What is the difference between a nanny, a caregiver and an au pair?

An Au Pair is defined as a young person (between the ages of 18-30), who goes abroad to live with a native family and learn (or perfect) a language in exchange for childcare. An Au Pair in Canada is paid minimum wage Meanwhile, a nanny or Caregiver is paid median prevailing wage and does not take part in any cultural exchange.

An Au Pair might be the best option for you. Like a In-home Caregiver, an Au Pair provides affordable and flexible childcare, but
only child-related housekeeping. Au Pairs can arrive in your home within 5-16 weeks of receiving a job offer and are able to work full or part-time hours.
Moreover, you are not required to demonstrate proof of sufficient income, your identity and address, apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) nor pay for an Au Pair’s airfare to Canada and health care as you would for a In-home Caregiver. Au Pairs are interested in a cultural exchange experience and are looking forward to sharing their language, traditions, food and much more with you and your children.

Differences between an Au Pair and an In-home Caregiver.

Au Pair In-home Caregiver
Must have childcare experience, preferably
outside the family such as babysitting, tutoring,
completing an internship in a daycare/preschool
Many have a minimum of 1 year of full-time
work experience as nanny, an early childhood
education and 1 year of work experience in the
according field, or a 6 month care giving training
Main responsibility: childcare
Assists with child-related household duties
including meal preparation, doing the children’s
laundry, and helping to keep their rooms clean
Main responsibility: childcare and housekeeping
Always live-inOption to live-in or live-out
10 – 12 months, sometimes 6 months (Dec-Mar)2 years
Between 18-29 years of ageNo age limit, majority are between 25-45 years
High school graduates (ECE certificate for Au
Pair Professionals)
Usually high school or post-secondary education
in nursing, midwifery or teaching
No additional costsFamily must pay for the caregiver’s roundtrip
flight as well as healthcare coverage until eligible
for provincial health coverage and LMIA costs.
Applicant must complete a medical exam and
police clearance(s) prior to entering Canada
Applicant must complete a medical exam and
police clearance(s) prior to entering Canada
Comes to Canada for a “cultural exchange” –
more like a big sister to your children
An In-home Caregiver may also offer in-home
elderly care or disabled adult care
Has a driver’s licenseRarely has a driver’s license
Proficient in English as a second language or
native speaker
Proficient in English as a second language
Au Pair is paid minimum wageCaregiver is paid median prevailing wage
Room and board are deductible, the amount
depends on province
Room and board cannot be deducted
Working hours range from between 25 – 44
hours per week
Caregiver works full-time between 40 – 48 hours
No additional paperwork needs to be submitted
to Canadian Embassy or Service Canada
Canadian Embassy processing the application
requires potential employers’ Notice of
Assessments to determine eligibility, letter from
employer, Proof of Identity and Address
No Labour Market Impact Assessment requiredLabour Market Impact Assessment is required
No advertising requiredAdvertising using at least four different methods
of recruitment
Processing times range between 5 – 16 weeksProcessing times range between 6 – 9 months