Choosing quality child care
Quality child care promotes the unique physical, social, cognitive, creative and emotional needs of the children in care. In a quality child care program, each child feels safe, nurtured, and valued. Children have opportunities to build friendships with peers, explore their ideas, and learn about their world in an environment that promotes their overall health and well-being.
In a quality child care program, early childhood educators acknowledge that children are capable mighty learners. Educators and children can form positive respectful relationships that nurture each child’s sense of belonging and security. Quality child care programs ensure that each family’s culture, traditions, values and goals for their child are respected and supported through communication and collaboration.
For more information read the Choosing Child Care in Alberta guide.
Types of child care
Licensed child care programs are monitored and inspected to ensure that they follow government standards set out in the Early Learning and Child Care Act, Early Learning and Child Care Regulation, and Alberta Family Day Home Standards . Licensed child care is delivered in facility based child care programs including, preschools, day cares, and out of school care centres, as well as licensed family day home programs.
Unlicensed or private child care providers are not monitored by the Alberta government or licensed agencies. Examples of unlicensed or private child care includes nannies, private day homes, and informal arrangements with friends, neighbours, or family.
Finding child care
To search for licensed child care options in your area you can use the provincial Child Care Lookup. You can also call the provincial Child Care Connect line at 1-844-644-5165 for help finding child care.
Affordable child care and subsidy
Effective January 2022, child care in Alberta will be more affordable under the new federal-provincial child care agreement. Fees will be lowered in two ways, through affordability grants and subsidy grants.
Affordability grants are provided directly to the child care provider to offset child care fees. This amount is based on a child’s age and the number of hours they are enrolled in a program. The following types of programs will qualify for funding under this agreement: licensed facility-based programs that offer child care to children aged 0-6, including licensed child care and preschools; licensed family day home programs that are monitored by a licensed family day home agency and offering child care to children aged 0-6; licensed Group Family Child Care programs
The following types of programs will not qualify for funding through this new agreement: out-of-school care programs or unlicensed day home programs.
Subsidy grants are for children from 0 to kindergarten-age (in kindergarten and also attending child care during regular school hours) and eligible to families with a gross household income of up to $180,000. Families must apply to receive this subsidy.
For more information about the federal-provincial child care agreement and child care subsidy please click here.
Child care respite
Child care respite is a community support service that provides temporary child care to families who are currently addressing significant challenges. Child care respite may be provided to families with children age birth to twelve years of age who could not otherwise access child care support through family, friends, or community.
For more information about child care respite, call 780-464-4044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child care concerns
If you have concerns about your care provider or one in your community, you can call Child Care Connect 1-844-644-5165. Early learning and Child Care staff will help you report concerns, complaints or incidents related to the health and safety or well-being of children in any child care setting.