Category Archives: Tips for Employing a Nanny

Realistic Expectations when Hiring a Live-In Caregiver







Check out our top 7 tips for realistic expectations when you hire a Live-In Caregiver.

  • Acknowledge that your nanny has arrived in Canada for the first time. You will need to teach her everything she is required to do, from how to use the washing machine to what to feed the children.
  • Do not assume she will know what needs to be done. Just like in any other job where you are the supervisor you will need to delegate tasks.
  • Understand that the culture shock may be overwhelming; the weather, the food, the size of the home, the appliances, the cleaning products, the language, the relationship Canadian employers have with their nannies and the way they raise their children will all be different. This may leave her completely at odds when trying to deal with a Canadian family.
  • Be patient. It may take several months for the nanny to settle into her job and into your home.
  • Be reasonable. Do not expect your nanny to be able to do more than you could.
  • Creating fair working conditions will help your nanny feel settled and secure that she is with a “good employer.”
  • Your nanny may also have realistic expectations of the position. Canada is sometimes seen as an attractive place to work because it is “easier” than other places. It is your responsibility to set the ground rules for the position and ensure your nanny knows what is expected of her.

Every placement is different, whether this is your first Live-In Caregiver or you’ve had multiple nannies in the past. Each placement will take time to settle but the above tips will help you find your groove and set up reliable routines with your Caregiver!

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!

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

Canada’s Critical Caregiver Shortage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Hiring Credit for Small Business in 2012

Happy New Year! Here is an exciting update to share with small business employers:
The 2011 Federal Budget created a Hiring Credit for Small Business (HCSB), a one-time credit intended to stimulate new employment and support small businesses. The HCSB gives small businesses relief from the employer’s share of Employment Insurance (EI) premiums paid in 2011. The credit does this by covering the difference in Employer EI premiums from 2010 to 2011, up to $1,000.


Who is eligible for the HCSB and how will it be calculated?
A small business whose total employer’s EI premiums paid for 2010 was $10,000 or less and whose total premiums increased in 2011 is eligible for a credit.

The credit is calculated as the difference between these two amounts up to a maximum of $1,000. The CRA will automatically calculate the credit when an eligible employer’s 2011 T4 information return is filed.


If an employer meets all listed eligibility criteria but has an outstanding debt with the CRA, will the CRA still calculate the credit?
Yes, the CRA will calculate the HCSB and will apply the amount of the credit towards any outstanding debt owed by the employer.


Can employers reduce their 2011 payroll deduction remittances by the HCSB they anticipate they will receive rather than waiting until the credit is calculated?
No. Employers are not permitted to short remit their 2011 payroll remittances by the amount of the HCSB they think they will receive. The credit will only be calculated once the 2011 T4 information return is filed.


Please contact our International Nanny Payroll Accountant Linh if you have any questions regarding this one- time credit: [email protected] or 1-604-786-2566.


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.


Tips for Being a Good Employer

What ways can people be better employers to a nanny or caregiver?

As an employer, we always have expectations of our employees, for example: be punctual, be hard-working, and be reliable; but what about the other way around? In what ways can people be better employers? Ensuring a harmonious relationship with your caregiver does not fall solely into the caregiver’s hands. A positive employer-employee relationship involves give and take. In order to promote a mutually beneficial relationship, here are a few tips to make your employee feel valued:

1) Offer a fair wage: For live-in caregivers, the wage has already been determined according to government standards. However, for live-out caregivers, the wage is negotiable. When offering your caregiver a wage, truly ask yourself, “What is required from this individual and what is a reasonable wage”? How many children do you have? Is there housework involved? Driving the children? Meal preparation? Your wage should fairly compensate your caregiver for the job’s requirements.

2) Treat her like a professional: If you are confident in your caregiver’s childcare abilities, you should trust her judgement. If you have any concerns, these should be addressed in private and not in front of the children; doing so will only undermine her authority. Try to respect her childcare approach and be polite in making suggestions. We all have different ways of doing things and there may even be a cultural element to your caregiver’s approach.

3) Respect her privacy: You should respect your caregiver’s personal space, especially a live-in caregiver. Even though they live in your home, this does not mean your caregiver is available all the time. When the work day is done, your caregiver is free to enjoy their time off; whether that is in the comfort of their private room, or out with friends, be respectful of their personal space.

4) Establish rules and respect them: Your caregiver’s job description has been clearly detailed in the employment contract. If you require duties beyond what has been described in the contract, please consult with your caregiver first. Furthermore, if your work day finishes at 5, try and be home at that time so your caregiver’s workday may end. If it is necessary for them to work longer, be sure to compensate fairly.

5) Show your appreciation: Positive feedback goes a long way in fostering a harmonious relationship. If you are pleased with your caregiver’s performance – let them know!

6) Be flexible: Life doesn’t always go according to plan – maybe your nanny needs a day off and can only provide short notice. Or perhaps, you need your nanny to work on a weekend and it’s a last minute request. As much as we all like to plan ahead, sometimes you need to bend a bit.

7) Be welcoming: While arriving in a foreign country is an exciting experience, it can also be terrifying. Take the time to show your caregiver around the house and explain how everything works. At the same time, you may also want to point out bus stops, grocery stores, banks, cell-phone stores, etc. Your caregiver will appreciate the gesture and your assistance will help build their confidence.

If you would like to find a caregiver or nanny for your family, simply fill out this family application for a nanny or caregiver.

Improving Communication with Your Caregiver

Best ways to communicate with your live in nanny caregiver

The long-awaited arrival of your overseas nanny is an exciting addition to the family. But how do you ensure those feelings of bliss and relief continue, as your new caregiver begins his/her employment? Although many employers consider their caregiver a “member of the family”, the fact still remains that an employer-employee relationship exists, and as such, some guidelines need to be observed when communicating with your caregiver. Communication strategies for communicating with your nanny for tackling business concerns are paramount, but business strategies alone are not enough; one must also consider the importance of recognizing cultural nuances.

Clear and Open Communcation

The most important aspect of maintaining a good relationship is clear and open communication. Arriving in a foreign country is nerve-wracking enough for your caregiver, so it is vital that he/she feels comfortable enough to open up to you and address any issues should they arise.

When speaking with your caregiver in front of the children, it is important to speak with him or her politely in order to avoid undermining your caregiver’s authority. Furthermore, when correcting mistakes, remember to praise your caregiver for ways in which they have performed well. An effective way to introduce concerns is through the “sandwich approach”. Although this approach is frequently used in educational settings, it is a positive communication tool in other settings as well.

Rather than introduce your concern outright, the “sandwich approach” advises starting first with a positive point, followed by your concern, and then ending with another positive comment. You can imagine two delicious slices of bread with some not-so-tasty cheese in-between! By using this method, you will create a more positive environment when discussing concerns.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that cultural differences often result in communication difficulties. For example, communication in Asian cultures is often very different than in Western Cultures. In order to avoid confrontation in many Asian cultures, there is a tendency to say “yes” to requests, when in fact the individual would rather say “no”.

Not to mention, a smile should not be misconstrued as agreement or pleasure in what has been discussed. The smile can just as easily be used to hide embarrassment, annoyance or disagreement. When communicating with your caregiver, especially when first getting-to-know each other, it is very important not to assume that your message is clear. What may be clear to you might be easily misunderstood  by your caregiver.

Hopefully, with a little bit of work and focus on communication strategies, you can easily maintain a positive home environment with your new “family member”. Happy Communicating!

If you would like to hire a live in nanny or caregiver in Canada, please contact International Nannies and Homecare.