An article was recently released by Jaqueline Hansen, of CBC, who reported on the rising costs of child care in Canada; specifically, the rising costs of daycare across Canada. Her report, based on a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, displayed how much Canadians actually spend on child care. The results were both interesting and shocking. Having an Au Pair may seem like it is the more expensive child care option, but is it really? Let’s compare the costs that the CCPA announced to the cost for an Au Pair.

According to Hansen’s report, “average Canadian child care costs are climbing three times higher than inflation” due to an increase in rent costs and the high demand for child care. In the middle class, both parents have to work in order to maintain a certain lifestyle. As well, more women want to pursue their career and are praised for doing compared to previous generations. So, if both parents are going back to work, where do the kids go? They go to daycare which is expensive and lack availability. According a study by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, Canada has the most expensive daycare among the 25 members of the OECD. For example, in Toronto, according to the CCPA, families pay a median of:
• $1,649 per month for infants
• $1,375 per month for toddlers
• $1,150 per month for preschoolers

Although Toronto has the highest prices in Canada, the study by the OECD also states that Canadian families spend a quater of their income on childcare, which is much higher than other parts of the world (according to Hansen’s article). What’s worse is that even if you are able to pay for daycare, you may be waiting 6 to 12 months (or more) to get to the top of the waitlist.

So, how does this compare to the costs of having an Au Pair? First, it does not matter where in the province you live that determines the price of having an Au Pair. Au Pairs are paid based on provincial wages, so an Au Pair in Toronto will be paid the same as an Au Pair in Brantford. Second, Au Pairs are paid the same amount no matter how many children you have. If you have one child or three, they will still be paid the same hourly wage. Third, Au Pairs live-in so room and board deductions are taken off each pay period.

Au Pairs are paid minimum wage and follow employment standards of overtime wage. This means that their pay will be determined by hours worked.

For example, if an Au Pair works part-time at 25 hours per week and minimum wage is $11.40, she will be paid $285.00, plus 4% vacation, less room and board and employee deductions. In total, the weekly out-of-pocket cost for an Employer will be $230.29 per week or $997.92 per month* if an Au Pair works 25 hours per week.

If an Au Pair works full-time at 40 hours per week at minimum wage of $11.40, she will be paid $456.00, plus 4% vacation, less room and board and employee deductions. In total, the weekly out-of-pocket cost for the Employer will be $423.62 per week or $1,835.69 per month* if an Au Pair works 40 hours per week. This is slightly more than the cost for infant care in Toronto at $1,648.00 per month but if you have two or more children, an Au Pair is cheaper.

Here are the Ontario Employer Cost for an Au Pair who works 25, 30, 35 and 40 hours per week.

Other costs that are involved in having an Au Pair are the costs of setting up her living arrangements (furnished bedroom that meets municipal building requirements and health standards set by your province), providing her with funds for a cellphone if you expect to reach her while she is working and adding her to your car insurance. Lastly, the placement fee is required when hiring an Au Pair.

The need for child care does not need to be the burden it is now becoming on Canadian families. Though an Au Pair may seem like an unconventional choice now, it is widely practiced in European countries like France and Germany, for which those families continue to reap the benefits in their bank accounts while the Au Pair reaps the reward of travel and experience.

Contact us today to see if having an Au Pair is the right fit for your family and your wallet! 519-803-3628 or

*This price is based off of December 2016 tax rates and includes remittences