Vincentian benefits from  Canadian Caregiver programme
August 23, 2011
Vincentian benefits from Canadian Caregiver programme

Keisha Toby, a Vincentian Canadian, has benefited greatly from a Canadian Caregiver programme, and advises other young Vincentians to get involved as well.{{more}}

Toby, originally of Diamond, now resides in Toronto, Canada and works as a Caregiver, through a programme offered by the Canadian Immigration Department.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday, August 11, 2011, Toby said that she had heard of the programme after working for three years as an illegal resident in Canada.

Toby explained that just after leaving the A’ Level College in St. Vincent, she was at home for several months unemployed and at a loss as to what to do to occupy her time.

“I was a point where I was frustrated. You get all your CXC’s, you got all your A levels. What next, where next would I turn?’ Toby said.

She then had the opportunity to go to Canada, where she worked as a nanny for three years, illegally. She then came upon the programme, after volunteering for an organization called Intercede.

“I realized that people were being sponsored for the job I was doing. So, I started to investigate and I realized that I was even over-qualified for this programme,” she said.

While stating that she is not advocating a brain drain, Toby added that it is a great opportunity for Vincentians who have no other options. She added that persons have to love children in order to enjoy the job.

“You have to love children, I must say: if you don’t like working with children, this is not for you,” she advised.

Toby said assistance is also given by support organizations in Canada and essentially, there is no cost to the programme.

In order to qualify for the programme, persons must have the equivalent of a Canadian Secondary School Education, which is five CXC/CSEC subjects, including Mathematics and English. Persons must have paid work experience as a caregiver or in a related field or occupation (including six months with one employer) in the past three years; at least six months’ training, or at least one year full-time.

Additionally, persons must have good knowledge of French and English, a written contract from your employer, signed by both employer and employee, a positive Labour Market Opinion from the Canadian Employer. After all these requirements are met, persons can then apply for a work permit. Toby added that after the programme is completed, you can apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Toby added that the programme has impacted on her life greatly. She describes her experiences as positive ones. She added that she loves working with children and has had a wonderful time working as a nanny.

She also is a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree from York University in Children’s Studies and Psychology and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Education.

For more information, persons can contact Bernice Small of the Working Women Organization in Toronto at