Moving to Canada as a nanny
The nanny profession is considered one of the top priorities in Canada, but to successfully immigrate and start working, you need to know how to do it right.
Moving to Canada as a nanny is becoming an increasingly popular way to move, with the government promoting an influx of new professionals in the field. In 2021, 1,500 foreign nannies will be admitted through the federal immigration program alone, and a total of 6,000 homecare professionals will have a chance at life in Canada.
This relocation option also offers an attractive opportunity for you and your family to become permanent residents in a relatively short period of time. In 2020, 2,900 members of this profession have already become permanent residents of Canada. You can join their ranks in the next few years, and we'll tell you how to do it.
Practicing nanny Olga Romanchenko will help you figure this out. She moved to Canada from Ukraine 3 years ago, all this time she has been working as a nanny for one family and gladly agreed to share her experience.
From this article you will learn:
- the salary level of Canadian nannies;
- employment requirements;
- options to immigrate to Canada as a nanny;
- tips from a practicing nanny;
- resources for finding a nanny job in Canada.
Bonus! Sample resume and cover letter samples for a successful nanny job in Canada.
Salary of a nanny in Canada
The income level of nannies in Maple Leaf Country depends on a number of factors: the average rate for the area, experience, qualifications, number of children and their ages, hours and duration of work, additional services provided by the nanny such as cooking, housekeeping, cleaning, and others.
But there are averages that can be used as a guide. According to official information, nannies in Canada earn $14 CAD per hour. For comparison, in Russia and Ukraine, in terms of Canadian money, the average salary of a nanny is $3 CAD per hour.
Getting a job as a nanny in Canada is easier than finding a job in many other fields, but there are still requirements that must be met.
There is no age limit for working as a nanny in Canada, from the age of majority and if you meet the basic conditions, you are eligible to provide professional childcare.
This profession does not require a college degree, but it does require a high school education. Of course, a degree in education will increase your chances and allow you to qualify for a higher salary, but even without it you are likely to find a job.
Obtaining additional certificates
Special certifications may also affect successful employment, and in some cases, it is a prerequisite. The major ones include:
- CPR/AED (confirms cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills);
- First Aid Certificate (proves first aid skills).
Other certifications may be required by the employer, such as Red Cross Water Safety, which certifies that your child will be safe with you during your water activities. For more information on certifications and options, visit Red Cross Canada.
Having proven experience is a great guarantee of employment. All jobs can and should be listed on your resume, and it does not necessarily have to be exactly the same experience. Working at a children's camp or as a tutor is also suitable, the more practice you have interacting with children, the better your chances are.
For many immigration programs, work experience is a prerequisite, read on.
Knowledge of languages
Babysitters working in Canada must understand at least one of the official languages (English or French). To qualify for immigration programs, you must score at least 5 on the CLB system. This means that you should score a minimum of 5 on the IELTS compulsory language test: Listening — 5.0, Reading — 4.0, Writing — 5.0, Speaking — 5.0. For how to convert IELTS scores to CLB levels, see link.
The Story of a Nanny Practitioner
In 2018, Olga Romanchenko from the small Ukrainian town of Dolinskaya moved to Ontario through the Live-in Caregiver program for nannies and caregivers. This program is already closed for applications, but Olga still found some universal tips that will be useful for many immigrants. Read the interview with the heroine to learn them.
Immigrant.Today: Hello Olga, can you tell us why you decided to move to Canada?
Olga: When I was a student I really wanted to go to the U.S., I was interested in American culture. My parents did not let me go at the time, and when I grew up, they did not take me to America under the Aupair student nanny program. So the closest country to my childhood dream was Canada, and with my experience there was a suitable program, which I moved to when I was 29.
I.T: Did you have any experience as a nanny before you moved?
A: I am a philologist of English language and literature by training. After graduation, I worked as a teacher in a village, gave private lessons, then was the head teacher. All in all, I have seven years of teaching experience. And it certainly helped. And letters of recommendation from parents of my students helped to confirm my experience.
I.T.: What was your level of English before you moved, and how did you improve it?
A: I graduated from the department of foreign languages. But I still lacked practice communicating with native speakers in Ukraine, so I looked for it additionally. I met foreigners online and prepared for the IELTS language test using textbooks. Now I am at the Upper-Intermediate level (above average). I thought I could speak English here, but it did not work. I work in a Russian-speaking family, so I only practice English at weekends, outside of work.
I.T: How did you find an employer?
A: I decided to start my move through an agency. They put together a resume and sent it out to Canadian babysitting sites. An employee from the agency corresponded with prospective employers on my behalf and then brought me out on a specified date and time for an interview. Also, the agency has its own clients from Canada who had previously employed Ukrainian nannies, and they were asking for my services repeatedly. I had the second option. My employers used the agency's services before. The agency's services cost me $5,000 USD. They were responsible for finding an employer, making a contract, getting the legalities right and advising me every step of the way. This amount did not include exams, medical exams, and incidental expenses.
I.T: Were there any difficulties you encountered during the immigration process?
A: The biggest challenge was finding an employer. I went through a lot of interviews. There were three interviews a month, and sometimes none in a year, so patience and motivation are very important in this process. Speaking of motivation, you need to understand it clearly. When I first came to the agency for a consultation I was asked, "And why do you want it? Answers like: "I want to see the world", "to improve my English", "I love kids", it all does not work, you have to realize that you go to Canada to live. When there is an understanding that you are going not for a year, not for two years, but for life, all other processes of immigration go by themselves.
I.T: How long did the process take?
A: 4 years. During this time I passed the IELTS language exam, got my license, found an employer. In March 2018 I met my family via Skype, and in July I flew to Canada.
I.T: Under what conditions did you start working in Canada?
A: After I moved, I was paid the minimum wage per hour (each province in Canada has its own minimum rate). After the end of the contract (2 years) you can revise the terms of payment. I did so with my employers, they were happy with my work and in the third year I got a pay raise.
I.T: What advice do you have for prospective nannies in Canada?
A: At first, the hardest part is living with someone else's family. You are strangers to this family, so it takes time to get used to each other. The first year it is hard to adjust to the habits of the family where you live. So, probably the most important advice is to have patience.
I.T.: Do you regret moving to Canada?
A: I don't regret it one bit. I like everything in Canada. Friendly people (they say hello and smile on the street), beautiful nature (there are gorgeous parks, beaches and lots of animals), social security (all kinds of programs, government assistance and benefits). This is a country of opportunities, if you have a head on your shoulders and are willing to work, you can live well.
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