Monthly Archives: February 2012

Canada’s Critical Caregiver Shortage

There has never been an abundance of local live-in nannies, but until recently, there was at least, a good flow of live-in caregivers.

A local live-in nanny might be a caregiver who has completed 1 year of work who decides to work with another family. Or, this nanny may have been terminated due to financial difficulty on behalf of the employer. Either way, a local live-in caregiver is a nanny who already resides in Canada and is ready to work.

The availability of local live-in caregivers is a valuable market. For many families, waiting 6-8 months for a nanny’s arrival isn’t feasible.  Nor perhaps is the government’s requirement for the family to cover airfare costs and other fairly substantial fees. In such cases, it is far more convenient to look locally rather than abroad.

You may be wondering why “until recently” has been highlighted. As of December 2011, live-in caregivers who apply for their Permanent Resident status are granted work permits within approximately 2 months. This change has come about as there are approximately 29,000 live-in caregivers eligible for permanent resident status (PR) in 2012, but only + 9,000 caregivers will actually be approved. The Canadian government feels that if caregivers have completed their 24 months of live-in work, having their Open Work Pemits issued quickly will integrate them faster into Canadian society. This is positive for live-in caregivers, but unfortunately, creates difficulties for Canadian families.

What does this mean for the status of local live-in caregivers in Canada? Their numbers are dwindling like an endangered species. Rather than waiting 18-19 months for open work permits, the speedy instant processing means that many previously available live-in nannies, are now only interested in live-out positions. Such positions pay more than the minimum wage (Approximately $14 and up per hour) and also provide the much desired freedom to live separately from their employer. Unfortunately, many live-out nannies prefer working close to where they live and are generally only interested in positions offering regular work hours. Of course, the reason many families need a live-in caregiver is because of irregurlar hours due to shift work or travel.

Therefore, if Canadian families are searching for a local live-in caregiver, to avoid the waiting times for an overseas nanny, be forewarned that the process may take longer than expected. Quality local live-in caregivers are a dwindling market – if you interview a candidate who really fits with your family, don’t hesitate to offer them employment. The next available suitable candidate may not come along for a while. The other alternative is to plan ahead and hire a caregiver from overseas. Planning ahead is the key as the minimum wait is 6 months and up.

Contact International Nanny and Homecare Agency if you would like to hire a nanny or caregiver for your family.