COVID-19 update

Provincewide restrictions on social gatherings do not apply to co-parenting arrangements, or service visits from family care givers, health care or child care providers. However, those visits must be limited to their intended purpose and not be of a social nature.

Licensed daycare, out-of-school and preschool programs can operate as long as providers follow all public health orders and guidance for child care programs.

Child care legislation in Alberta is being updated and will come into effect on February 1, 2021. For more information, see Improving child care.

Types of child care

There are several types of child care programs that operate in Alberta:

  • Out-of-school care programs operate before and after school, during lunch hours and sometimes when school is closed. These programs provide care to school-aged children.
  • Daycare programs are facility-based programs that serve infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children. Typically, daycares provide care throughout the day, from the morning to early evening.
  • Preschool programs offer child care for 4 or less hours per day for preschool aged children.
  • Approved family day homes offer care in an individual’s private residence and can provide care for 6 or less children, including the caregiver’s own children, with one caregiver. Children of all ages may participate in approved family day homes.
  • Group family child care programs offer care in a private residence. There are typically between 7 and 10 children with 2 caregivers. Children of all ages may participate in group family child care programs.
  • Private child care providers offer child care services and are not licensed by the province or approved to operate under the provincial family day home category. Private child care providers can care for up to 6 children, not including their own, at any given time. Private child care arrangements and programs are not monitored by the Government of Alberta.

For more information about the different types of child care, see the Child Care Licensing Regulation.

To find child care in Alberta, see Find quality child care.

Financial assistance for parents

Parents may be eligible for the child care subsidy to help with the cost of approved child care.

Funding for child care professionals

Wage top-up and professional development funding is available to support certified child care professionals through the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program.

Filing a complaint

If you are concerned about the health, safety or well-being of a child in licensed or approved child care, or in a private child care provider’s home, please contact your local Children’s Services office.

All complaints received are reviewed:

  1. The licensing officer will determine if your complaint falls under the scope of the Child Care Licensing Act, the Child Care Licensing Regulation, or the Family Day Home Standards Manual for Alberta.
  2. If your complaint is within the scope of these legislation and standards, an investigation will be conducted.
  3. Complaints can be submitted anonymously and licensing officers do not reveal the name of the individual who has made the complaint, unless required to do so.

Child care publications