Nanny vs Au Pair - What's the Difference?

Nanny vs Au Pair - What's the Difference?

by Martha Scully

Hiring an in-home caregiver offers you flexibility and convenience that you cannot find with a day care or day home. Wouldn't it be nice not to have to wake the children up and get everyone out of the house, just to deliver them to day care first thing in the morning? Many Canadian families are making the choice to hire in-home care, but there are several options available to you. Which one best suits your needs? 

nanny usually has several years of childcare experience, and have chosen this as their career. If you are looking for a long-term arrangement with a committed caregiver, finding a nanny is a good choice.

live-out nanny comes to your home each day to care for your children, and goes home at the end of the day. A live-in nanny lives in your home with her own separate sleeping quarters, and usually receives a lower salary as you can deduct room and board expenses from her pay in lieu of her living in your home. There are live-in and live-out nannies available for hire in Canada. How much does a nanny cost?

Some live-in nannies require sponsorship under the Live-in Caregiver Program, because they are not yet a Canadian citizen. They may or may not live in Canada right now, and each nanny will be at a different point of their sponsorship. Live-in Caregiver Information in Canada.

Traditionally, an au pair is a younger individual from a different culture who lives with the family in return for doing childcare and light housekeeping, and usually has basic childcare experience. Ideally, they would learn about your culture through you, and would gain child care experience. Unlike nannies, au pairs are typically not looking for a career in childcare. We've heard of people hiring someone from Quebec to help them learn English, and people moving to Quebec to learn French, but it is more common in Europe. The Live-in Caregiver Program in Canada dominates the use of au pairs due to the legal requirements of sponsoring a work permit. 

Nannies and au pairs are not the only in-home childcare solution though! We also have mother's helpers, adult caregivers, housekeepers and even pet care available! Regardless of what name you give it, you can find someone to fit your needs using! We also offer payroll solutions to help manage your nanny's payroll.

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.