Canada is hands down one of the best countries to be an au pair. For most nationalities, you can enter on a work visa called International Experience Canada. Additionally, the pay in Canada is quite good, with most au pairs making about $235-$290 per week in addition to room and board.
Finding an au pair job in Canada is generally easy, though potential au pairs may want to enlist the help of an au pair agency and be very selective of how they choose the family they work for. Canada is a very safe and happy country to live, and any au pair will fall in love with its charming cities and quaint towns.
Canada is a great place to au pair for those interested in experiencing large cities, vast wilderness, snow sports, and friendly, welcoming people.
Popular Cities for Au Pairing in Canada
Canada's cities are the most popular au pair destinations -- and where you'll find the greatest number of opporutnities. Here are some of the highlights, but if none seem quite right for you, don't forget to look outside the cities for families in the Canadian wilderness looking for au pairs too!
- Ottawa is the capital of Canada and is small, peaceful, and close to a much of Canada’s wilderness.
- Toronto is the largest city in Canada, and is in close proximity to Niagara Falls. It's also been named one of the best places to live in the world and is incredibly forward thinking. The towering skyscrapers and endless activities to do will make any au pair fall in love with Toronto!
- Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and will make any au pair feel as though they’ve just entered Europe. They mainly speak French in this intimate, safe, and laid back city.
- Vancouver is a young, popular city with delicious food and a ton of diversity and vibes similar to it's Pacific Northwest neighbor to the south, Seattle.
- Quebec City has some of the most stunning views in the entire country. The French-speaking city is perfect for Francophiles, with cozy ski resorts and charming buildings.
Whether you opt for the urban jungle or close access to Canada's stunning wild places, there are great options for any au pair.
Canadian Au Pair Visa & Salary Info
There is no visa specifically for au pairs in Canada. However, people from Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Croatia, and a few other countries may apply for a Working Holiday Maker Visa instead.
You must have a valid passport and be of age (over 18), enough money at your disposal, working hours, time off, and various other things in order to be able to apply for an au pair.
Au pairs generally stay anywhere from 12-24 months depending on the nationality.
As for your salary, au pairs will generally make around $235-$290 per week in addition to room and board, which is a little over minimum wage in most territories. Since salaries are highly dependent on individual families, it's best to interview several before taking an offer.
Other Important Info about Au Pairing in Canada
In addition to picking your destination and family and negotiating your salary, here are other important details and considerations when finalizing your au pair plans.
- Housing: Most housing is provided by your host family, but double-check this as you compare jobs. You'll typically get your own bedroom in the family house.
- Languages: Don't forget that Canada has two main languages: French and English. If you speak French, this may help you find a job; you may also be expected to help the children learn English. To improve your French skills, consider enrolling in a French language school in Canada while you're there.
- Packing Tips: Canada has four distinct seasons, including an... impressive winter. Plan ahead and pack for different weather, including cold, snow, and sun.
- Cost of Living: Families usually cover room and board for au pairs (as you'll be living and eating with the family). Some will even help you out with a cell phone plan and other benefits -- but this widely depends on the family. Although you won't have too many more expenses, you should still budget about $600 - 800 / month for going out and personal necessities, depending on where you are.
- Travel: While you won't have a ton of time, don't miss out on the chance to explore Canada. It has some of the most stunning and picturesque natural scenery in the world, and you're gonna wanna 'gram it! Consider booking a guided tour in Canada to make the most of your time.
With all that, you're ready to finish your au pair job search to find the perfect role in Canada. Good luck -- or bonne chance if you're hoping to become an au pair to a French-speaking family!