Au Pair - FAQ

FAQ: Hosting an Au Pair from Overseas


What is an Au Pair?
An Au Pair is typically a young woman who takes care of your children and does light housekeeping for up to 12 months. She is considered a part of your family and is interested in getting to know the Canadian way of life. All of our Au Pairs have been interviewed in person and must have at least 3 non-related references as well as a some childcare experience. The term Au Pair is French and means "equal to", implying that the relationship between you, your children and the Au Pair is a reciprocal and caring one.

Why should I get an Au Pair instead of a Live-in Caregiver?
Depending on your needs an Au Pair might be the better option for you. Au Pairs as well as nannies provide affordable and flexible childcare, but only child-related housekeeping. Au Pairs can arrive in your home within a couple of weeks and are able to work part-time. Moreover you are not required to provide your Notice of Assessments, apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment or pay for the Au Pair's airfare.

Why International Nannies & Homecare Ltd.?
With more than 19 years of experience, International Nannies and Homecare Ltd. is one of Canada's leading nanny agencies with a focus on providing excellent service to both caregivers and families. All of our Au Pairs have passed a comprehensive screening process. We check all references, interview the Au Pairs and require all of our Au Pairs to present a current police record and undergo a medical exam. Before your Au Pair's arrival we make sure that you and your Au Pair are aware of cultural differences and provide more information on how to make it a successful year for both of you. We will also support you during your Au Pair's stay.

What countries do the Au Pairs come from?
Our Au Pairs come from around the world, but mainly from Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Austria. They expose your family to other cultures, languages, and customs, offering a valuable cross-cultural experience.

If I am a single parent do I qualify to be a host an Au Pair?

Can I select an Au Pair from a specific country or who speaks a certain language?
Of course, just be aware that it may take longer to match you with an Au Pair from a specific country or with certain language skills. Some requests might not be able to be fulfilled since not every nationality is eligible to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.

How do I choose my Au Pair?
You will be able to review the Au Pair's application, interview her via Skype or phone and discuss your expectations and requirements before making your decision.

How long does it take until I can welcome an Au Pair in my home?
The waiting time depends on the Au Pair's country of origin but can be anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks. After being matched with a host family, each Au Pair candidate must apply and be approved for a Working Holiday Visa. This process takes several weeks. Some Au Pairs might already have their visa and can therefore travel as soon as possible.

How do I get started?
Contact us today at 1-800 820 8308 or email us! During a free consultation we will discuss your expectations and determine what your needs are. We then ask you to fill out a short application including basic facts about your family and lifestyle, pictures of you and your children and a typical work schedule. We also require one personal or professional reference from you.

How does the matching process work?
Once we have your complete application and know what is important to you, we will start the matching process and present you with suitable Au Pair profiles. After you and the Au Pair agree on a start date and duration of her stay, we will support the Au Pair during the visa application process and arranging her flight to Canada.

How many hours does an Au Pair work?
An Au Pair works 25-44 hours per week according to your needs. She does not need to work full-time like a Live-in Caregiver.

How much do I pay my Au Pair?
The weekly pay rate for Au Pairs is determined by the province she works in and the hours being worked. The wage is based on the provincial minimum wage. Currently, the hourly minimum wage is between $11.81 CAD and $16.00 CAD. In addition, room and board can be deducted from the Au Pair's wage. Wages and room and board deductions vary depending on the province and are subject to change.

Should I provide my Au Pair with her own bedroom and car?
Host families are required to provide the Au Pair with a private lockable bedroom. It is not required that an Au Pair has her own bathroom or car.

What sort of orientation will my Au Pair receive before she arrives at my home?
International Nannies & Homecare Ltd. as well as its overseas partners are committed to preparing all of our Au Pairs thoroughly so that they can provide the best care for your children. All of our Au Pairs have been interviewed by our local partners; have verified childcare and personal references, passed a medical exam and have a clear medical record. Moreover they have been provided with extensive information on health and safety, emergency procedures, the 911 system, and how to deal with culture shock and the Canadian culture.

Can the Au Pair perform any household duties?
The Au Pair will be able to do any household duties related to the children, such as doing the children's laundry, cleaning up their rooms, picking up after the children, preparing meals and driving them around. However, the Au Pair is not a housekeeper and therefore not expected to clean the entire house or do the family laundry.

Do all Au Pairs drive?
Most applicants have a valid driver's license. Depending on the province, her nationality and her driving experiences the Au Pair might need to undergo a driving test in Canada to be able to drive in Canada. During your telephone interview, you may ask the Au Pair about the extent of her driving experience. Once you select an Au Pair, you should also be sure to contact your car insurance company about how to insure your Au Pair.

Can my Au Pair travel with my family?
Yes, just make sure that your Au Pair is in compliance with the specific visa rules and regulations of the destination country prior to departure. She might have to apply for a tourist visa prior to her travels depending on her nationality and your destination.

You question has not been answered here? Email or call us today at 1-800 820 8308!