Three simple questions to help you decide how to hire a caregiver


To most people who needs help on how to hire a caregiver, here are three simple questions you can ask yourself and work your way from there:  

  • When should I hire a caregiver? - Depending on the urgency, if you're looking for an immediate help for your children or elderly three months to a year from now, finding a local caregiver will work to your advantage.  

Hiring overseas can take a longer time.  There are varying visa processing times depending on the country.  Take for example, the Philippines, average processing time can take 16 months or longer.  The recent caregiver I know who successfully received her visa and came here in Canada in January 2013 had only 12 months of visa processing time.  Sometimes, it also depends on the immigration's backlog.  

The country that has the shorter visa processing time is Hong Kong. To check Application Processing Times outside Canada, go to this link: 

Take note as well that, as an employer, there are a couple of requirements you have to accomplish before hiring a caregiver or nanny whether it's local or overseas.  These requirements would take a minimum of three months to accomplish.

  • How much does it cost? - Either local or overseas, if we're talking about "live-in" caregivers, the rate would be the minimum wage depending on the province. As of January 1, 2014, prevailing minimum wages slightly increased -  BC now is $10.33/hour, Ontario $10.86/hour, Alberta $10.19/hour, and others. See

"Live-out" caregivers, however, costs more than live-in caregivers since they bank on their previous work experiences and would demand a higher rate.  Most often, caregivers who completed their "Live-in caregiver program" after 24 months or 3900 hours and holds an open work permit (meaning you don't have to issue them an LMO) would ask for $12 - $15 an hour, sometimes higher, depending on their work experience.  In some cases, there are more willing and understanding caregivers with open work permit who would still agree with the regular wage rate.

  • How long can a caregiver work with me? - Hiring caregivers who are locally available can be "tricky" sometimes when it comes to job commitment. If they are under the caregiver program and have less than the required 24 months of completion, they probably would commit for only a year or only for the remaining duration of their program completion and open work permit application. 

On average, they usually would commit for a year.  This may work for first-time employers who'd like to "test the waters" and see if a live-in caregiver suits their needs. But if you like your caregiver and continuity and consistency is important to your family (specially when you have very young ones who are not flexible to changes), then that can pose a problem for you. In most cases, as long as you can have a good, amicable arrangement with your caregiver, then you can make it work out.

The advantage of hiring overseas caregivers is they can stay with you for two to three years as they need to complete their program then process and wait for the release of their open work permit. You can actually issue them a 3-year contract right off the bat to save you time and money renewing a work permit. 

If you have more questions in mind or you're ready to take the next step, call me at (604) 828-7412 for a free consultation.  You can register directly on the following links below: