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.
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.
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.
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.
An example contract is offered on the CIC site. Contracts should include:
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".
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