Tag Archives: Live-in caregiver program

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

Best Childcare Option for your Family: Nanny or Au Pair?

Child Care ConceptWhat is the best in-home care option for your family?

A Nanny or an Au Pair?

Locally based childcare in Canada is extremely difficult to find and consequently many parents choose to hire an applicant from overseas through the In-Home Caregiver Program. This is a temporary foreign worker program which enables families to hire a nanny for their children, or a caregiver for their elderly or disabled relatives.

In order to qualify, nannies must have obtained at least one full year of work experience or completed a full-time six month long caregiving course. There is no age limit for nanny applicants but the majority fall between 25-45 years of age. Though their duties are predominantly childcare, a live-in nanny can also perform light housekeeping and , meal preparation for the family.

In turn, the family must be able to offer their nanny applicant a full-time, long-term employment. The nanny may live in the home with the family but room and board must be free of charge. It also helps the nanny who can learn from the family and settle into living and working in Canada since typically this will be her first time in the country.  

The employer when hiring an overseas nanny must pay for her travel costs, including airfare, but many families use their travel points to fly their nanny to Canada.  Depending on the province in which they are based, the family may also be required to  pay for her to be covered for temporary private health insurance if she is not immediately eligible on her arrival to apply for provincial health insurance coverage.

Depending on province, a full-time live in nanny starts at $ 395 – 450 per week.

Hiring someone through the In-Home Caregiver Program can be extremely successful and many parents gain a long term, consistent and reliable live-in or live-out nanny, someone they and their children have grown over time to know and trust. In-Home nannies provide great flexibility right in your home and provide that extra pair of hands for busy families.

However there is a lengthy wait for a nanny’s arrival, often taking about six months for all the paperwork to be processed.

If a family is planning to go the overseas nanny route, PLAN AHEAD !!

And because the nanny’s employment is required to be full-time, it is not a program that is suited to the needs of all families.

This is one of the reasons why a growing number of parents are choosing to hire an Au Pair. An Au Pair is someone who is also based overseas and looking for a childcare position with a Canadian family, but is typically younger (18-27) with less professional work experience, and interested as much in the cultural benefits of their stay. They too live in their employers’ home and learn about the Canadian way of life, but also take an active part in family life; becoming a big sister to the children they are caring for. Childcare makes up the majority of their duties and while they may do some tidying of the home and laundry, this is only as it relates to the children i.e. tidying the children’s toys, washing the children’s clothing etc. Au Pairs also typically hold full drivers licences and are thus able to drive the children to and from school and other activities if required by the family.

Au Pairs obtain a work permit through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, which allows them to live and work in the country for a maximum of one year usually. The application process is expeditious, taking approximately 8-12 weeks. And because a job offer isn’t required prior to applying, many Au Pairs will have obtained their Visa even before interviewing with families so can travel to Canada as soon as they have found the perfect family to work for. For parents, the process of hiring an Au Pair is extremely simple as the Au Pair herself is responsible for purchasing her own airfare and temporary travel insurance for the duration of her stay. Au Pairs are not required to work a certain number of hours so they can be flexible, working full or part time as their host family requires.

Because they lack the professional work experience of a nanny, Au Pairs are not usually suitable for taking care of newborn and very young babies. However for toddlers and older children they can be great role models, introducing your family to another culture and even another language. While some families hire an Au Pair to cover their childcare needs for a full twelve months, others may only be needed during the school year or even while a family is waiting for their live-in nanny’s application to be approved.  Whatever the situation, Au Pairs make a great immediate and temporary childcare solution for some, while for other families a live-in nanny provides that consistent, long-term childcare they require.   

 

Manuela Gruber Hersch is the owner of International Nannies & Homecare Ltd.(www.internationalnannies.com ) and also a founding director of ACNA Canada ( Association of Caregiver & Nanny Agencies Canada). She also came to Canada as an overseas live in nanny and employs a live in nanny for her two children.

Solving the problem of Canada’s aging population

Canada is becoming an increasingly elderly population. It is estimated that by 2036, the number of Canadians aged 65 or older will nearly double; making up 25% of the total population. This is expected to place an increased financial burden not only on Canada’s health care system but also on the home care industry, which is already struggling to accommodate an increasing number of people.

Many elderly people will reach a point where they require an extra level of assistance on a day to day basis. Sometimes this can be instigated by an accident or a prolonged illness, and sometimes it is just that they have become frailer with age. And with the increasing demands of everyday life it is often not possible for family and friends to provide the kind of full-time companionship an elderly person living alone may need.

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) is one solution, allowing an elderly person or persons to remain safely in their home with companionship and care. Live-in caregivers work full-time hours and reside in their employer’s home. They provide assistance with mobility, personal care, medication reminders, run errands and perform light housekeeping.

The cost of a live-in caregiver’s wages can be offset in part by the room and board an employer will be paid by them in turn, so a live-in caregiver is designed to be a financially viable option for families. Over a long term, a live-in caregiver is also a much less expensive option than prolonged hospital stays or a permanent move to an elderly care facility. Economically it is in the country’s best interests to support in-home care for senior citizens.

The LCP is also beneficial to the live-in caregiver (a temporary foreign worker) who, through living in their Canadian employer’s home, is able to become settled here much faster and grow accustomed to the Canadian way of life. It is a program that works extremely well to integrate foreign workers to the country.

Our senior citizens’ current dependence on elderly care facilities demonstrates that they, and their families, are willing to invest in good, long term care. In turn, we should make sure that the LCP is a viable and timely option for Canadian families.