Posts found under: hiring Archives - Family Matters Canada

Top 6 reasons to go with a live in nanny instead of daycare

New parents and parents who have never had a nanny are always calling me and asking me what the benefits are to getting a live in nanny.  Many parents initially think that they are going to go the daycare route because that’s all they know.  Many feel that getting a nanny is probably too expensive.   They are also uneasy about having someone live in their home…they feel like they will not have any privacy.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Once your nanny is finished with her work day she will retire to her room.  The truth is, they want their privacy just as much as you do!

Here are the six top reasons to go with a live in nanny –

  1. Convenience – Imagine not having to run around getting your child up, dressed, fed and dropped off at daycare before you head to work.   The only person you need to worry about getting ready is yourself!  Your caregiver is already there.  Now think about how much stress you are eliminating and how much time you are saving by not having those extra tasks on your plate.  Now you can head into work without feeling like you were racing against the clock all morning and jumping through hoops all at the same time.  Ahhh…..
  2. Flexibility – Is work running late?  Last minute meeting perhaps? Stuck in traffic? Many things can and do pop up that cause you to be running late.  For every minute you are late to pick up your child at daycare, not only are you greeted with a forced smile from the daycare staff, you will be dinged with $1 charge for every minute that you’re late.  Ouch.  If you find that your schedule can be unpredictable you can work this all out with your caregiver.  Live in nannies know and understand that they are not punching a clock each day.  They are aware that sometimes life isn’t to the minute and their flexibility is priceless.
  3. Illnesses-every parent who has ever had a child in daycare knows the drill: you go pick up your child from daycare only to realize that there are some runny noses in the mix.  Great.  Chances are your child will have picked something up and will be the one with the runny nose the next day.  Or perhaps they will wake up with a full blown cold…with a fever.  Now not only can you not take your child to daycare, you cannot go to work.  Maybe you will only miss a day of work, maybe the better part of a week. During cold and flu season germs and illnesses can be passed around and around the daycare and each time your child gets sick you have to miss work.  By having a nanny if your child gets sick you can still get on with your day without worry.  You will have a loving adult at home that will see to his or her every need.
  4. Housework – Yep! It’s true.  Your nanny will tidy the house, start the dinner preparations and walk the dog in addition to taking amazing care of your children.  That means you can come home after a long day and not be bombarded by dirty dishes, baskets full of laundry and sticky fingerprints on the fridge.  You can come home and enjoy your family without having to worry about all of that other not so much fun stuff.  Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world…and to your day.
  5. Date night – Have you ever been home in the evening and wish you can pick up and go to the movies, out for dinner or just out for a coffee (or drinks) with your spouse? Or go out with a friend?  Of course you have!  But finding a babysitter on such short notice is near impossible.  Enter live in nanny.  A built in babysitter who is more than happy to do extra work (for extra pay of course)!
  6. Affordability – Many people think that live in nannies are unaffordable.  That is simply not true.  If you have one child in daycare a nanny will be slightly more expensive.  However if you have two children in daycare it will actually be less expensive to have a live in nanny. And, let’s not forget that in addition to caring for your precious children she is also taking care of your home and the chores that come along with it.

Sounds like a good deal to me!

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What are the requirements for live in nannies and caregivers?

Live In nannies and elder caregivers come to Canada on the Foreign Live In Caregiver Program.  This is a federal program that allows immigrants to work and live in Canada on a work permit.  The Live In Caregiver Program is a 24 month program.  Once the caregiver has completed 24 months she can then apply for Permanent Resident status.

In order to qualify for the Foreign Live In Caregiver Program candidates must have at least 1 year of relevant childcare or elderly experience or have completed a 6 month Caregiver course.  They also must have the equivalent of a grade 12 diploma in Canada.  In the Philippines this is 2 years of post secondary education.  Finally they must have a clean bill of health and no criminal record.

Family Matters has very high standards when it comes to choosing which candidates will be considered for our clients.  We look for candidates that we would be willing to hire to work in our own homes and take care of our own children.

To me this doesn’t necessarily translate into finding a nanny with the most amount of experience.  We look for candidates that possess good moral values, an excellent work ethic, candidates that are flexible, honest, have good common sense, a great attitude, good communication skills, patience, loving personalities and have an eagerness to learn.  We look for candidates that want to be part of their employer’s family and are team players.  Cleaning, cooking and following your family’s schedule can all be taught.  A person’s values, work ethic, positive attitude and integrity however cannot.

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What are the steps to finding a good live in nanny or elder caregiver?

These days the only way to get a live in nanny is to sponsor one from abroad.  Family Matters is one of the only Canadian agencies that personally interviews all of our nannies face to face.  We are a licensed employment agency in Hong Kong and are therefore legally allowed to travel there throughout the year to screen and interview potential candidates.  This makes a huge difference between our agency and “the other guys”.

When it comes right down to it we are basically matchmakers.  Our job is to match a family with a nanny or caregiver that can meet the needs of the family.  We first need to find out what your needs are.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Where do you live?  Do both parents work? What duties do you need your nanny to perform (housekeeping, cooking, pet care, taking the kids to school, programs or appointments etc)?  And so on.  Once we have a good idea of what you are looking for in a nanny we email you profiles of candidates that we feel would be suitable for your position.

We base our criteria on so many things – experience, education background, English skills, work ethic, common sense and personality just to name a few.  It is then up to you to decide who you would like to interview.  Most of our interviews are done via Skype but you can have a phone interview if you prefer.  After you finish your interviews if you would like to make a job offer to a candidate we speak to the candidate and make sure that she is interested in the job.

It is imperative that both parties are on board and feel like it will be a long term fit.   Once the nanny agrees to your job offer we start the paperwork processing.  The timelines change depending on how busy Service Canada and the Canadian Embassy in Hong Kong are.  The current timeline is about 8 months so it’s important to plan ahead!

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Always use a reputable and established Nanny agency!

By ACNA Canada

Finding a nanny is hard work. It is both time consuming and emotional. It may bring up fears and insecurities in parents as they search for that special person who is going to care for their child. This is a daunting task.

Nanny agencies are in every community, ready to help parents take on this important task. Parents count on their experience and expertise to help them understand all aspects of hiring a new “household employee.” But like all professions, there are excellent agencies and those who are not as professional. There are no federal regulations for nanny agencies, so quality varies.

How do you know your nanny agency is going to be a comfort and support to you, and not a source of even more anxiety? ACNA is a voluntary membership organization that establishes a code of ethics and best industry practices for nanny agencies in Canada.

In your search for the perfect nanny, make sure that you are working with an ACNA agency.

16 potential risks you face when not using a reputable and established nanny agency:

.    high probability of unsuitable nanny candidates

.    difficult to stay in communication with agency

.    no post-placement information package for families

.    no post-placement information package for nannies

.    no follow up after placement for nannies or parents

.    absence of a written contract

.    little or no experience in the nanny industry

.    lack of professionalism or financial stability

.    non-existent standards or guidelines

.    insufficient references

.    danger of document falsification

.    no guarantee policy (re-placement) if the initial placement is unsuccessful

.    no local support during the placement

.    limited understanding of changing Federal Live-in Caregiver Program regulations

.    limited understanding of changing Provincial Labour Standards

.    not aware of new industry trends arising

Family Matters Caregivers is a member of ACNA – the Association of Caregiver & Nanny Agencies Canada

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