COVID-19 response

Licensed child care facilities are closed to the general public at this time. Select licensed child care centres have reopened to provide child care for essential service workers. Home-based child care with 6 or fewer children (not including the caregiver’s own children) can continue operating as long as safety measures are in place.

Learn more about child care during COVID-19.

For regular updates and the latest information on child care in Alberta in response to COVID-19, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.

Overview

Accreditation funding is available to licensed daycare and out-of-school care programs, as well as approved contracted family day home agencies that are enrolled in Alberta Child Care Accreditation.

Accreditation funding is paid to eligible child care programs, and transferred to staff in accordance with the Alberta Employment Standards Code and policies set out in the Accreditation Funding guides.

Effective April 1, 2020, the Child Care Accreditation Funding Program will be discontinued and replaced with professional development and one set of wage top-up rates that will be available to all licensed day care programs, licensed out-of-school care programs, licensed group family child care programs and contracted family day home agencies. The funding will be administered under the new Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program. Details will be made available on April 1, 2020.

If your program is receiving accreditation funding under an approved Child Care Accreditation Funding Application, accreditation payments will continue for the March 2020 claim period. The Accreditation Funding Application will expire March 31, 2020.

All programs will be required to sign a new Grant Agreement to receive the wage top-ups and professional development funding for the April 2020 claim period. Children’s Services will mail the new Grant Agreement for signing at the beginning of March 2020 to all child care programs licensed/approved as of March 1, 2020.

Please email any questions to cs.childcare@gov.ab.ca.

Accreditation funding and grants

Once your child care program has become enrolled in accreditation, you can apply to access funding to help recruit and retain trained qualified staff. Available funding supports include:

Staff/Provider Support Funding

Provides a wage top-up for eligible paid program staff/providers over and above the base wage paid by the employer. Staff must be paid at least minimum wage, before the wage top-up is added to their pay.

Funding is paid monthly up to a maximum of 181 hours.

Family Child Care Consultant and Coordinator (FCCC) Funding

This funding provides a wage top-up for paid, certified staff, working as an employee in the role of a family child care consultant and/or coordinator in a contracted family day home agency.

Funding is paid monthly up to a maximum of 181 hours.

Benefit Contribution Grant

This grant is used to offset the costs of the mandatory provincial and federal employer contributions associated with the Staff Support Funding, FCCC Funding and the Child Care Staff Attraction Incentive including:

  • general/statutory holiday pay
  • vacation pay
  • Employment Insurance
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Workers Compensation Board premiums

As of the April 2020 claim period, the Benefit Contribution Grant will no longer be available.

Professional Development Grant

This grant is available to eligible staff certified as Child Development Assistants and Child Development Workers to help obtain higher levels of certification and attend approved conferences and workshops related to early learning and child care.

Staff certified as Child Development Supervisors can contact the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) at 1-877-421-9937 or visit the AECEA website for information on professional development funding.

Staff Attraction Incentive

This grant is available to attract new and experienced staff certified as child development workers and supervisors to the child care profession. New Child Development Workers/Supervisors, or those having not worked in the field for at least 6 months, who find full-time employment with a pre-accredited or accredited child care program, may be eligible for the Staff Attraction Incentive (of up to $5,000).

As of April 1, 2020, the Staff Attraction Incentive will no longer be available. Applications for this grant will be accepted up until March 31, 2020 – Child care staff with approved applications as of March 31, 2020 will receive payment upon meeting the required 12 or 24 month work commitment up to June 30, 2022. No new Staff Attraction Incentive applications will be processed as of April 1, 2020.

How to apply

For details on eligibility, application processes and requirements see the accreditation funding guide specific to your child care program:

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To submit accreditation funding applications, you will need to use the following forms. See the above guides for more information.

After you apply

After applying for accreditation funding, programs will receive written notification indicating whether the grant application has been approved.

Grant and incentive payments

To receive funding, you will have to submit a claim online each month. For information regarding the online claims system, see online child care claims system.

Accreditation grant funding audits

Every year the Government of Alberta audits a sample of child care programs that received accreditation funding. These documents identify the most common audit issues relating to the administration of accreditation funding by child care operators.

See annual records for the accreditation funding audit.

Returning unused grant funding

If there are funds that haven’t been used for your project, fill out the Return Grant Funding form (PDF, 214 KB).

Contact

Connect with the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-1119 (extension 2)
Toll free: 1-800-661-9754 (extension 2)
Email: cs.accredfunding@gov.ab.ca