Category Archives: Tips for Families

How to be a great Nanny employer!


How to be a great Nanny Employer!

It’s a nanny’s world out there meaning that if you find a good nanny – hold on to her!

1.) Follow provincial labour standards with regards to hourly pay rate, overtime, vacation time etc. This is so simple and is yet the number one issue of contention between nannies and employers. It is what she is entitled to, and anything else simply won’t do!

 2.) Show your appreciation … and often! Nanny employers are also busy families, but take the time to show your nanny, this special person who cares for your children on a daily basis, how grateful you are for helping you run the household more efficiently.

3.) Provide regular raises and bonuses for continued good work. If a nanny is from overseas, purchase a flight to her home country to enable her to visit her family. Provide monthly bus passes to help your their nanny socialize on her time off or give birthday and Christmas bonuses.

4.) Have respect for her position as a nanny and appreciate that it is an important job! Even she may not always want to work as a nanny forever, but nanny traits like being trustworthy, organized, reliable and being patient are traits important for all jobs.

 5.) Communicate well with your nanny and let her know she can talk to you openly too. Don’t let little problems escalate out of control. Try and schedule regular nanny performance reviews, where you and your nanny can sit down and discuss any issues.

6.) At the end of the day, just remember – A happy nanny means happy children, and a happy you!

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

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!

The Canadian Childcare Crisis

Kids running enjoying summer

You may have heard it said that there is a childcare crisis in Canada.

Incredulous? Well, if you Google the term ‘childcare crisis Canada,’ you’ll get seven hundred and forty thousand results.

What could possibly be the reason for the childcare situation in Canada to be deemed a ‘crisis’? You guessed it.

Childcare is expensive

But just how expensive is childcare in Canada?

Let’s look at some of the numbers.

Most expensive cities for childcareAccording to Global News, as of October of last year, the top three most expensive cities for childcare are Toronto, St. John’s, and Vancouver (the third of which will surprise no one).

To get a sense of just how expensive this is, let’s take a look at the five most expensive cities in Canada for university tuition:

Most expensive cities for tuitionYou read it correctly. Childcare for a year in Toronto is almost twice as costly as a year of university tuition in London.

What could possibly be the reason for childcare costs in Canada being that exorbitant?

According to Today’s Parent, the answer is simple: there is a lack of government funding.

Not only that, but the actual number of spots available in Canadian daycares is far too few for the number of families requiring care for their children. An article from the Huffington Post estimates that there are only enough spots in daycares for one in five children.

So how does Canada rank in childcare on the world stage?

Canada childcare rankAnd since then, the costs of childcare have only increased, while the available spots in licensed, regulated, and/or subsidized daycares, has only decreased.

So you can see why the term ‘crisis’ applies here. But is this ‘crisis’ actually universal across Canada?

For the most part, the answer unfortunately is yes.

The province of Quebec, however, is the exception.

As of last year, the cost of childcare in Quebec, thanks to government subsidies, was, regardless of the child’s age:

  • $7.30/day for families with an income of less than $50,000 annually
  • $20/day for families with an income between $50,000-$150,000 annually

This makes British Columbia’s proposal of $10/day for childcare seem a little less ‘radical’ to those in government who would be opposed to increasing the budget for childcare subsidies. After all, according to $

BC Childcare

Not only that, in the approximately 20 years Quebec has been making universal access to low-cost childcare a priority, there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of mothers who are able to and do join the workplace which, concurrently, has over time led to the burgeoning of Quebec’s economy.

Sounds like Quebec has got it figured out.

So, what can be done to remedy this crisis in the rest of Canada?

According to the Toronto Star in an article published just days ago (8 March), change will be difficult without the support of the government.

Interestingly, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has yet to fulfill his campaign promise to ‘deliver affordable, high-quality, flexible, and fully inclusive childcare for Canadian families,’ the work for which he claimed would commence in his first 100 days in office.

Notwithstanding, the three ideas that Carolyn Ferns posits in this Toronto Star article that might transform the childcare crisis in Ontario (or perhaps on a more broad scale, Canada as a whole) are:

  1. Making childcare more affordable
  2. Making the wages for educators more fair
  3. Opting for non-profit childcare spaces

Hard to argue with that. Especially coming from Ferns, the public policy and government relations coordinator for the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

In the meantime, what are our other childcare options?

Childcare crisis Today's ParentSome families hit the jackpot and can rely on the children’s grandparents for free, flexible childcare until the children are old enough to start kindergarten.

Some families hire part-time babysitters to cut the parents a break from time to time.

Some families do a nanny-share with another family and their children for convenience and to cut costs.

Other families prefer to hire caregivers through agencies like us.

Interested in finding out more about one of your childcare options?

Give us a call today at 1 (800) 820 8308.


Childcare is among the six things to watch, according to the Globe and Mail.


“Solving Ontario’s childcare crisis.” Toronto Star, 8 March 2017.

“Child care.”, 2017.

“How child care costs compare in Canada (hint: they’re way more than tuition).” Global News, 13 October 2016.

“B.C.’s child care crisis: ‘so much more stressful than it has ever been.” Vancouver Sun, 24 September 2016.

“It’s Time to Rip the Bandaid Off Canada’s Daycare Crisis.” Huffington Post, 26 April 2016.

“The Canadian child care crisis.” Today’s Parent, 18 February 2015.

11 Reasons to Hire a Nanny

There is really no way to spin this truth: childcare is expensive.

When it comes to comparing the costs of modern childcare options, families are often stymied by how pricey the process of sponsoring and hiring a nanny can be.

But why do so many families across Canada (and around the world) prefer having a nanny to other types of childcare? There must be some reason. 

In fact, there are dozens of reasons. This article, for instance, lists a whopping 67 reasons, to be exact.

For the sake of brevity and conciseness, we thought we’d stick to what we think are the top eleven reasons to hire a nanny, instead of another form of childcare.

Who knows? Hiring a nanny might end up being the best thing for you and your family.

Fun piggyback ride

1. Nannies are experienced caregivers.

In many cases, nannies have had years of experience in childcare and often have other educational and professional experiences that enhance their abilities as your child’s caregiver.

A lot of overseas nannies have children of their own in their home countries, and choose to work as nannies in Canada or elsewhere in order to provide for those children and one day fund their travels or even immigration into Canada.

2. Nannies are available for long-term commitments.

Many overseas nannies stay with their families for at least two years, and sometimes even longer.

This can provide you and your children with desirable continuity and lead to a more comfortable childcare arrangement than one in which turnover and transition are more likely to occur.

3. Nannies are flexible.

This is probably the reason most families cite as the most important one that factored into their decision to hire a nanny in the first place.

We get it! Raising children while working full-time is no picnic, and parents find that having a nanny affords them with much more flexibility than a daycare or another type of caregiver can.

You can create your nanny’s schedule based around your schedule, and most nannies are used to week-to-week schedule changes therefore they can be very adaptable if and when you need to adjust their working hours.

4. Nannies help with housework.

One of the benefits of having a nanny as opposed to a babysitter or another form of childcare is that they help with housework.

This includes basic clean up related to the children’s activities, preparation of meals, the general maintenance of their rooms and play areas, and additional chores as needed.

While the primary role of a nanny is a caregiver for your children, rather than housekeeper, nannies expect to do a little bit of both, especially in situations where the children are at school or sleeping.

5. Nannies can be live-in.

This scenario is not only convenient, it can also foster a more familial bond between your family and your nanny, giving your children another trustworthy adult to rely on as well as keep them safe and happy.

6. Nannies can act as a third member of your parenting team.

Let’s face it, parenting isn’t easy!

It can be incredibly helpful to have a third parent figure in your children’s lives who spends almost as much time as you do with them (and sometimes more) and knows what they are like and what their needs are, both for day-to-day happiness and personal growth and maturation.

It can be difficult to keep a babysitter or a daycare centre helper in the ‘parenting’ loop about what your child needs, especially when it comes to discipline, but due to the nature of a nanny (especially a live-in nanny) there are likely to be far fewer inconsistencies between the raising and parenting of your children.

7. Nannies help you maintain your household.

As the previously cited article describes, “Your home is under control when you walk in the door.”

Can you imagine coming home to a clean house, happy and healthy children who are doing their homework or whatever it is they should be doing that moment, and all you have to do is greet your children and help with dinner (if the nanny hasn’t already begun making it)?

All of this is possible if you decide to hire a nanny!

woman holding a cute girl8. Nannies can take on the role of date night babysitter.

Provided those hours she spends ‘babysitting’ your children don’t lead her to exceed her full-time limit, with a nanny, you eliminate the need of calling a casual or part-time babysitter to watch your kids while you take an evening off!

9. Nannies can be affordable similar to day care costs.

For most daycare, for instance, you pay per child, whereas with a nanny, you generally do not pay for the number of children.

In addition, if you miss a day of daycare because your children are sick, you are still have to pay for that particular day. With a nanny, she will be there to work and take care of your kids whether they are healthy or sick.

10. Nannies provide one-on-one attention.

Your child is guaranteed to have more one-on-one attention and care if looked after by a nanny.

While the socialization aspect of daycare is appealing, it can often to your child feeling neglected or less than stimulated. A nanny makes her career out of being a nanny and can provide activities tailored specifically for your children and their needs, and can adapt with other activities and strategies as needed, rather than have to depend on what the majority wants or needs.

11. Nannies can be like an extended member of the family.

There are so many success stories of families whose relationships with their past nannies last a lifetime.

And, after all, as Julia Quinn-Szcesuil says, “your nanny loves your kids as fiercely as you do and will do everything in her power to make them happy, healthy, and secure.”

What more could you want for your children?

Family jumping

Raising Global Children

Advantages to hiring a live in nanny or caregiver:

There are many advantages to hiring a live-in nanny: the flexibility in work hours, the reliability, and the consistency of your children being able to stay in their own home with someone they are familiar and comfortable with. One major benefit, which is often overlooked, is that hiring a live-in nanny or an au-pair also provides your children a great opportunity to experience different cultures from a young age. 

Someone originally from overseas can offer your children a wider view of the world. Listening to their nanny or au-pair talk about her customs, traditions and the differing ways in which she does things back home, including different songs and new food, is a great way for the children to learn.

A bilingual nanny or au-pair can foster the children’s interest in learning a second language, which is an extremely sought after skill. It is much easier for a young child to pick up languages and this will likely happen naturally as they spend time with their nanny or au-pair and pick up on the different words she uses.

Having someone from a different country look after your children can encourage an appreciation for diversity. A child who grows up being cared for by someone recognizably different from their own family is also being taught to appreciate other cultures and peoples’ differing backgrounds. This can be beneficial not only for the child’s social skills but in broadening their horizons in general.

As nannies and au-pairs usually befriend others in the same profession, they can also widen your children’s circle of friends, introducing them to other children during play dates and days out together.

Overall there are many cultural benefits in welcoming someone from overseas into your home and ultimately the experience can be both incredibly rewarding and enriching to your children’s personal growth and education.

If you would like to hire a nanny or care giver please contact us at International Nanny and Homecare agency Ltd in Canada.

How to Keep a Good Nanny

Tips for employing a nanny or caregiver:

Many parents find it challenging to hire the perfect nanny to fit in with their family. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to make the effort of maintaining a positive work relationship once you finally find the perfect one! The following tips can help families/employers strengthen the nanny’s commitment to her job.

Encourage open lines of communication:

It is suggested that the employers set the stage for solid and effective communication with their nanny. Regular meetings should be scheduled to review the nanny’s performance. Here, employers can assess what is working and what needs improvement so that appropriate changes can be made to the daily routine. Employers should also give the nanny an opportunity to provide feedback to gauge her perspective of how things are going.

It is important to consider the insight she brings to the parenting table. This system allows for all parties to touch base with each other consistently and frequently. Also, it is important that any complaints or concerns are addressed in a constructive and professional manner.  Consider ending the meeting by giving the nanny a written evaluation of her performance, including any action steps to enhance the quality of her work.

Show your appreciation:

Ensure that you recognize your nanny’s work by giving her praise for actions that impressed you. This will make her feel valued as an employee and as a person. Perhaps you can give her a thank you card for something particular she has done.  Acknowledge her birthday and other special events in her life.  The nanny will especially appreciate any unexpected cash bonuses, gifts, or spa treatments for a job well done!  

Keep things professional:

Nannies do take their job seriously and employers need to respect that.  Mutual respect and trust are key to maintaining a healthy relationship. As such, employers should be confident in the nanny’s child-caring abilities and not doubt her decisions. Parents should also ensure that the children treat the nanny with respect, encourage them to bond, and reaffirm that their relationship with the nanny is an important one. Additionally, employers should also create healthy boundaries. This can be achieved by resisting the urge to make the nanny babysit on her days off.  As with any management, great employers breed great employees. Assuming the nanny is valued as an employee, she will most definitely meet your standard for excellence!

Pay your nanny well!

Ensure that your nanny’s pay is regular and on time. She will likely be more motivated to commit long-term and go above and beyond for your family if there is incentive and words of encouragement  rather than criticism.Your nanny deserves to be compensated at a higher rate than than the minimum wage past a certain probationary period (3 months, 6 months or at the 1 year mark).  Also, consider merit based rewards such a raise if the nanny has exceeded your expectations.

Sunny Andjic
Placement Coordinator
International Nannies & Homecare Ltd.


Benefits of Hiring a Live-in Caregiver


Experienced and qualified nannies give families the luxury of flexibility. They know their children are taken care of by a dependable and reliable caregiver. The convenience of having a live-in nanny is that her commute is less than 5 seconds! They are there for those morning rushes that you need to get ready for work, prepare for a meeting and arrive on time!

You can rely on your nanny for those last minute emergencies or unexpected overtime at work. This eliminates having to face a fine at a daycare with stringent hours. You do not have to adhere to anybody’s schedule but your own. The schedule is set by you and it depends on individual needs and requirements.

Having a live-in nanny is a great alternative to sending your children to daycare because it is much more cost-effective. A live-in nanny is statistically less expensive than sending 2 kids to daycare, what a deal! You get the value, service and quality at an affordable price so if both parents work they can comfortably enjoy their incomes without the financial strain. You receive high quality of care and personalized attention for a lesser price, so that both you and your children can benefit from the service!

Cultural Exchange:
You can maximize the benefit of having a live-in nanny by taking advantage of the invaluable cultural exchange. Often, live-in caregivers come from diverse cultures so they can expose your children to different languages, traditions and customs. This can broaden your children’s horizons, enhance their knowledge, and enrich their education! This gives your entire family an intercultural opportunity that is mutually rewarding. Overall, the exposure to culturally diverse individuals can enhance a child’s personal development and growth.

Work/Life Balance:
Having a live-in nanny can enable you to engage in the things you enjoy doing. It gives you more time for yourself and the time you would spend getting your children ready and commuting to daycare can be spent elsewhere. Additionally, it lends opportunity for more quality time with your family that you would otherwise spend attending to housekeeping duties. You can improve your work and life balance by reducing the stress associated with uncertainty of childcare. Regardless of the weather conditions, work schedule or illness, you can be assured that your children are taken care of.

Additional Benefits:
Your child will receive one-on-one personalized attention and thrive from the customized learning experience. You will always have the peace of mind that your children are taken care of by a professional and trusted caregiver in the safety and comfort of the most superior setting: your home! More importantly, they would be kept far away from the school bugs going around, and would subsequently avoid colds, viruses and illnesses-crucial health benefits!

For a qualified and professional live-in caregiver, call International Nannies & Homecare Ltd. 1.800.820.8308

My Nanny Diaries

on June 19, 2012 by Anjum in Parenting

By Sheba
and online

I used to think having a nanny was the most pretentious cop-out ever to being a parent. The first time I came across the concept of a nanny, other than in movies like The Sound of Music, was a friend of a friend who had three kids and a nanny. At the time, being a newlywed with no kids, I thought I knew it all when it came to what kind of parent I wanted to be and what type of kids I would have; well behaved, smart, respectful and of course, ones who never watched TV because we’d always be outside learning and discovering. I judged anyone who had a nanny and I swore that no matter what, I would never be that ‘selfish’ or ‘inconsiderate’ to my children.

A couple of years later, my son Yusuf came along and then 18 months later, his brother Zeeshan popped out. I had a few girlfriends by this point that had nannies they would rave about. I had also matured in my opinion of nannies and although I did see the benefit and realized the cost was nowhere near what I thought it was (much more affordable actually), I still wanted to do it ‘on my own’. So that first year of my second son’s life, I managed two babies by myself. With no help from my strong mother, who lives four hours away, or my mother-in-law, who has her hands full taking care of her own aging mother.

My husband would walk through the door at 5:15pm and I would be ready to run out, yelling that I needed a break and would be at the Starbucks down the street for half an hour or so. This is how life continued: me being exhausted and my husband working double duty with work and evening daddy duty. Never mind our relationship, which was non-existent.

Regardless of how worn out I was, both mentally and physically, I remember secretly judging my friends with nannies, especially the ones who weren’t working. The concept of having ‘outside help’ in North American South Asian communities is often received with judgment, ignorance and misapprehension.

As a South Asian woman, you are supposed to do it all on your own. Be an energetic and happy mother who is always challenging her children with new lessons, life plans and outdoor adventures. A wife who can manage a spotless house, make a healthy meal and have enough energy left over for her husband to ‘always be in the mood’. A working woman who can handle her deadlines, projects and coworkers without batting an eyelash. A friend, daughter and sister who is always ready and willing to lend a supporting ear. We are supposed to be superwomen – all with a smile on our faces.

Well, I was no superwoman during that first year with both kids. And I certainly wasn’t smiling. I was drained, hormonal, overworked and overwhelmed. I had zero energy left for my relationship, which used to be one of my favorite passions.

When my husband suggested the possibility of a nanny, I had every excuse in the book: we couldn’t afford it, there was no point since I work from home, the idea of a stranger in my house creeped me out. I had convinced myself that date nights were a thing of the past and this was going to be our new life. Secretly though, I think I wondered what people would think of the idea of me doing something so seemingly ostentatious.

The idea of having an uninterrupted conversation with my husband or having a spotless house with two toddlers running around started to win out and I relented. I crunched the numbers, did some research and realized that a nanny is much more affordable than people think. We went through about 40 interviewees in search of our Mary Poppins and finally found someone we liked. It’s now been ten months since she’s come into our lives. We chose a live-out nanny as opposed to a live-in and she has been a huge blessing.

I get to start my day off with a long shower, a luxury I gave up when I became a mother of two. I regularly go out with my husband on date nights now where we can actually connect. Many people think a nanny is a replacement for a mother, which may seem threatening to some. But while I’m out at the splash pad with my boys, my house is being cleaned, laundry being folded and dinner being cooked. My kids rarely ever watch TV anymore because mommy has energy to run around with them. On the days when mommy is working, our nanny has them exploring the outdoors.

For those of you who have children, you already know how much your relationship changes after having a couple of kids. You really have to work at it to stay connected; otherwise you’re just going through the motions. Our nanny has re-opened the doors to our relationship. My husband will openly tell people that the biggest change in our lives since we’ve gotten a nanny is me. I am a completely different person. No longer exhausted or overwhelmed, I am full of life and energy. I find him funny. I like him again!

I still have those friends who smirk when I bring up my nanny and I can’t even judge them. I used to be them. They just don’t know what they are missing. For those of you out there who are considering the nanny route, I say go for it. It is LIFE CHANGING. Your kids will have a happy mom who is full of energy, who can go to work, run errands, see friends, go grocery shopping. It doesn’t make you a bad mother to have a nanny. Think of it this way, if you are South Asian and your parents are immigrants, chances are, they grew up with nannies, they were just called maids or naukhars.

Sure, there is no doubt we are capable of doing it all. But why should we have to? If we have affordable help, why not take it? I did and it changed my life. To all those I judged, I’m sorry. I had no idea what I was missing!

If you would like to hire a nanny or caregiver, please contact International Nanny and Homecare Ltd. in Canada for qualified nannies.


Live-in Caregiver vs. Au Pair: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between a Live-in Caregiver compared to Au Pair?

Many people use the terms “au pair” and “live-in caregiver” interchangeably.  While it may appear
that both provide the same level of household assistance, this is actually a misnomer.

The term “au pair” comes from the French word “en pair” meaning “equal to”. Unlike a regular employer-employee  relationship, an au pair is viewed as part of the family, or a big sister. Au Pairs come to Canada for a “cultural exchange” under a Working Holiday Visa and desire an opportunity to explore the world. Many of them are young (Between 18 to 35) having just recently completed high school or post-secondary education. Au Pairs are often new to the nanny scene, whereas live-in caregivers are required to have at least 1 year of full-time work experience as a nanny, or completion of a 6-month caregiving course, along with the equivalent of Canadian high school education.

By working as an au pair, participants not only have the chance to experience Canadian culture by working very closely with a Canadian family, but are also able to earn money and travel, when time permits.

Most au pairs are willing to commit for one year, although there are some who may only wish to work for 6 months, therefore spending the remainder of their time traveling. Live-in caregivers are interested in long-term employment, and are often prepared to work for at least two years. An au pair’s main responsibility is childcare and child-related household duties. In contrast, a live-in caregiver will often assume full responsibility of the household during the parents’ absence, which may include light housekeeping and meal preparation for the entire family.

An au pair’s working hours range between 25 – 44 hours per week depending on the family’s needs. For families who do not require full-time care, but would like the benefits of having someone live in their home, an au pair could be a good solution. Like live-in caregivers, au pairs are paid minimum wage and room and board is deducted from their earnings. These numbers vary depending on the province in which you reside.

Hiring an au pair is an easier process than hiring a live-in caregiver. When hiring a live-in caregiver, employers must satisfy requirements established by the Government of Canada; proof of income, submission of a labour market opinion, as well as payment for the caregiver’s flight into the country is all necessary. In contrast, when hiring an au pair, employers need only submit an application to International Nannies and Homecare, conduct interviews, and wait. The au pair is responsible for all costs incurred, which includes their Working Holiday Visa, airfare, and health insurance while in Canada.

Au Pairs and live-in caregivers are both interested in childcare opportunities, but differ slightly in terms of their work schedule, responsibilities, job experience, and entrance process into Canada. Regardless of the choice you make, of most importance is selecting the caregiver that will provide the best solution for your family’s needs.

If you would like to hire a nanny or caregiver, please contact International Nanny and Homecare Ltd. in Canada for qualified nannies.