The Live-In Caregiver Program was offered and administered by the government of Canada and was the primary means by which foreign caregivers could come to Canada as eldercare, special needs, and childcare providers.
While such services were offered by Canadian citizens or foreign immigrants with Permanent Residence status (PR), government provisions for a room and board deduction as well as a basic rate of pay that frequently total provincial minimum wage standard allowed for the program to be more affordable for many families.
Caregivers who came to Canada through the program are eligible to apply for PR status after working a minimum of two years For many who would not otherwise qualify for PR status under any other category, this was one of the motivations for participation.
This is a means of boosting immigration to Canada, Some caregiver placement agencies are substantially broader through their international advertising and the use of immigration legal services.
Standard qualifications were regulated federally, though conditions of employment were determined at a provincial level. Requirements included a minimum of 6 months of training or 1 year of compatible employment - though various exceptions and additional stipulations do apply. Such regulations and complicating bureaucratic procedures are the driving force behind the creation of Live-In Caregiver (or Nanny) placement agencies, who act as a mediator between families, caregivers, and the government - providing support for documentation and advice on the program.