Pocket money, working hours, time off etc.

What are your tasks as an au pair? How many hours will you be working? How does your host family support you? This page informs you about all the important details concerning your stay as an au pair in Canada.


As an au pair, your primary responsibility is to look after the host family's children. Alongside childcare you may be asked to help out with household chores as part of your duties, but these should only be light household chores, as your responsibility is to look after the children, not to clean the house. 

Clarify with your host family what your exact duties as an au pair will be, and ensure these are well defined in the au pair contract.

Pocket money

Your host family will give you pocket money in exchange for your help. Au pairs in Canada are paid at least minimum wage minus room and board. As the regulations concerning the minimum wage vary for each province/ territory, check the minimum hourly wages rates in the region where your host family lives. 

As mentioned above, your host family will deduct room and board (meals) from your pocket money. In Ontario, for example, weekly costs for room and board are calculated at $ 85.25. Currently the general minimum wage in Ontario is approx. $ 14, so if you work 30 hours, you will receive $ 420 (pocket money) - $ 85.25 (room and board) =  $ 334.75 per week.

In addition, your host family will deduct EI (Employment Insurance), CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and income tax from your pay.  However, you can assume that you will receive a net amount of approx. $ 200 per week

Tax refund 
Please remember to submit your tax declaration at the end of the year in order to receive a tax refund

Board and lodging

Au pairs are entitled to have their own room at their host family's home. The family should also provide them with meals. Naturally, this also applies in case of illness or during your holidays.

Working hours

There are no specific regulations when it comes to the au pair's number of working hours in Canada. However, from our experience we recommend that you work 25 to 30 hours per week.

The host family can ask you to do some babysitting up to 3 evenings per week which should be included in your working time.

Free time

As an au pair, you are entitled to have at least one day off per week. This day should be on a Sunday at least once every month.


The Working Holiday Programme doesn't regulate how much holiday you are entitled to during your stay in Canada. However, we recommend two weeks of holiday for a stay of six months. If you wish to stay for less than 6 months, you can use this value to calculate your holiday accordingly.

In Canada, there are no official regulations with regard to public holidays for au pairs. We recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays. Only in exceptional cases au pairs should work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.

Language course

During your stay as an au pair in Canada, you should participate in a language course. Usually, it is the au pair who pays for his or her own language course.

Travel expenses

Normally, it is expected that you pay for your flight to and from Canada. If your host family is happy with the help you provide, they may possibly pay your return trip or part of the cost. However, this is only our recommendation. The family is not obliged to do so.

We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.

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