Costs, working hours, time off etc.

Information on pocket money, working hours and holidays can be found here – everything you need to know about the basic conditions of hosting an au pair.

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The au pair's primary responsibilty is to help you look after your children. Alongside childcare you may ask the au pair to help out with household chores as part of their duties, but these should only be light household chores, as their responsibilty is to look after the children, not to clean the house.

Clarify with your au pair well in advance what his/her exact duties will be. It is also recommended that these duties are defined in the au pair contract.


Hosting an au pair will cause your cost of living to automatically rise, as you will have another adult living with you.

Room and board

Throughout the entirety of their stay, au pairs are entitled to receive free board and lodging, which should be in an individual room. Naturally, this also applies in case of illness and during their holidays. 

Pocket money

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, please check the minimum hourly wages rates in Canada for specific information on your place of residence.

As mentioned above, costs for the au pair's room and board (meals) are deducted from your au pair's 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 your au pair works 30 hours, he or she will receive $ 420 (pocket money) - $ 85.25 (room and board) =  $ 334,75 per week.

In addition, you as a host family will deduct EI (Employment Insurance), CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and income tax from the au pair's pay.

Workers Compensation

Please register your au pair for insurance coverage with your province's worker's compensation board. Premiums, depending on the province, should be less than $ 15 a month.

Revenue Canada

Please keep in mind that once you employ an au pair, you are an employer and so you need to register as a business with the Canada Revenue Agency. Only as a registered employer, will you be able to deduct EI (Employment Insurance), CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and income tax from your au pair's pay.

Claiming childcare expenses

You can claim the costs of your au pair on your income tax return. The following costs are deductible:  the au pair's pocket money, your contributions toward EI, CPP, premiums to WCB. The fee for the Premium Membership on AuPairWorld is deductible as well.

Working hours

There are no specific regulations when it comes to the number of hours au pairs should work in Canada. We do, however, recommend 25 to 30 hours per week.

You can ask your au pair to do some additional babysitting for up to 3 evenings per week, these are however included in the regular working hours.

Free time

Prior to your au pair's arrival, you should discuss how many days and evenings your au pair will get off (and when exactly). The au pair must have at least one day off per week, and this should be on a Sunday at least once every month.


The Working Holiday Maker Programme does not determine how much holiday your au pair is entitled to. However, we recommend two weeks of holidays for a total stay of six months. Should your au pair wish to stay with you for less than six months, you may use this value to adapt the length of your au pair's 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

While staying in Canada, au pairs should participate in an English or French course. Therefore, they need to be given enough time for this. Host families should help their au pairs find a suitable language school. The au pairs usually pay for their own language courses.

Travel costs

Au pairs usually pay for their own travel costs. If you are happy with the help your au pair provides, you can pay for the return trip or reimburse part of the cost. However, this is only something we recommend. It is not compulsory.

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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