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 pre-school-aged children. Typically, day cares provide care throughout the day, from the morning to early evening.
  • Pre-school programs offer child care for four or less hours per day for pre-school aged children.
  • Approved family day homes  offer care in an individual’s private residence and can provide care for six 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 seven and 10 children with two caregivers. Children of all ages may participate in group family child care programs.
  • Private babysitters offer child care out of their homes and have not been approved to operate under the provincial family day home category. Private babysitters can care for up to 6 children, not including their own, at any given time. Private babysitting 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 the Find quality child care page.

Financial assistance

For parents

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

For child care professionals

New or experienced child care professionals can find many incentives to work in child care or to upgrade their child care training.

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 babysitter’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
  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