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RESOURCES FOR THE EXPERIENCE

Canada

Why be an Au Pair in Canada?

In  Canada you will be able to practise and improve your English or French, within the magic of its majestic landscapes and its huge nature. Not so many countries have such a beautiful nature as Canada has, with different national parks throughout its territory.

This country, located in North America, has over 35 million inhabitants. Its capital city is Ottawa, although the most populated city is Toronto. The spectacular Canadian cities give Canada its particular features and they are very different: Vancouver, Calgary in the West, and Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal in the East. It is further a comfortable country in terms of travelling due to its infrastructure, development and natural areas, everything is relaxed and without any complication.

The main Canadian cities are:

Cities

Inhabitants

Toronto

2,600,000

Vancouver

1,837,969

Montreal

1,649,519

Calgary

1,019,942

Ottawa

812,129

 

 

Main conditions of the Au Pair programme in Canada:

  • Range of accepted age: 18 - 30 years old
  • Working hours: 25-30 hours per week, which may be extended or reduced as agreed upon with the host family and according to the weekly pay established.
  • Holidays and free days: the Au Pair shall have two holiday weeks every six months. The Au Pair must have at least one free day, always including Sundays.
  • Ticket expenses: the Au Pair will bear any expenses involved in her/his trip, unless the family are willing to pay such expenses, either in whole or in part.
  • Insurance: it is mandatory to hire a private health insurance covering any disease, hospital and repatriation expenses. As an Au Pair, you must bear such expenses, unless the family offer to pay them.
  • Language: to be an Au Pair in Canada, it is necessary to have a good English or French level.
  • Weekly pay: EUR 120-150, USD 130-160, GBC 85-105

 

Visa:

Working Holiday:

The following countries have a Visa Working Holiday agreement with Canada: Germany, Australia, Belgium, Chile, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Greece, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Taiwan, and Ukraine.

 

Live-in Caregiver:

Another option to obtain a visa as an Au Pair in Canada is to obtain the Live-In Caregiver visa. You may check requirements and get more information on the Working Holiday visa as well as on the Live-In Caregiver visa in our Canadian Essential Links section below.

 

Essential links:  

Canadian embassies around the world

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp

Live-in Caregiver visa

http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/work/caregiver/index.asp

Working Holiday Visa

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/

 

Au Pair Agreement

Given the particular regulations of each country as regards the visa and any changes that may occur as to the process to obtain it, Needaupair.com is not responsible for the information, opinions, and advice expressed on this website and, in every case, it recommends that users get information on these topics in each reference country.

 

Au pair programme concept

Au pair programme concept

 

Au Pair Programme concept

The “Au Pair” concept was born at the end of the 19th century when British and German girls went to France to study and were accommodated in host families' houses. 

In the “Au Pair” placement there are two parties: 

  • Au Pair: is a young person between 18 and 30 years old, with no kids, not married, who decides to live abroad for a certain period of time with a host family. The Au Pair may improve her/his language with the family and/or attending language classes, get to know a new culture, and live wonderful experiences abroad with a host family, from which the Au Pair receives accommodation, food and a weekly pay. In return, the Au Pair has certain obligations consisting in helping the family to take care of the children as well as with the house tasks.

 

  • Host family: are those families (including single-parent families) who have at least one 16-year-old, or younger, kid who lives in the house. The family temporarily takes in an Au Pair as an elder daughter/son, the latter becoming another member of the family for a certain time period who helps them with daily tasks, such as taking care of the children and house tasks.
     

Before being part of the Au Pair programme, it is convenient that both Au Pairs and families be informed about the goals of the programme and, in particular, of the obligations involved in being an Au Pair or a host family, as well as in committing to respect the programmes' principles and accepting, on the part of the family, that an Au Pair is not a nanny, a professor, a nurse, or a housewife.  


To sum up, the “Au Pair” placement is about a cultural exchange and living together programme regulated in Europe by the European Agreement on Au Pair Placement, and in other countries by their own legislation, in which both parties must agree to the conditions established and make the most out of the experience for both parties.

 

Au Pair concept

Host Family concept

Au Pair's obligations

Au Pair' requirements

Au Pair's benefits

Host Family's general conditions

Host family's benefits

General costs of an Au Pair

Host family's general costs

 

Au Pair concept

It is a young person between 18 and 30 years old, with no kids, not married, who decides to live abroad for a certain period of time with a host family. The Au Pair may improve their language with the family and/or attend language classes, get to know a new culture and live a wonderful experience abroad with a host family, from which the Au Pair receives accommodation, food, and a weekly pay. In turn, the Au Pair has certain obligations which consist in helping the family to take care of the children and helping with the house tasks.

 

Host Family concept

A host family is a family (including single-parent families) who have at least one 16-year-old, or younger, kid who lives in the house. The family takes in the Au Pair temporarily as an elder daughter/son, the latter becoming another member of the family for a certain time period who helps them with daily tasks, such as taking care of the children and house tasks.
 

 

In general, host families require Au Pairs who pay attention to and are loving with their children, their greatest wish being to trust an Au Pair when they are not at home and the Au Pair is alone with the kids. The parents of the host families are usually people opened to cultural exchange, who are happy to live with, chat with, and enjoy the benefits of sharing daily experiences with an Au Pair from another country, and to take the Au Pair in as another member of the family.
 

Au Pair's obligations

The Au Pair's obligations may vary depending on the family, so it is very important that the Au Pair and the family agree, before the Au Pair starts her/his stay, on the tasks the Au Pair shall perform, it being recommended that a weekly planning be prepared, stating the pertinent tasks. Furthermore, such tasks will be included in the Au Pair agreement, which must be signed by both parties.

In general, the Au Pair's obligations shall mainly comprise taking care of the children and carry out simple house tasks. The total weekly hours dedicated to these services shall not exceed four-six hours per day (25-40 hours per week, according to the type of Au Pair placement programme selected), including babysitting 1-2 nights per week, if so required by the family.

 

Among the main tasks related to the kids, we may state the following:

  • Dress them up

  • Feed them

  • Change diapers

  • Take them to and pick them up from school

  • Help them with their homework

  • Play with them and read stories/books to them

  • Take them out for a walk, to the swimming-pool, to play sports, to the cinema, etc.

  • Bath them and get them ready to go to bed

  • Be creative and involve kids in any activities which will stimulate their growth and development

  • Help with the language

  • Once or twice a week, babysit

 

The main house tasks accepted to be performed by the Au Pair are:

  • Load the dishwasher and clean the dishes

  • Prepare simple meals for the children

  • Iron the children's clothes

  • Operate the washing machine and peg out washing

  • Keep the kitchen clean and tidy

  • Dusting

  • Vacuum-cleaning

  • Change the children's bed sheets

  • Keep the Au Pair's bedroom and bathroom clean and tidy

  • Empty garbage cans

  • Feed the pet and take it out for a walk, if so agreed

  • Do any required daily shopping

 

As an example of tasks not accepted to be performed by the Au Pair and which, therefore, cannot be required by the family, we may find the following, among others: clean windows, deep house cleaning, take care of the garden, wash the car, do the weekly shopping, train pets, make the parents' bed, iron the parents' clothes, cook for the entire family, clean the parents' bathroom, etc.

 

Au Pair' requirements

Before deciding to become an Au Pair you must be sure you comply with the general requirements to enjoy this programme in the country you will choose, such requirements depending on the country.

The main general requirements to be fulfilled are the following:

  • Young people between 17 and 30 years old (this may change depending on the target country).

  • Be single and with no kids.

  • Be willing to enjoy a unique experience as an Au Pair during a time period running from one month to one year (it may be extended up to two years).

  • It is important for the Au Pair to have enough knowledge of the target language, so that she/he will be able to keep a conversation upon arrival, making her/his adaptation easier; in some countries a minimum language level is required.

  • Be responsible, honest and flexible, with adaptive and integration capacity, and open-minded.

  • She/he must like kids and be able to deal with them. Previous experience in working with and taking care of children will be very appreciated (babysitting services, camp, nursery, previous experience as an au pair, younger siblings...).

  • Have minimum experience in house tasks.

  • Be willing to attend language classes, since in some countries it may be mandatory as part of the Au Pair programme. 

  • Have completed, at least, the secondary school (depending on the country).

  • Be able to bear the journey expenses, since the programme assumes the Au Pair is responsible for moving to the host country.

  • Having a first aid certificate will be positively appreciated.

  • Be healthy; it may be necessary to submit a health certificate.

  • Have no criminal records; it may be necessary to submit a criminal records certificate.

The Au Pairs from any country within the European Union who wish to be part of the programme in another EU country shall require no visa, so the programme will be more flexible.

In the case the Au Pair shall require a visa for not being a European citizen, or in case the Au Pair is a European citizen and chooses a country not belonging to the European Union, she/he must take into account the following aspects:

  • She/he must comply with every requirement established by the target country embassy, which, depending both on the host country and on the Au Pair's residence country, may vary from country to country.

Therefore, and to confirm you are able to comply with these requirements, it is important that you get information in the target country's embassy in your country about what you need to request a visa.
 

  • Not having kids: most countries will not issue a visa to be an Au Pair if she/he has kids.

 

You may find information in the countries section on the general requirements necessary in each country to obtain a visa; however, from Needaupair.com we advise you to request information in the embassy or consulate of the country you choose located in your country.

 

Au Pair's benefits

  • Learn languages: the stay abroad as an Au Pair is one of the best occasions to learn or improve a language, since you will be totally immersed in a country whose language you want to learn, living with a family who speak that language.
  • Get to know a new culture/country and meet new people: being an Au Pair will allow you to know the culture and visit the most interesting places in the target country, apart from meeting new people and making new friends.
  • Broaden your horizons and personal values: the Au Pair programme offers you the possibility of knowing a new lifestyle and different cultures, as well as meeting new people, which will broaden your knowledge in general, and living a great experience at the personal level, which will provide you with very important values in current life, such as building self-confidence, being more responsible, and many other values that will help you to be more independent and facing society's current conditions more solidly.
  • Obtain experience in childcare: if your option is to dedicate professionally to childcare or teaching children, being an Au Pair is an excellent way to start getting or increasing experience in this field.  
  • Combine your stay abroad with a job: you will have the possibility of financing your stay abroad without incurring so many expenses, and even receiving a weekly pay from the family which will allow you to be economically independent to face your daily expenses.

 

Host Family's general conditions

In general, host families must provide and comply with the following aspects:

  • Your family is composed of at least one kid (usually under 16 years old, but it may vary depending on the country).

  • Private bedroom for the Au Pair inside the host family's house which shall have a window, heating, bed, desk, and wardrobe, as well as a private bathroom.

  • Board and lodging, sharing food with the family's members, unless the Au Pair shall express the contrary (diet, vegetarian...).

  • The family will deliver the Au Pair on a weekly basis a determined amount of money as a weekly pay, according to the provisions of the Agreement entered into by the Au Pair and the family.

  • Make sure that, as a family, you are able to cover the Au Pair's meals and the weekly pay agreed upon with the Au Pair.

  • In no case shall the Au Pair's working hours exceed the maximum number of daily/weekly hours stated in the Au Pair programme of the host country. The Au Pair and the host family will agree on the number of hours the Au  Pair will work per day/week/month and both parties shall respect the timetable stated in the Agreement and in the weekly planning. 

  • At least one and a half free day per week (Sundays always), and one free weekend per month, so that the Au Pair shall have free time to rest, go out with friends, visit places, or play some sport.

  • A paid week for holidays every six months (the weekly pay is maintained).

  • The family must speak the official language of the country in their daily life, since in most cases the main goal of the programme is to learn a language and immersing in a different culture.

  • Possibility of attending language classes, which shall be paid by the Au Pair, unless stated otherwise in the Agreement or in case it shall replace, either in whole or in part, the weekly pay assigned to the Au Pair.

  • Facilitate the Au Pair's registration in the case of European citizens who have the European Health Card, in the family's health centre. In the case of non-European citizens, the family shall pay half the health insurance.

  • In the event the Au Pair shall make use of public transportation to carry out her/his tasks as an Au Pair, such transportation expenses shall be paid by the host family, and, in case the Au Pair shall use the family car, this shall be included in the car insurance policy.

  • In case of disease of the Au Pair, the host family shall take care of the Au Pair as if she/he were another member of the family. The weekly pay shall be maintained until the Au Pair is recovered. 

  • Help and motivate the Au Pair to improve her/his language skills, house tasks, and childcare, especially during the adaptation period (first moth).

  • Inform the Au Pair on the house rules, the family's timetables, the house tasks to be performed, the children's habits, and the rules for the use of the telephone and computer, among others.

  • Pick the Au Pair up upon arrival (from the airport, train station...).

  • Be willing to respect the general conditions of the Au Pair programme of the country of stay.

  • Finally, it is convenient to remember that an Au Pair is not a housewife or a professional nanny, and therefore her/his main obligations are related to the care of children, which does not prevent her/him from helping with daily house tasks. Since she/he is not a professional nanny, you must be patient and flexible during the process of learning which the main tasks with the children are.

 

Host family's benefits

Today's lifestyle of most families in developed countries where both parents work at the same time, or the increasing number of single-parent families, involves difficult conditions for they to combine family life and work, mainly in summertime, Christmas, Easter Week, and especially holidays, as well as those days in which the kids are ill and cannot go to school or nursery, involving a big difficulty for many families who, unless they get help from relatives or employees involving a high cost, will certainly have a headache when facing these situations.

Additionally, the globalisation of the last years evidences the great importance of languages, and mainly in the working field, where speaking a second or even third language means a clear advantage at the training level, the best way to learn it being in the first years.

These two current features of society may be faced, to a large extent, successfully through the Au Pair programme, from which the host family will be benefited by the Au Pair's help with the care of children and by facilitating the learning of languages. 

Furthermore, participating as a host family in an Au Pair programme carries many other advantages such as:

  • Your kids will have fun learning languages with no need of going out, and you will see how the learning process advances; your whole family will participate in a cultural exchange.

  • Kids will be better looked after: they will have someone who will help them with their homework and exams, a mate to play with, and all this will occur while practising languages.

  • You will have more free time since today it is difficult to combine work and time to take care of and enjoy family.

  • For the family it is an affordable option, since the Au Pair usually receives a weekly pay, apart from board and lodging.

  • The Au Pair will also help with simple house tasks, although she/he is not a housewife.

  • The number of hours the Au Pair works is flexible, being able to babysit some nights per week.

 

General costs of an Au Pair

The Au Pair programme will provide you with the possibility of living abroad with a host family, so you will be able to visit another country in the most economical possible way, learn or improve the language you have chosen, discover a new culture, meet new people, strengthen your personal values, and gain experience in childcare, therefore the advantages of being an Au Pair are countless.
 

In order to find a host family through Needaupair.com, if you want to, you will incur no expenses at all, since only by registering you will receive e-mails of host families, in case they are at least Gold Members, including their e-mails and thus you will answer to them and establish a direct contact with them. Likewise, only by registering you will be able to accept videoconferences or chat on line with host families, provided that these families are Gold Members or at a higher level.

If you do not speak the language of your destination country well, for only 36,99€ through the Diamond Member subscription − for a period of 90 days and for a maximum of two videoconferences of 30 minutes each −  you can rely on the interpretation services offered by Needaupair.com, where you will be helped during the videoconferences with the Hosting Families by the Needaupair.com team who will translate all the things you do not understand or do not know how to say.

Other expenses you will need to cover if you decide to become an Au Pair include:

  • Transportation expenses to the host country, unless the family shall offer to pay, either in whole or in part, such transportation expenses, in which case once you have arrived at the host family's house such amount will be reimbursed through a greater weekly pay.

  • Visa expenses shall also be covered by the Au Pair.
  • Health insurance, in the case of a non-European citizen who has chosen a European country, or in the case of a European citizen who has chosen a country not belonging to the European Union. In these cases, you will have to cover at least half the health insurance expenses.
  • Language courses: these will be borne by the Au Pair, unless you agree with the host family that they will pay your language course as partial or total part of your weekly pay.
  • In USA: once you have found a host family, they will contact a domestic agency that will arrange your stay. The Au Pair shall register with the associated agency in her/his country of residence, so that both agencies will arrange the stay.

Apart from these costs, it is always advisable to have some extra money when you travel to a foreign country as an Au Pair to cover any personal or unexpected expenses that may arise.

 

Host family's general costs

Taking in an Au Pair involves minimum expenses when compared to other services in the sector dedicated to childcare and learning a language, there being countless advantages for the host family that will have a reliable person in the house. 
 

As a host family, expenses to be borne for taking an Au Pair in are the following:

  • Weekly pay of the Au Pair, as agreed upon in the Agreement and pursuant to the minimum amounts established by the host country and the type of Au Pair programme selected.
  • Board and lodging of the Au Pair: make sure your Au Pair has a private room.
  • In some countries, the host family will bear the health insurance and accident insurance costs, so it is important to get information about the official Au Pair programme in your country.
  • In most countries, the Au Pair will attend a language course and it will be paid by the family if so established by the official programme. In general, such expenses are borne by the Au Pair in most countries, although if it is negotiated, it may be included in the weekly pay.
  • USA: host families in the U.S. shall contact a domestic agency once they have found their Au Pair at Needaupair.com. The Au Pair shall register with the agency associated with her/his country of residence, so that both agencies will arrange her/his stay.
  • Price of the Needaupair.com subscription according to your needs: Silver (free), Gold (5,99€), Platinum (14,99€) or Diamond (36,99€).