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Dismantling the one-child policy and a burgeoning Chinese middle class have created a demand for domestic help in urban areas. Beijing’s Ayi (Nanny) University training program teaches childcare, early education, housekeeping, and other domestic skills. Couples cite the availability and cost of quality childcare as an obstacle to having a larger family.

Chinese women training to be qualified nannies, known in China as ayis, learn techniques with plastic babies at the Ayi University.

A Chinese woman takes a photo of a plastic baby used in a course. The eight-day course costs US $250, and provides successful participants with a certificate to present to prospective employers.

Students training to be qualified nannies, learn play techniques with a plastic baby. Couples are now allowed to have two children, though the availability and cost of quality childcare is cited as an obstacle for many middle class parents who want larger families.

A Chinese student learns play techniques. Most of the women attending the program are migrants from villages and cities across China who have moved to the capital to earn income to send home to their own families.

Students eat their lunch next to plastic babies used for training during a break in classes.

Chinese women learn bathing techniques on plastic babies.

Chinese women hold plastic babies as they prepare for a class photo.

A student's reflection is seen in a cabinet holding graduation certificates.