How to become an au pair in Canada?

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Canada has 39 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Working Holiday
United Kingdom
Care Giver

minimum stay

1 month

maximum stay

24 months

12 months

working hours

There are no specific regulations when it comes to the number of hours au pairs should work in Canada. 

25-35 per week is common practice, but for more detail on Canada's Labour Code and stipulations to working hours please click this link.

days off

1 day off per week (typically sunday)


2 weeks for every 6 months worked = 2.33 days/month

allowed work

The daily work of an au pair varies widely. It wholly depends on the type and lifestyle of the family that is hosting the au pair. In general, an au pair's everyday work includes:

  • Carrying out light housework such as helping to keep the home clean and tidy as well as washing and ironing clothes;
  • Making breakfast and simple meals;
  • Looking after younger children, i.e. supervising them, accompanying them to kindergarten, to school or specific activities, bringing them for walks, playing with them;
  • Watching over the house or apartment and looking after pets

Which work should and can be done by an au pair? Which work an au pair definitely doesn't have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

The daily work of an au pair is to perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Supervise and care for children in employer's or own residence
  • Bathe, dress and feed infants and children
  • Prepare formulas and change diapers for infants
  • Plan, prepare and serve meals for children and may perform other housekeeping duties
  • Oversee children's activities, such as meals and rest periods, as instructed by employer
  • Maintain a safe and healthy environment in the home
  • Instruct children in personal hygiene
  • Tend to the emotional well-being of children and support their social development
  • Discipline children according to the methods requested by the parents
  • Organize and participate in activities such as games, crafts, reading and outings
  • Take children to and from school and appointments

Which work should and can be done by an au pair? Which work an au pair definitely doesn't have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

forbidden work

The au pair does not have to:

  • manage the whole household
  • prepare meals for the parents
  • make the host parents' beds and clean their bathrooms
  • clean the floors
  • clean the windows
  • take care of the pets
  • do gardening
  • supervise/take care of other children that aren't the host kids

Which work should and can be done by an au pair? Which work an au pair definitely doesn't have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

Caregiving must be the main responsibility of the job. A job offer for which the main duties are house cleaning, for example, is not acceptable under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).

pocket money

Currently the general minimum wage in Ontario is approx. $ 11/hr., so if you work 30 hours, you will receive $ 330 (pocket money) - $ 85.25 (room and board) = $ 244.75 per week.

The minimum wage varies slightly from province to province: click here for more detail

board and lodging

Au pairs are entitled to have their own room at their host family's home. The host family should also provide them with meals. Naturally, this also applies in case of illness or during the au pair's holidays.


accommodation for the au pair is as follows as described in government link: Room for temporary foreign worker in live in care-giver program

  • accommodation is private and furnished bedroom;
  • bedroom door has a lock and safety bolt on the inside;
  • bedroom meets the municipal building requirements and the provincial/territorial health standards; and
  • foreign caregiver is not charged room and board for the accommodations, as per the policy, under the TFWP.
  • Host families must submit the completed Schedule J - Employer Supplied Bedroom Description form (EMP5599) with the application.

language course

During one's stay as an au pair in Canada, it is recommended that he/ she participates in a language course for ease of assimilating to the surrounding culture. Usually, it is the au pair who pays for his or her own language course, however please see below link for some possibilities for government funding to newcomers in Canada.

Language classes funded by the government of Canada

travel expenses

Normally, it is expected that the au pair pay for the flight to and from Canada. If the host family is happy with the help you provide, they may possibly pay the
return trip or part of the cost. 

The employment contract demonstrates that the Live-in Caregiver Program requirements are met by including a description of:

  • mandatory employer-paid benefits, including:
    • transportation to Canada from the country of permanent residence or the country of habitual residence to the location of work in Canada

health, accident and liability insurance

When applying for a visa, the au pair must have health insurance for the entire time he / she is in Canada. The health insurance must cover:

  • medical care,
  • hospitalization, and
  • repatriation.

It is recommended that the au pair purchase this insurance only after a Letter of Introduction is received.

social welfare system

see social welfare system in step-by-step page


The au pair must submit a tax declaration at the end of the year in order to receive a tax refund!

cost for host family

$ 330 (pocket money) - $ 85.25 (room and board) = $ 244.75 per week. In addition, the host family will deduct EI (Employment Insurance), CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and income tax from the au pair's pay. The host family must register the au pair for insurance coverage with the province's worker's compensation board. Premiums, depending on the province, should be less than $15 a month.

ending of contract

There is no official notice period for au pairs in Canada. But, if one wishes to terminate the au pair contract that he or she has signed, it is recommended to do so by giving two weeks' notice, leaving enough time for the host family to find a replacement au pair and for the au pair who is departing to either organize a return trip or find a new host family.

Before the au pair leaves the job, he or she must request these documents from the host family:

  • a record of any overtime hours worked; and
  • a record of employment (ROE). The ROE indicates:  reason for leaving
    • hours worked
    • gross earnings
    • any money paid or payable at the time of leaving the job.

Discuss with others in our community what one can do when problems arise with your au pair / family!

If a live-in caregiver’s (au pair's) work permit is about to expire and he/she is between jobs and have not yet found a new employer under the LCP, CPC-V may issue an interim work permit to bridge the gap. This interim work permit allows a caregiver (au pair) to remain in Canada legally, but does not authorize them to work for a new employer. Live-in caregivers (au pairs) may submit an application for a bridge extension using the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada (IMM 1249). Cost recovery fees apply.

The bridge extension should:

  • have a maximum duration of two months; 
  •  show the most recent employer; 
  •  include “bridge extension” in Remarks.

If the bridge extension expires before the applicant finds a new job/employer and is eligible to apply for a new work permit under the LCP, CPC-V should assess the reasons for the continued unemployment on a case by case basis and may decide to refer the case to a CIC inland office for a more in-depth examination. See section 8.5 of Official document on processing live-in caregivers in Canada

Discuss with others in our community what one can do should problems arise with your au pair / family!

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Hi, my name is Julien Baldini

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