Category Archives: Tips for Nannies

Tips for Creating a Professional Nanny Resume

 

In today’s competitive job market, it is important to have a professional resume that catches the employer’s eye. A resume can either make or break a job! Below are several tips on how you can land that coveted interview.

Creating a Professional Nanny Caregiver resume Tips:

Cover Letter

  • First and foremost, include a cover letter when submitting your resume. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself and address some of your main personality traits. Cover letters provide detailed information on why you are qualified for the nanny job you are applying for and the reasons you are interested in working as a nanny. Make sure to state your most recently acquired skills and experience.

Contact Information

  • It is absolutely imperative that you include your full name, cell/home phone number and email address at the top of the resume page. It is also a good idea to include your street address and city. This makes it easier for an employer to get in touch with you.

Pictures

  • Although uncommon elsewhere, in the nanny industry it is a good idea to attach a photo to your resume. This is not mandatory and it really depends on your personal comfort zone.

Customize your objective

  • It is important that you tailor your nanny resume objective according to the specific job you are applying for. Ensure that you state whether you are looking for a live-in or live-out nanny position.

Experience

  • It is generally preferred to list your work history in a chronological order-with your most recent or current job listed first. It’s a good idea to include responsibilities, ages & number of children cared for.

Education

  • Using bullet points, list your highest academic achievement including your graduation year. You may also include any special caregiver training courses, first AID certification, driver’s training, etc.

Skills & Other Information

  • Following your education, you can include relevant skills, nanny capabilities, hobbies, spoken languages, etc.

Proof Read

  • It is critical that you check your resume for spelling errors, typos, alignments, etc. Remember that even a small typo can affect your chances of getting hired. You may also consider adding key words that pertain to the job description (organize, manage, household,etc.)

We hope these basic steps help you design a solid and effective resume that can increase your chances of getting hired! If you are looking to be hired as a nanny or caregiver in Canada, fill out this online nanny application form

www.internationalnannies.com

1.800.820.8308

My Nanny Diaries

Written
on June 19, 2012 by Anjum in Parenting

By Sheba
Siddiqui
@shebasid
and online www.shebasiddiqui.com

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.

 

Your Open Work Permit Has Arrived? What Next?

Tips once your open work permit arrives:

After at least two years of working as a live-in caregiver, the arrival of your open work permit is very exciting! While some caregivers may consider childcare a lifelong profession, for others, an open work permit signals a chance to seize fresh opportunities.

As enticing as it sounds, simply jumping from one job into another isn’t the best way to manage your new found freedom. If anything, there are some important steps to take after receiving your open work permit (and even before!)

1. Tell Your Employer: When the time arrives to apply for your open work permit, you must tell your employer about your plans. Will you continue your employment with the family after the permit arrives, or do you plan on finding a new job?

2. Give Your Employer Notice: If you do plan on leaving your employer for another job, it is best to give your employer a formal notice of resignation. What does this mean? You must provide your employer with a written letter explaining  that you are “giving your notice”, or in other words, “quitting your job”. In your letter you must provide the date of your last work day. The standard is two weeks’ notice however; your employment contract may provide a longer notice period. Some may state 4 weeks, or even 8 weeks.  Since finding a suitable nanny takes considerable time, you should stay with your employer until they find a replacement, or arrange for alternative care.

3. Consider Your Options: Although the world beyond your employers’ home looks promising, finding work in Canada is a challenge, even for Canadian citizens. That being said, it is wise to research your job options. How much do you realistically need to earn in order to afford rent and other living expenses? Is your plan to save money for family sponsorship? Are you interested in attending school? Many live-out nannies earn approximately $15/hour. While this may seem like a significant increase from your minimum wage salary, after factoring in new costs, you may not have much extra cash to save, or put towards other expenses.

4. Maintain Your Work Ethic: If you do plan on leaving your employers, the receipt of your open work permit is not an excuse to lower your work standards. You should, until the day you depart from your employer’s home maintain the same high level of work.

5. Take Care of Business: Give your employers ample time to complete your Record of Employment and to calculate your final pay cheque, which may or may not include vacation pay depending if you took vacation during your employment period. You may also want to ask for a letter of reference so that you have a record for future employment opportunities.

Above all, treat your employers with respect. Although an employer-employee relationship exists, your family not only provided you with an excellent job opportunity, but also welcomed you into their home and their lives. Receiving you open work permit is worth celebrating, but not at the expense of the people you’ve spent two years or more, caring for.

Contact International Nannies and Homecare Ltd if you have further questions.

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.

Canada’s New Caregiver Policy Raises Industry Concern

OTTAWA — The federal government is making it easier for foreign live-in caregivers to stay in the country once their contract is up, but an industry leader is warning the new policy could cause a serious caregiver shortage.

Immigrants with live-in caregiver visas will now be able to obtain an open work permit 18 months sooner, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Thursday.

Already, about 14,000 live-in caregivers have been given open work visas since the policy was changed, the minister’s press secretary confirmed Thursday.

Open work permits allow caregivers to seek another job, if they choose, when their two-year live-in caregiver contract is complete, without losing their permission to be in Canada.

“Too many live-in caregivers have completed their work obligations but must continue living in the home of their employer, waiting for their application for permanent residence to be reviewed,” said Kenney. “This is understandably frustrating.”

The Live-In Caregiver Program allows Canadian families to hire caregivers from abroad to live in their home and care for a child, an elderly person or a disabled adult when there are no Canadians available for the job.

Those in the program need to work for 3,900 hours or two years before they are eligible to apply for permanent-resident status.

Until now, however, they could not look for other work while they waited for initial permanent status approval — which, with the current backlog, typically takes about 18 months.

Kenney said the new policy accelerates the processing time by 18 months. Live-in caregivers now get their open work permit as soon as they can apply for permanent status.

The new policy is a result of consultations Kenney had with live-in caregivers on how to prevent them from being exploited, the minister’s press secretary said on Thursday.

“Minister Kenney is concerned with the treatment of live-in caregivers in Canada,” wrote Candice Malcolm in an email. “People in this program sometimes face difficult situations, such as those described in the front-page abuse allegations against then-Liberal-MP Ruby Dhalla.”

Two years ago, Dhalla made headlines when a former nanny alleged she “was mentally tortured and physically stressed” by long work hours and insults in the family household.

Since the program began, similar allegations have surfaced in other parts of the country.

The new policy is a welcome change to better protect live-in caregivers, said Manuela Gruber Hersch, president of the Association for Caregiver and Nanny Agencies in Canada, a group that seeks to set ethical standards for the caregiver industry.

“It gives (live-in caregivers) a lot more freedom,” she said.

But Gruber Hersch said Canadian families will need to brace themselves for what she predicts will be a rapidly dwindling supply of foreign nannies.

“We will see and we already have seen a growing shortage of caregivers, live-in and live-out,” she explained. “Once they get their open work permits, the vast majority will move on to other industries . . . They’ve done their 24 months and they want to move on.”

The shortage is already happening, she said.

Gruber Hersch said she recently heard from a B.C. caregiver placement agency which already has received notices from six nannies.

The new policy is unprecedented, said Toronto immigration lawyer Rafael Fabregas.

Although he welcomes the change, Fabregas said he is suspicious of the federal government’s motivation.

“It’s bizarre,” said Fabregas. “It’s bizarre how they can announce this type of a policy after basically doing nothing for the past year-and-a-half and accumulating all these applications.”

Along with the massive backlog of permanent residence applications, the wait time for live-in caregivers crept up over the past year-and-a-half, to almost 20 months from six months, said Fabregas.

“Now they’re basically creating a policy to kill a backlog that they created, in a way making themselves look good,” he said. “I just think all of this doesn’t pass my smell test. It reeks, quite frankly.”

Fabregas said the policy raises a lot of other questions. He wonders what will happen now for other immigrant groups, such as sponsored spouses, who are still awaiting a decision on their permanent status without open work permits.

“Is the immigration department now going to . . . start issuing them work permits upon application?” he asked.

As for a mass exodus of live-in caregivers looking for jobs in other industries, Fabregas said it’s too soon to tell.

“Are caregivers suddenly going to start leaving that job for greener pastures in a climate where unemployment is slowly creeping up? I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not convinced that that’s what going to happen, but I could be wrong.”

If it does happen, Fabregas said Kenney will need to put on his thinking cap to figure out the government will fill the gap.

New Democrat MP and immigration critic Don Davies said the new policy is a step in the right direction.

But it still fails to solve another problem, he said — the fact that many live-in caregivers must leave their own children and spouses behind in their home country. They are only allowed to sponsor them to come to Canada once they receive permanent residency.

“It’s ironic because we’re bringing women . . . from around the world to come here and look after our children, separating many of them from their own children,” said Davies.

Since the vast majority of live-in caregivers end up getting permanent status, Davies said there’s no reason to delay the sponsoring process.

[email protected]

If you would like to find a caregiver or nanny job in Canada, you can fill out this International Nanny Agency nanny caregiver application form.

 

Being a Professional Nanny

What to expect when you are a professional nanny!

Being professional is  important,   regardless of the kind of work. As a nanny, you have a responsibility not only to your employers, but to the children you care for as well.

Taking pride in your work and acting in professional way will be beneficial to your current work relationship and to your future opportunities. Having a poor reference from a past employer will only harm your future chances of success.

That being said, here are a few general tips to follow in order to be a more “professional” employee.

Respect for Others

  • Be polite and have good manners.
  • Be punctual: if you start work at 7.a.m., you should be ready!
  • Keep your employer’s private affairs confidential.
  • Accept and listen to criticism – keep an open mind.
  • Apologize for errors or misunderstandings.
  • Do what is asked of you.
  • Speak clearly – you may not be understood all the time, it’s best to check!

Take Responsibility

  • Be honest!
  • Be reliable and dependable – this is your job!
  • Always give the best you can.

Of course, there are some tips which are more specific for nanny-work:

  • Nannies should be mindful of childhood development and plan age-appropriate activities.
  • Nannies should keep a journal to report any milestones in development or observations.
  • Nannies must supervise children carefully and use common sense when responding to emergency situations.

Remember, being a nanny is a professional job and therefore requires serious attention and effort! If you feel your nanny skills have been lacking, make it a New Year’s Resolution to try some of these tips to make your work relationship more harmonious!

If you would like to speak with us about finding a job as a nanny or caregiver in Canada, contact our Canadian International Nanny agency.

Creating a Nanny Resume

Helpful Tips on making a Live in Caregiver or Nanny resume:

Regardless of the type of job to which you apply, your resume provides a first impression of your education, qualifications, and experiences. While a nanny resume is not so different from other career fields, it is important to follow a few rules in order to present yourself in a professional manner. Since a resume offers that first glimpse, you want to highlight your nanny experience in an organized and detailed manner.

As like other resumes, you want to begin by placing your name and contact information at the top of the page. Your name should be in bold font, so that it is easy to read. You must remember that when an employer or agency reads a resume, they often read over it relatively quickly, looking for key points. Therefore, it is vital to always highlight the important details, such as your name, education, employment details, and skills.

After your contact information, you have a couple of choices. Some people choose to include an “objective”, that is, the reason why you are seeking a nanny position. When stating an objective, it is important to include more than “seeking a full-time job”. That is not an objective. A true objective will identify what skills you intend to use and why you want to work for that person/company. An example of a stronger objective is, “Seeking a nanny position that will utilize my diverse set of skills and help me in gaining practical experience”.

Once you have decided upon your objective, you may wish to include “Nanny Qualification Highlights”. This is your opportunity to identify four or five special skills that you think are important. These skills may be listed in short sentences and need not be too detailed.

The objective and qualification highlights are merely the appetizer to your resume. What follows is the main course; your work experience and education. When listing your work experience, it is important to organize it chronologically, from most recent work, to least recent. For each job, you should list the name of the employer, as well as the dates and location of the childcare. Underneath each entry, list the general responsibilities. What ages were the children? What were your daily duties? Did you have additional tasks besides childcare? For example, housecleaning, meal preparation, or helping with homework? All of these details will help future employers assess your qualifications.

When explaining your educational background, again it is important to include the date and location of your studies. Even if the education is not related to nanny work, it is important to share the information with future employers so they may see your versatility. Also of importance is any non-academic training, such as First AID classes.

After the main course of your resume, comes dessert. The last information you may wish to include is details about hobbies, or any specialized skills. Last but not least, include a short sentence stating, “References available upon request”. An employer or agency will always ask for your references and you may provide them when asked.

Remember – your resume provides an employer with a first impression of your qualifications for the job! Therefore, it is essential to make your resume as informative and organized as possible. Please view the article below for an example of a nanny resume – feel free to use it as a guideline for your own!

If you would like help looking for a live in caregiver or nanny position in Canada, please contact out International Nanny agency in Canada.

Sample Nanny Resume

An example of a Canadian Nanny Resume:

Jane Nanny

453 Beach Avenue

Childtown, BC

(986) 453-5426

[email protected]

 

Objective: Seeking a live-in caregiver position that will allow me to work closely with children, since I love working with kids.

Qualification Highlights:

  • Over 10 years of childcare experience.
  • Early childhood education certified.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Fluent in English and Japanese.
  • Experience working children who have special needs.

Work Experience:

Mr. and Mrs. Need-a-Nanny

Caregiver

November 2009 – November 2011

  • Responsible for the care of two children ages 3 and 5.
  • Assisted children with bathing and dressing.
  • Oversaw playtime and daily activities.
  • Discussed and reported any concerns with the parents.

Education:

 

Childtown Community College

Early Childhood Education Certificate

Completed January 2000

Hobbies: painting, yoga, cooking, and volleyball.

References available upon request

If you would like help finding a Canadian family that you can be a live in caregiver to, contact International Nanny Agency in Canada

Benefits of Using a Nanny Placement Agency

What are the benefits of using a Nanny Agency?

Hiring a nanny can be an intimidating process; do you know for example what you should look for in an applicant, what questions you should ask, how many references you should check? If not, working with a placement nanny agency can be an excellent way of finding a suitable applicant and ensuring the subsequent paperwork to enable that person to work for you is dealt with correctly and efficiently.

Before deciding to use a particular nanny agency, do your research; ask people you know who have hired live-in caregivers which agencies they used, find out what the service was like, both before and after the caregiver arrived, and if they would use that agency again.  The purpose of using a nanny agency after all is to reduce the stress of finding a suitable applicant, you should be sure you can trust them to do so.

A good agency will show an interest in your family, assess what they feel your needs are i.e. work schedule, number of children, etc. and recommend applicants to you on these bases.

If you wish to hire a local nanny, the agency will only send you pre-screened applicants, who they have already assessed as being suitable for your family. This will save you heaps of time by avoiding having to read through every application should you have advertised for the position yourself and interviewing many unsuitable candidates before finding one you like.  By working with an agency you should feel confident that the applicants you are interviewing with will already have had their references checked up on and have been deemed by the agency to be good applicants.

If you are hiring a foreign nanny cargiver from overseas, using an agency can mean having access to a much larger pool of applicants, who again will have already been pre screened. The drawbacks of hiring overseas in not being able to meet the candidate in person, have been minimized in recent years with families being able to communicate regularly with their chosen nanny throughout the processing time by phone, email and webcam.  Some agencies may require this communication to be regulated by them initially to minimize the opportunity for unsuitable candidates to make undue requests of the family i.e. asking for money.

There are also benefits to be had by using an agency after your nanny or caregiver has arrived. The agency should follow up closely with you both, and offer suggestions during the sometimes tricky initiation period. Throughout the employment you should know you have the agency as a contact should you or your nanny have any questions and concerns, and be confident that you have the most up to date information as an employer in regards to such items as minimum wage increases, new mandates made to the Live-in Caregiver program and labour standards in your province.

If you would like to hire a nanny or caregiver  in Canada for your family, feel free to contact us at International Nannies and Homecare.

The Dos and Don’ts of a Professional Nanny

How to be a good nanny or caregiver for a Canadian family

Do

  • Be flexible with your employer. Being a nanny is not like working in a factory or an office, it is not always possible to start and finish exactly on time. Be willing to give your employer a little bit of leeway and they will provide you the same courtesy.
  • Let your agency know if you are experiencing any difficulties with your employer, this is what they are there for. Chances are they will have heard of similar stories from other nannies and can provide great insight in how you can approach and fix the problem.
  • Be pro-active. It is your responsibility to ensure your work visa is renewed on time, that your employer provides you with a payslip every time you are paid etc.
  • Seek sensible advice from reliable sources. Canada Immigration, HRSDC, and all information regarding being a foreign worker in Canada can be found online. There are also many telephone lines dedicated to different departments who will be able to answer all questions and queries you may have.
  • Get into the habit of writing things down, especially when beginning a new job. It is always better to have instructions written down to refer back to at a later time.
  • Improve your skill set. Take the opportunity to learn new skills or strengthen and improve on the ones you already have. Canada has some great colleges and institutions where you can take courses and classes.

Don’t

  • Take job advice from your friends. Being a good friend does not mean they will necessarily give good advice. If you are unsure about anything check with your agency who have experience in the matter.
  • Lie to your employer. If you make a mistake, admit to it and apologize.
  • Use your cell phone during working hours. You would not do this in another work setting such as an office so being a nanny should be no different. The same rule applies to watching TV or spending time on the computer; do it when you are not working.
  • Be shy about asking questions. It is much better to ask than to keep quiet and make repeated mistakes. Canadian employers will see this as a good sign of your wanting to perform your job correctly.

If you would like to be hired as a nanny or caregiver in Canada please fill out this online application.