically maternity nurses, night nurses, and confinement ladies. You are able to choose the language and whether you want your child to be tutored while being babysat.
Babysitter.hk, 28th Floor, Dongchao Commercial Centre, 193 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 3678 8815, www.babysitter.hk
Au pairs are generally young women from a foreign country who live with a host family and take on tasks ranging from childcare, housework, or other duties to help you live life smoothly. Hiring an au pair is a good way for you to introduce your children to new languages while giving yourself some well-deserved down time. GreatAuPair has students who are willing to be live-in au pairs in the summer as well.
Hong Kong Teen PT is a Facebook group for young adults who are looking for part-time jobs, and there are endless high school and university students who are hoping to make some pocket money by babysitting and tutoring! Most of the kids are either attending universities or local and international high schools and many are willing to work throughout the school year. If you put up a post, expect to be inundated with eager faces and messages wanting to take on the job.
Hong Kong Teen PT, www.facebook.com/groups/HongKongTeenPT
Hong Kong Teen Sitters is another Facebook group that caps the age limit at 18 years old. This is a younger crowd than the Hong Kong Teen PT and is geared towards childcare specifically. A great option to help out young babysitters and youth with an interest in children!
Hong Kong Teen Sitters, www.facebook.com/groups/TeenSitters
Need a professional who speaks English well? Rent-a-Mum has a list of English speaking professional nannies curated to be the busy moms’ solution! It is able to provide temporary live-in childcare and permanent placements, perfect for short-term periods of leaving the children at home or for working parents. First-time parents will receive every tidbit of help from Maternity Placements, and Maternity Troubleshooting and is the most popular type of help. Rent a Mum advises that you book at least three months ahead.
Rent-a-Mum, 2523 4868, www.rent-a-mum.com
The Family Zone is run by a UK-trained nurse and provides a whole range of support services for Hong Kong parents. Its Helpers Assessment is a great support to busy mums and will really help with piece of mind, particularly when leaving children in the care of a new employee. An assessor will observe the helper’s day-to-day work, giving feedback and making recommendations for additional training where required.
The Family Zone, www.thefamilyzone.hk
The Nanny Experts will sort you out with a permanent nanny if you need one. With 24/7 customer service, the experts are always ready and on call. It has a list of nannies who are fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Spanish and French, amongst others, who can easily help your tot become fluent in a foreign language.
The Nanny Experts, The Nanny Experts, 23/F, On Hang Commercial Bldg, 145 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 6295 6051, www.thenannyexperts.hk
If cooking isn’t your thing at all but you’ve rashly invited several friends ‘round to your place for a dinner party after work, leaving you only an hour to prepare the food and get yourself ready (yep, this one’s from experience!), then Andrea Oschetti is your man. Andrea runs Cuore Private Chef and will create a delicious four-course, home-style Italian meal in your kitchen, even offering a cooking class as he makes dinner if you want to pick up some tips!
We’re huge fans of Invisible Kitchen for chef-catered BBQ events, buffet catering, and dinner parties! Chef Tom Burney will create an individualised menu to suit your needs. So, whether your event is on a junk boat trip, a romantic two-person date or an anniversary party (which Sassy Mama’s Senior Editor had and was thrilled by Chef Tom’s amazing menu!), you will feel you created a memorable meal for your guests.
Invisible Kitchen, 2711 5788, www.invisiblekitchen.com
Whether you’re a natural in the kitchen or struggle to even boil a pot of water, The Mixing Bowl has something for everyone! Catering to both adults and children, it offers a range of classes in various levels and cuisines. From learning how to make the classic French macaron to a class for kids on how to make breakfast, you’ll find it all here.
The Mixing Bowl, 23/F, The Pemberton, No. 20-26, Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, www.themixingbowlhk.com, 2524 0001
If your helper’s cooking could use a bit of help, there are two great cooking schools to consider. Superhelper, a nice little cooking school in Deepwater Bay, offers in-depth Western as well as Asian cooking classes and is run by a lovely Filipina lady. All classes are very hands-on, and your helper will bring food home for you to try after each lesson.
Superhelper, 36A Island Road, Hong Kong, 2812 0446 or 6490 7664, www.superhelper.org
If Superhelper is too far, another great option is Towngas. Towngas, located smack dab at the centre of the action in Causeway Bay, is an iconic Hong Kong cooking school that has been teaching helpers a range of cuisines for more than 40 years. Apparently, it’s the place where parents send their kids so they will know how to cook when they’re on their own!
Towngas, 9/F, Lee Theatre, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2576 1535, www.towngascooking.com
Other cooking classes:
Other at-home chef services:
Finding someone to do odd jobs around the house can be tricky and time-consuming. We found some great services that will help you out lickety-split, whether you need a renovation, or even just someone to run errands and pick up groceries. Providing professional and reliable services at reasonable prices, your problems will be fixed in a flash.
Ace Handyman, www.acehandyman.hk, 9078 1918, 6302 0004
Cheuk Kei Professional Maintenance Company, 5518 1445
Hello Toby, www.hellotoby.com, 3703 3250
SpotHelp, www.facebook.com/spothelp, 6190 7100
Housekeeping & Laundry Services
Hands up if your laundry is piling up in your apartment and you’ve got no time to sort them out? If you are, check out London’s finest dry cleaners, Jeeves! Providing services that focus on high quality clothing and meticulous fabric care such as dry cleaning, retexturing, handbags and briefcase restoration as well as wedding dress preservation, your problems will be solved in a flash.
Jeeves, www.jeeveshongkong.com, 2973 0071
Is your helper on leave and your apartment is starting to look like a landfill site? Call Merry Maids for a reliable, (and, crucially, legal) temporary or regular part-time cleaner to set you straight. All cleaners are trained, reference checked, and are covered by employer’s insurance which protects you from any liability if they were to have an accident in your home. Your pad will be pristine before you know it!
Merry Maids, Unit E, 20/F, Sun Ying Industrial Centre, 9 Tin Wan Close, Aberdeen, Hong Kong. 2857 4038 or 2857 4393, www.merrymaids.com.hk
Prestige Home Services
Serving Hong Kong since 2000, Prestige Home Services prides itself on its excellent customer service and home cleaning. It offers a multitude of services ranging from part-time helpers, deep cleaning, marble, carpet to upholstery and curtain cleaning. With weekly and monthly packages to choose from, housekeeping has never been easier.
Prestige Home Services, www.phshk.com, 2893 7387
Take the pressure off cleaning by enlisting the help of Smart Home. With home assistant services including pre move-in and post renovation cleaning, pest control, air-conditioner cleaning and more, you’ll be guaranteed a squeaky clean apartment by the time you come home.
Smart Home, www.shome.com.hk, 2717 1196
Top Maids Home Cleaning Co.
Looking for something on the more affordable side? Top Maids Home Cleaning Co. will sort you out. With regular housekeeping, spring and office cleaning services, you’ll be impressed by the affordable price tags and reliable services.
Top Maids Home Cleaning Co., www.topmaid.com.hk 2151 1280
Whether you need laundry help or just don’t have a laundry machine, Sunshine Laundry can provide laundry and ironing service at multiple locations around Hong Kong. It also has pick up and drop off service. If your laundry machines can’t wash duvets, comforters or huge loads of clothes, Sunshine Laundry will handle it all.
Other laundry and dry cleaning services with pick-up and delivery:
If you’ve got a beach holiday coming up but are pressed for time for those essential little areas of maintenance, then make sure you contact Shabnam. She and her team of sisters can come to your home for eyebrow threading, bleaching and facials. Her speciality is waxing, and the word on the street is that she’s about as painless as it gets – praise indeed!
Shabnam, 9561 2241
If you have a big event coming up but no time to try new makeup styles, Jaime at Smudge is your lady. She can help you out for a one-off event, create beautiful special occasion looks and also offers beauty lessons so you can recreate a little of her magic later.
Smudge, 6907 8773, www.smudgemakeupartistry.com
The Sponge team has quickly become our go-to at-home hair and makeup service. These artists will help us look and feel fabulous for any occasion. It offers women a range of quick and stylish hair and makeup looks. We’ve had these experts come to the Sassy Mama office, our personal homes and selected party locations – so we completely trust the styles on offer.
Style Brigade is on call to pamper, preen and leave you looking party-perfect. All of the stylists have been trained at top schools (such as Toni & Guy and Vidal Sasoon), so all you have to do is take your pick. You can have makeup stylists come directly to your home, or opt to get a blow-out at one of your favourite salons.
Style Brigade, www.stylebrigade.co
Other at-home pampering:
Even though cats may not need as much care as dogs, finding someone to feed and water your feline when you’re travelling is often a problem for Hong Kongers. Cat Sitter Hong Kong can help you out when you need someone to watch and take care of your kitty. Cat Sitter Hong Kong requires a meeting with your cat or cats in your home so they can provide the specific services and needs you have for your particular fluff ball.
Dr. David Gething is the man you need on speed-dial for any pet health issues. As Principal Veterinarian for Creature Comforts, Dr David offers house calls for animal wellness checks, vaccinations and even dentistry, and can arrange transportation to their animal hospital where necessary. It also offers a delivery service for animal food and medications, which is super-convenient, especially for Hong Kong animal owners who don’t own a car.
Creature Comforts, Creature Comforts Housecall, 9773 0372, www.creaturecomforts.com.hk
Creature Comforts, Creature Comforts Veterinary Clinic TKO, Shop G19, Popwalk 2, 19 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O, 2915 6266
Creature Comforts, East Island Animal Hospital, 256 Shau Kei Wan Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong, 2915 3999, www.eastislandvets.com.hk
Living in HK means the ability to travel is at our fingertips, but those of us with dogs often worry about who will take care our pets while we’re away. If you feel guilty being gone all day or want to give your pooch his or her own holiday, check out Dog Dayz. It prides itself on being a home away from home from your pooch. In the summer, the air conditioners run 24 hours, and in the colder winter months Dog Dayz provides space heaters. Children and other dogs come in to provide some much needed socialisation as well. If you have an aggressive pooch, Dog Dayz will have to turn them away for the safety of other dogs, so make sure to read its terms and conditions carefully. Pickup and drop-off service is available at an additional cost, and boarding costs between $300 to $320 per day.
Dog Dayz, Dog Dayz, Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung Country Park, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2987 1597 or 9284 1491, www.dbdogdayz.com
Created in 2013, Furrenz has a list of 15 reliable sitters all over Hong Kong from Hong Kong Island to New Territories and is driven by the maxim that our furry friends (shortened to Furrenz) deserve the best care. You are also able to read the profiles of each of the 15 sitters available so your pets have the most fantastic and professional pet care.
Furrenz Pet Sitters, 8199 9813, www.furrenzpetsitters.com
Pawsitively Dogs Hong Kong
Although they only offer boarding, the five-out-of-five-star reviews on Facebook warrant a mention! Its founder, Daisy Sit, has more than 15 years of experience at a veterinary clinic and working as a kennel manager, and her passion is evident!
Pawsitively Dogs Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/daisypawsitivelydogs
Busy caring for a new baby and can’t give much attention to your pup? Or do you work long hours and can’t get home to Fido in time? Pawshake is able to help! Featuring everything from dog walking to dog boarding to pet sitting, you can choose from a wide list of available sitters/walkers. Cats get some love, too, as there are plenty of cat sitters. There is also a doggy day care where your little animal can interact and make friends!
Pawshake, Pawshake, 3/F, Citicorp Centre, 18 Whitfield Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, www.pawshake.com.hk
Pet Sitting Diary trains dogs so if you have a new baby, this is the best place to go to for help. Perhaps your pet is becoming aggressive with the arrival of the little strange being. Pet Sitting Diary’s dog trainers are every skillful in handling dogs with every aspect of their personality. Pet sitting and pet walking are always options.
Pet Sitting Diary, 5378 2785, www.petsittingdiary.com
This full-service site offers everything from pet taxi (in case you need to take your animal to the vet), dog walking, pet grooming services, a veterinarian, or daycare. The daycare and pet sitting options include every creature from dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds, reptiles and more. If your unique pet is not on the list here, just write what it is and write down everything that the sitter needs to know!
For (fancy) dogs only! Pet World Resort is located in Yuen Long, and has pick-up and drop-off service for pets available. Its highlights include professional dog training, grooming and styling, doggie daycare, and lodging that isn’t your typical kennel or boarding facility. It is fitted with premier suites with Kuranda orthopedic beds and gourmet treats. Your dog can have a fun, activity-filled package involving swimming or group play dates. Pet World Resort has a large outdoor pavilion and grassy play yards, so don’t be surprised if he wants to stay!
Pet World Resort, Pet World Resort, 351 Shiu Mei Tsuen, Yuen Long, Hong kong, 2470 6928, www.petworldresort.com
There are loads of local sitters in Hong Kong who are willing to sit for free! Sign up and connect with your sitter before you send your little furry friend, or invite them over to your house for a meet-and-greet. You are able to read reviews about each one before you decide.
Trusted Housesitters, www.trustedhousesitters.com
Leaving your pets to go away on holiday can be stressful for your furry friends. The unfamiliar environment of a kennel or cattery can cause extra anxiety and confusion, and they will often take a while to re-settle into regular routines when you bring them back home. Wish You Were Here offers pet sitting services in your own home, with daily visits for feeding, walking and grooming. Sitters can also help with any training issues your pet may have.
Wish You Were Here, 6252 9821, www.wishyouwereherehk.com
Does your husband need a bit more time with the kids but feels he can’t quite do it solo yet? Hong Kong Dads offers casual and informal playgroups at the beach or a park. Hong Kong Dads is open to anyone who’s a father, no matter if you’re a stay-at-home dad or a working dad. The only criteria is to want to spend time with your little ones and meet other dads! Hong Kong Dads meets every week for a playgroup and once a month in the evenings for a drink and a bite without the kids.
Hong Kong Dads, www.hkdads.org
Mothers of Multiples
Are your little triplets draining you out (how could they not?!)? Check out Hong Kong Mothers of Multiples (‘Moms’) for some help along your journey handling two or more tots! You can connect with a support base and participate in fun events, including second-hand shopping!
Mothers of Multiples, www.hkmothersofmultiples.com
This Facebook group is for mothers to support one another, give and receive advice on chores and mothering while planning and connecting with each other through group playdates.
This article was originally published on 21 August, 2012, and has been updated.
Feature image courtesy of Getty Images; image 2 courtesy of Getty Images; image 3 by Alyson McPhee on Unsplash; image 4 by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash; image 5 by Dan Gold on Unsplash; image 6 courtesy of Getty Images; image 7 courtesy of Getty Images; image 8 courtesy of Getty Images; image 9 by Helena Lopes on Unsplash