Monthly Archives: April 2017

Where to Au Pair: Au Pair in Kelowna, BC

If you’re considering being an Au Pair in Canada then moving to the Kelowna region will be a great adventure! You will love to live in a friendly, cosmopolitan city which offers plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, simply continue reading to discover 5 reasons why you should seriously consider moving to Kelowna.

Kelowna boasts a world class ski resort 

Kelowna is home to the Big White Ski Resort, which boasts 118 unique trails. So, whether you’ve been skiing or your life or are keen to learn how to ski or snow board, you’ll be sure to find plenty of trails which suit your level of experience. If you’re a newbie make sure to take advantage of Big White Ski Resort’s ski school, which offers invaluable lessons from highly qualified ski instructors. 

As an Au Pair living in the Kelowna area, it’s well worth purchasing a season pass, which boasts unbeatable value for money and will allow you to hit the slopes as often as you’d like. As a season pass holder you’ll be about to enjoy free night skiing sessions and will also be able to make use of the resort’s ice skating rink and Nordic trails, free of charge. 

Kelowna boasts a wide variety of word class vineyards 

Kelowna is home to over 20 award winning vineyards, examples of which include Mission Hill Winery, Quails’ Gate Winery, Ancient Hill Winery and Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery. 

So, if you fancy spending your weekends vineyard hopping and wine tasting, you’ll love living in Kelowna. As a bonus, the majority of vineyards, which are in Kelowna, also specialize in offering gourmet café style lunches.

Kelowna backs straight on to the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake

If you’re interested in moving to a picturesque city, it’s well worth considering moving to Kelowna as the central business district looks straight out over Okanagan Lake. In fact, downtown Kelowna is home to two impressive public parks Waterfront Park and City Park. 

Waterfront Park winds around the shore of Okanagan Lake and features a wide boardwalk, a beautifully landscaped garden and a dedicated swimming area as well as a manmade beach. If you have children, they’ll love growing up with Waterfront Park on their doorstep. 

City Park is also incredibly popular with locals and tourists and features a wide boardwalk, which is popular amongst joggers as well as a children’s playground, a skate park and a dedicated picnic area. 

Kelowna offers some of the best beaches in the Okanagan. Young adults will enjoy the busy atmosphere of Gyro Beach, while families with small children may prefer the quieter Rotary Park Beach. If you are looking for lots of facilities, City Park features one of the largest sand beaches in town as well as a picnic area, basketball and tennis court, children’s water park and a skateboarding park. Waterfront Park offers a semi-secluded beach and bird sanctuary for visitors that are looking for a quiet place to relax and enjoy the sunshine and nature.

Kelowna offers individuals an active lifestyle that few cities can match 

If you love nothing more than spending time exploring the great outdoors, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Kelowna as you’ll be able to spend your free time water-skiing, mountain biking, swimming, skiing and hiking. As Kelowna boasts plenty of mountains, forests and parks, which are just waiting to be explored. Even after a year of living in Kelowna, you’ll still be able to find new hiking trails, that you haven’t explored. 

If you choose to move to Kelowna, it’s well worth joining one of Kelowna’s many recreational clubs. Examples of which include the Kelowna Yacht Club and Hiking Addiction. The latter of which is Kelowna’s official hiking club. After all, there’s no better way to settle in to a new city, than to make new friends who share your passion for adventure. 

Kelowna’s restaurants and cafes feature local produce on their menus 

If you’re a fan of fresh food, you’ll enjoy eating out in Kelowna as many of Kelowna’s most popular restaurants make a point of featuring local fare. As an example, Old Vines Restaurant, offers an ever-changing seasonal menu which features vegetables which are grown in Old Vine Restaurant’s on-site garden. As well as locally sourced steak and seafood. 

If you’re looking to grab a quick bite of food on the go, you may also be interested in checking out Okanagan Street Food, which offers fresh seafood tacos. Which are full of locally caught snapper. 

One bonus to living in Kelowna, is that no matter whether you prefer French, Thai, Mexican, Italian or Canadian fare, you’ll be sure to find a restaurant which caters to your tastes. 

Life & Arts Festival

This family orientated festival showcases local talent and the growing cultural district of Kelowna. Enjoy stage and street performances in music, live theater as well as culinary and performing arts. With three stage venues as well as an artisan market, this festival offers a little something for everyone.

Kasugai Japanese Garden

Located within a walled enclosure behind City Hall, Kelowna’s Kasugai Japanese Garden is almost completely hidden from the streets. Built to represent the sister-city relationship with Kasugai, this sanctuary provides a relaxing escape from the busy downtown areas of Kelowna during the summer months. The garden itself features a walking path around the perimeter, footbridge, koi fish pond, waterfall and many scenic sitting areas.

Mission Creek Path

Mission Creek Park offers 12 km of average to difficult trails, including Mission Creek which is a famous trail for walking, cycling, and jogging. The path begins at the intersection of Dilworth and Springfield and continues all the way to Lakeshore Road. Dogs are allowed in this park. Enjoy living in Kelowna.

Tours in different locations

Kelowna has no shortage of high-quality places to visit, and there are different places known both for it’s delicious organically grown wine and signature on-site pyramid. Unlike many of the other wineries in the area, it offers free guided tours several times a day followed by a complimentary tasting.

Heritage sites

This heritage site is where the famous missionary ( Pandosy) ministered for the original settlers. Founded in 1860, this site marks an important period in history. Today you can explore the four-acre property, which contains several of the original buildings that have been restored and filled with antiques unique to the area.

Bear Creek Park

Located in West Kelowna, this area offers more than 5 km of well-marked hiking trails, including Bear Creek Canyon Trail. This popular trail makes a loop of the canyon and includes a footbridge over the creek, a sturdy staircase on the side of the mountain and several viewpoints offering spectacular vistas. The park is also home to a 400m sandy beach, playground and summer concession.

 

Reasons to Hire a Nanny or Au Pair Through a Full Service Agency

Au pair and child

Many parents who are considering hiring a nanny or au pair wonder if they should use an agency?

As we’ve discussed at length in a number of blog posts so far this year, the Canadian childcare crisis is very real and even though the new federal budget introduced a series of proposals which would in theory increase the number of childcare spots available as well as make those spots more affordable, it’s unlikely that any changes will go into effect until 2018.

If this is so, what are Canadian families to do?

In consideration of the number of childcare options potentially available to families, the following are some of the reasons why it might be in your family’s best interest to hire a caregiver (such as a nanny or an au pair) through an agency like us.

Family service Halifax

1. Convenience

This is the main reason families come to us: we save you time so that you can spend it with your friends and family.

We handle all the particulars of the Au Pair application and placement process so that you don’t have to. Because trust us: it is no easy job finding the ideal Au Pair or caregiver for a particular family.

Let us bring you the wisdom of our twenty years of experience as a caregiver placement agency and help you find your perfect match.

2. Reliability

The bottom line is this: we only place caregivers and au pairs who have been thoroughly screened by us or one of our partner agencies abroad.

All of our applicants undergo an extensive screening process (including background checks, medical exams, and character references) and all of them have previously verified experience working with children (or the elderly, in the case of our caregiver program).

So, while sites like Craigslist and Canadian Nanny might be the more popular way to find childcare these days, with an agency like us, providing you with a greater peace of mind is part and parcel of our commitment to you.

3. Practicability

Hiring a in home caregiver such as an au pair or nanny can provide you with the quick fix you need if you’re stuck in a jam.

Our au pair placement process can take as little as four weeks! Check out some of the profiles we have available now.

One of the other benefits of hiring an au pair or a nanny through an agency like us is the opportunity for a replacement. It’s not a particularly enjoyable topic of conversation, but unfortunately, not all caregiver placements work out.

This is why we have measures in place to provide you with replacement au pair or nanny, should you need one. It is not often that childcare options provide you with such a reliable backup.

4. Support

An invaluable part of our services includes providing ongoing support to you and your caregiver before and during their placement.

One of the most rewarding parts of our job is keeping up with all of our clients and caregivers by phone and email to make sure everything is going as smoothly as possible and that the line of communication between Employer (family) and Employee (caregiver) is always open.

To put it simply: we are here for you, your family and your caregiver.

These are all of the things that we, a longstanding caregiver placement agency, can offer you when it comes to reliable, affordable childcare.

Give us a call today to find out more: 1 (800) 820 8308.

Canada Wide Coordinators for Personal Service

Where to Au Pair: Halifax

Halifax CitadelThis week’s edition of our ‘Where to Au Pair’ series will take us to Nova Scotia, one of the three provinces in eastern Canada known collectively as the Maritimes.

What the Maritimes may lack in city size and population when compared with their ‘big sister’ provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, as this article explains, they make up for in stunning natural beauty.

Let’s zoom in on Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital, and find out why it might be a great location for your future au pair placement in Canada!

Halifax Waterfront1. Proximity to the water

If you are used to living by the water, or have never had the chance to do so, Halifax boasts one of the most impressive waterfront walks in Canada.

While a Google Image search alone doesn’t even begin to do it justice, Halifax’s waterfront consistently ranks at the top of everyone’s list as one of the top things to do in the whole of Nova Scotia.

Halifax Public Gardens2. Public parks

Right in the heart of Halifax lies the famous Halifax Public Gardens, purportedly one of the finest examples of a Victorian Garden in North America.

Talk about a perfect place to stroll with your au pair kids or on your own to find a quiet escape from the bustle of the city!

Halifax Beaches

3. Access to beaches

You guessed it, proximity to water means proximity to beaches.

According to the article aptly titled ’25 things about the Maritimes that make the rest of Canada jealous,’ you are never more than an hour away from a glorious, saltwater beach.

Talk about some picture-perfect, Instagram-worthy views, too.

Halifax Festivals

4. Arts and culture events

The list of arts and culture events (from music and food festivals, to fundraising events and pride parades) is jaw-droppingly long for a capital city in such a small province, which leads us to hypothesize that there would never be shortage of fun and exciting things to do during your au pair placement!

Family service Halifax

5. High quality of life

The quality of life in Halifax is unsurprisingly high, as any Halifax local (‘Haligonian’) can attest to.

And frankly, how could it not be, given its idyllic location, its thriving arts and culture scene, its enviable of manicured public parks and heritage buildings hearkening a not so distant past, and the unbeatable access it provides to the rest of the naturally beautiful province and the Maritimes as a whole.

I don’t know about you, but as a Canadian, but I’d be hard-pressed to think of a location in Canada I want to visit more than Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the rest of the insatiable Maritime provinces.

Many thanks to the following useful articles and webpages:

Visit Halifax

Destination Halifax

TheLoop.ca

Find A Summer Au Pair Now

Family  picnicking together

Can you believe it? Summer is only a couple of months away!

The last day of school for most Canadian children falls sometime in June, which begs the question: have you found childcare for the summer yet?

Given that childcare in Canada is still considered to be in a state of crisis, it can be extremely difficult for Canadian families to find both affordable and reliable childcare, especially for the summer months.

So what can you and your family do to avoid being childcare-less come the day school lets out?

You can start by planning ahead.

woman reading to girl

The following are some suggestions for getting a leg up in your search for summer childcare:

1. Do your research.

Know your options, research those options, and perform due diligence.

Ask yourself questions like: will my child be safe in this environment? Will my child be happy in this environment?

2. Weigh the costs.

Can I afford sending my child to this daycare or summer camp facility? Will I be able to transport my child to and from this facility easily?

Does this facility offer enough daily coverage (in terms of hours of operation)? Will I be able to drop them off and pick them off on time without it interfering with my work schedule?

3. Talk to other parents.

The best way to find out about the qualifications or reliability of a childcare facility is by asking people whose children, or whose friends’ children, have already experienced it.

Facebook and other social media sites are great resources for this.

Host Family App jpg

4. Start the application process as soon as possible.

There is a good chance that many daycare or summer activity camps are already at capacity.

We’ve discussed this before, and we’ll reiterate it again: there is a bona fide childcare crisis in Canada, and unfortunately it seems like not even the new budget will make much of an improvement, or at least not until 2018 at the earliest.

However, there may yet be a saving grace for you.

Traveling WomanOne of the services we offer is the placement of au pairs (from either Germany, Australia, New Zealand, or Austria) with Canadian families.

An au pair is typically a young woman between the ages of 18 and 30 who comes to Canada on a Working Holiday Visa in order to live with a host family and take care of their children between 25-40 hours per week.

The best part about hiring an au pair is that they are flexible; as they are live-in (unlike nannies, who are either live-in or live-out), it is easy for them to adjust to your schedule and act as a reliable third parent on your parenting team.

Plus, the relationship they will cultivate with you and your family over the course of their placement will become like that of an extended family member, an older sibling for your children to play and spend time with.

International Nannies currently has only a handful of profiles of au pair applicants who are available to come to Canada, but we are confident we will be receiving many more in weeks leading up to summer.

All you have to do to start the process of hiring an au pair is by filling out our Host Family Application (pictured above), which will allow our team to get a better sense of your family’s unique childcare needs for the summer.

Interested? Give us a call today at 1.800.820.8308.

Or email our head office at [email protected]

Don’t wait until the last minute!

Where to Au Pair: Saskatoon

SaskatoonThe largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada’s central prairie and boreal province, Saskatoon was founded in 1882 and has been a cultural and economic hub ever since.

A vibrant city with a rich cultural and historic heritage, Lonely Planet ranks Saskatoon as the top place to visit in Saskatchewan, we thought it would be perfect for the next edition in our Where to Au Pair series.

The following are some of the reasons to consider Saskatoon for your au pair placement:

Saskatoon Meewasin Valley

1. Natural diversions

The South Saskatchewan River winds through downtown Saskatchewan, affording its citizenry with easily accessible riverside paths which are perfect for both winter and summer strolls with the family or a midday escape from the bustle of the city.

In the same vein as the natural diversions provided by the river, in the Meewasin Valley there are 60 kilometers of trails popular amongst walkers and cyclists that are lined with picnic areas.

Given the photo above, it shouldn’t be surprising to find out that Meewasin comes from the Cree (First Nations) word for beautiful.

Boomtown

2. History

Neighborhoods like Riverdale and Nutana boast scattered heritage buildings that recall their amalgamation into the rest of the early town of Saskatoon.

Saskatoon also boasts Canada’s longest indoor street, known affectionately as Boomtown (pictured above), a recreation of the town Saskatoon was at the beginning of the 20th century.

This site is part of Saskatchewan’s Western Development Museum, a four-museum network with various locations that recall and display records of the social and economic development within the province.

Saskatoon also has a significant Indigenous population which the city honors in part through the Wanuskewin Heritage Park just northeast of the city centre.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

3. Youth culture

Saskatoon is also home to the University of Saskatchewan, one of the top research universities in Canada and the largest in the province with just under 24,000 students.

Not only that, the median age in Saskatchewan (35.5 years) is four years younger than the rest of Canada, meaning about half of the population is under 35 years old. And given that nearly half of the province’s population resides in Saskatoon, the chance that you as an au pair would be able to connect with people your own age is high.

SK Vibe Music Festival

4. Arts and entertainment

Saskatoon boasts a whopping 65 annual events and festivals that take place year round, even during the sometimes harsh winters!

Tourism Saskatchewan claims that the province’s community spirit is ‘legendary,’ so it’s definitely worth checking out!

For a complete list of things to do and sites to see in Saskatoon, check out their website!

Sources

Tourism Saskatchewan

Tourism Saskatoon

Wikipedia.

 

How to Become a Nanny in Canada: Checklist

Filipino nanny

Are you in interested in becoming a nanny in Canada but unsure where to start?

Start HERE. And save yourself time, effort, and frustration.

Ask yourself the following series of questions:

1. Do I have childcare experience?

If yes, you may be qualified to become a nanny in Canada. Proceed to the next question.

If no, you are unlikely to qualify to become a nanny in Canada. There is nothing we can do for you.

2. Do I like children?

If yesproceed to the next question.

If your answer is anything other than yes, we recommend that you seriously consider whether you want to commit to potentially working full-time with children for up to two years.

Now, onto a more practical question:

3. Do I have an employer in Canada who is interested in sponsoring me?

If yes, your employer can hire us to do their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) paperwork for them.

This is the first step in the process of becoming a nanny in Canada, as mandated by the Canadian government under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

It is effectively illegal to become a nanny in Canada by any other means.

Please have your employer email us at [email protected] or give us a call at the toll free number 1 (800) 820 8308, and we will help them get started with the LMIA paperwork.

If you are not in contact with an employer in Canada who is interested in sponsoring and then hiring you, your only option is to find an employer yourself using social media and other outlets, such as:

mother with little daughter and pram

 

Once you’ve found an employer, then, and only then, can we assist them with the LMIA paperwork and thereafter, you with your work permit.

The following are some other Frequently Asked Questions from other prospective nannies, like yourself:

Can I apply for my relative to become a nanny in Canada on her behalf?

No. To become a nanny in Canada, you need to do so on your own behalf. This includes every step from finding an employer to applying for your work permit, and then your open work permit after your tenure under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is complete.

Can I become a nanny in Canada if I’m already in the country?

This depends on your status in Canada.

If you:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • are a permanent resident
  • have an open work permit

You can become a nanny right away.

On the other hand, if you:

  • have another type of visa (such as a student or tourist visa)

While you would be able to work as a casual babysitter if you found the right family, you would not be legally allowed to become a full-time nanny. The only way to become a nanny in Canada if you are a foreign national is to do so under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

New York City scenes

How do I apply for permanent residency?

How do I sponsor my family to immigrate to Canada from our home country?

For all immigration-related inquiries, please contact our partner agency, Apex Immigration.

There’s no denying it: the process of becoming a nanny in Canada is not a walk in the park.

It can take anywhere from 6-9 months, there is extensive paperwork involved, not to mention a high level of cooperation and patience.

That said, thousands of nannies come to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program every year.

If they can do it, so can you 🙂 

Feel free to share this post with your friends, acquaintances, and/or anyone you know who is thinking about becoming a nanny in Canada!