Becoming a nanny or caregiver in Canada requires the same process as becoming one in any other country, with some minor differences.
If you’re already fluent in English and don’t have any criminal records, it shouldn’t be challenging to find employment as a nanny or caregiver in Canada. Still, the proper visas and permits are necessary if you want to work there for more than three months legally.
Our guide will walk you through getting your working papers in Canada, so keep reading if you want to know how to become a nanny or caregiver in Canada!
Determine Your Eligibility
What do you need to be eligible for work as a nanny or caregiver? To work as an immigrant in Canada, you must have specific qualifications.
For example, permanent residents and refugees must have authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) before working here.
Even if you’re already authorized for another type of employment, some employers may require additional proof of your eligibility. So be sure to check with them first.
Contact CIC directly if you are not yet authorized to work in Canada but would like to apply for permission. You can also find more information on their website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/index-e.asp
Find The Right Position For You
It may take you a few weeks of searching, but if you’re serious about becoming a nanny or caregiver, it’s time well spent. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when applying for jobs. Apply with as many agencies and families as possible.
The more applications you send out, the better your chances are of finding something that works for you. If an agency doesn’t have any openings right now, ask them to keep you on file so they can contact you when they do.
Nanny/Caregiver Education And Training Options
If you’re interested in becoming a part-time caregiver, several options are available. Some employers will pay for your training if you ask; others may offer tuition reimbursement if you commit to staying with them for one year. Don’t assume all employers provide free training, so keep that in mind as you begin your search. An online course will cost anywhere from $700-$1500, and most programs can be completed within three months.
There are also many local community colleges and adult education centers offering certificate courses, which usually take between 6–12 weeks to complete.
The Canadian Nanny Association (CNA) offers an online program ($600), but it does not require any hands-on experience. As of May 2017, CNA is currently working on getting government approval for their program.
Duties, Tasks, Expectations, etc.
What exactly is expected of you as a nanny? How should you act around children? What duties are typically performed by caregivers/nannies? This section of your job description should include all of these details.
For example, if you’re working for a family with young children, you might be expected to get them up and ready for school every morning and make sure they get there on time.
You might also be responsible for preparing their meals, taking them on outings, and putting them to bed at night. If you’re working for an elderly person who needs assistance with everyday tasks like bathing and dressing, then your charges will likely differ from those mentioned above. In either case, it’s important that you know what’s expected of you before accepting any job offer.
Salary, Benefits, and Expenses
Caregivers and nannies are entitled to at least minimum wage, which is currently CA$10.25 per hour in most provinces. They are also usually eligible for benefits and paid vacation time.
Many get more than minimum wage, but there’s no guarantee of that—or even a regular schedule. Being an employee rather than an independent contractor can bring tax advantages, including deductions for travel costs (including gas) and child care expenses.
And you may be able to take advantage of employment insurance if you lose your job. However, being an employee brings specific responsibilities: you must pay income tax on your earnings, contribute toward CPP (Canada Pension Plan) payments, and EI (Employment Insurance) premiums may apply if you work part-time or on contract.
Get help from recruiters/placement agencies.
While you could just pick up your phone book and start dialing random agencies, it’s more effective (and easier on your budget) to find recruiters who specialize in finding caregivers. Make sure to do thorough research before choosing one. The Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies of Ontario is an excellent place to start looking for recommended recruiters/placement agencies.
Also, consider reaching out to local universities and colleges; many offer programs that help place students with families in need of care. Be aware that some employers may require you to be certified by a specific agency, so check with potential employers first if they have any certification requirements.
If they don’t, then contact an agency like Canadian Home Childcare Resource Centre (CHCR), which provides information about how to get certified as well as resources for prospective nannies/caregivers.
References and Interviews
References are required and you must be clean from using drugs. Background checks will be carried out on every applicant, so you should always be truthful when discussing your situation with any potential employer. You will also need two personal references for a background check—please ensure that these are family members such as friends, neighbors, or relatives who know about your immigration history and can vouch for you. While not mandatory, it’s highly recommended that you also provide two professional references from previous employers in Canada.
Nannying or Caregiving abroad – pros and cons
If you decide you want to work abroad as a nanny, or if an employer is thinking of hiring someone from abroad, it’s important to understand both the pros and cons of working abroad.
For instance, are you interested in learning about another culture and immersing yourself in it? If so, then being an au pair might be for you. Or perhaps you’re hoping to make some extra money while studying abroad – that would mean becoming a student nanny. On the other hand, if your goal is to gain valuable experience that will help your career back home, then perhaps you should consider applying for a position with one of our top employers based in Canada.