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 Pairs are moderately popular in Canada. Different agencies charge different fees and have varying standards, so make sure to compare companies when researching.
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 Ontario (the province Toronto is located) between $13.00-$15.00 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.
Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency, but there are a few typical requirements:
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 prefer native English speakers. Some agencies may also require time spent tutoring. Occasionally a host family in Canada may be willing to pay for your travel expenses to/from Canada, but they are not obligated to do so. Be prepared to fund your own travel expenses.
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:
Canada does not have an official au pair program, however people aged 18 to 35 may qualify for a working holiday visa, called the International Experience Canada. which can also be used to spend your time in Canada as an au pair.
If hired through an agency, the agency usually guides the au pair through the process.
For more information on visas in general, consult the section on "Passport and Visas".
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