An au pair is in charge of taking care of the children and lives within the home of the family. The au pair is provided accommodation and meals and a stipend of spending money. The family gains a loving caretaker for their children and an addition to the family. Expats have both found work, and employed, au pairs.
Au Pair in Canada
Nannies or au pairs are moderately popular in Canada. Different agencies charge different fees and have varying standards, so make sure to compare companies.
The average cost of a nanny or care giver is between $200 - 400 a week. Some are paid by the hour, while other are paid by the week or month. Minimum wage in Québec is $9.90 per hour. The largest factor determining price is location within the city or in more rural areas. Another factor is if the nanny is live-in or live-out. To mitigate cost, nanny-sharing is becoming popular. Wages, working hours, and duties should be negotiated in the contract.
Live-In Care Giver Programme
Canada's Live-In Care Giver Programme (LCP) is administered by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). It allows for qualified individuals to provide full-time (minimum 30 hours per week) care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes without supervision. Live-in care givers must live in the private home where they work in Canada.
- Get a Lobour Market Opinon (LMO) from the future employer - Send an application for an LMO to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada (HRSDC/SC). If all the HRSDC/SC LCP requirements are met, your employer will be issued a positive LMO.
- Sign a written employment contract - Employer will send a copy of the employment contract and the positive LMO. You must submit the signed contract, together with the positive LMO issued to your employer, with your work permit application. This must be the same employment contract submitted to HRSDC/SC by your employer.
- Apply for a work permit.
What the au pair must know
Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency, there are a few typical requirements:
- Be conversant in French or English
- Be between 18-27 years old
- Have a High School diploma or equivalent
- Be able to commit to at least a 6 month placement
- Have at least 6 months child care experience
- Be able to provide 3 references regarding your experience and character
- Be in good physical and mental condition as evidenced by a Physician's Report. Agree to a background check.
In addition to these requirements, it is common for families to ask for non-smoking, possession of driver's license, responsible or non-drinkers, and for females. Many au pair families in Montréal prefer native French or English speakers. Some agencies may also require time spent tutoring or cleaning.
What the family has to do
The family has to welcome the au pair in thinking that she is not just an employee, but an important part of the family. Therefore they will make sure:
- The au pair must have her own bedroom.
- The au pair will work to a maximum of 40 hours per week with a minimum 2 days off during the week.
- They understand that having an au pair does not mean having a servant. Au pairs may be asked to do some housework as agreed upon in the contract.
- It may be of benefit to register the au pair at the family doctor.
- The family should pay an allowance, with the amount written into the contract.
An example contract is offered on the CIC site. Contracts should include:
- Mandatory employer-paid benefits (for example, transportation to Canada from your country of permanent residence or the country of habitual residence to the location of work in Canada, medical insurance coverage provided from the date of your arrival until you are eligible for provincial health insurance, workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of employment, all recruitment fees, including any amount payable to a third-party recruiter or agents hired by the employer that would otherwise have been charged to you)
- Job duties
- Hours of work
- Accommodation arrangements (including room and board)
- Holiday and sick leave entitlements
- Termination and resignation terms
How to Search for a Caregiver
An excellent place to look for a nanny is on our expat job listings for Montreal. You can also ask questions and find advice on the Montreal forums.
If hired through an agency, the agency usually guides the au pair through the process.
Canada does not have an official au pair program. Au pairs who are interested in working in Canada can work under the Live-in Caregiver Program. An employment contract between the employer and the care giver is required to obtain a visa before arrival at the Canadian embassy or consulate. After two years of employment, program participants can apply to become permanent residents of Canada.
For more information on visas in general, consult the section on "Passport and Visas".
Canada does not have an official au pair program. Au pairs who are interested in working in Canada can work
under the "Live-in Caregiver Program". The Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program is administered
by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
HRDC assesses and confirms offers of employment to foreign workers. CIC ensures that potential candidates
meet the criteria for the program and issues work permit.
An employment contract between the employer and the caregiver is required to obtain a visa before arrival at the
Canadian embassy or consulate.
This is a special program to bring workers to Canada to take care of children or elderly
if there are not enough Canadians to fill the available positions. After
two years of employment, program participants can apply to become permanent
residents of Canada.
If you need to find an au pair or an au pair job anywhere in the world or need more information, visit http://www.aupairconnect.com