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.


Effective April 1, 2020, all licensed daycare, out-of-school care, group family child care, and approved family day home agencies can apply for grant funding to support the recruitment, retention and professional development of their staff.

Available funding supports include wage top-up and professional development funding.

Wage top-up

This funding provides programs with a wage top-up for certified child care staff and family day home providers over and above the base wage paid by the employer. Staff must be paid at least minimum wage before the wage top-up.

Funding is paid monthly up to a maximum of 181 hours at the following rates:

Child care certification level Average employer-paid wage (average as of September 2020) Wage top-up rate Average wage (with wage top-up)
Child development assistant $16.19 $2.14 $18.33
Child development worker $17.30 $4.05 $21.35
Child development supervisor $18.95 $6.62 $25.57

Professional development

This funding is provided to child care programs to assist with the costs of approved post-secondary tuition and textbooks as well as approved conferences or workshops for their eligible staff certified as child development assistant, child development worker and child development supervisor.

How to apply

Details about eligibility, application process and requirements are included in the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide.

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To apply for funding, programs must submit the Grant Application for Wage Top-ups and Professional Development (PDF, 104 KB).

After you apply

After submitting a grant application, programs will receive written notification confirming their eligibility. If a program has been confirmed as eligible to access funding, a grant agreement will be provided to the program’s authorized representative for review and signature. The funding will be considered approved for a program only when the grant agreement has been signed by both parties.

All programs must sign a Grant Agreement to receive wage top-up and professional development funding.

If your program was receiving accreditation funding under an approved Child Care Accreditation Funding Application, it will no longer be valid as of March 31, 2020.

Grant payments

After the grant agreement has been signed by both parties, programs will have to submit an online claim after each month to receive wage top-up funding and any professional development payments. For information regarding the online claims system, visit the online child care claims system page.

To receive professional development funding, you will need to submit a Professional Development Funding Request Form (PDF, 119 KB).

Grant funding audits

Every year the Government of Alberta audits a sample of child care programs that received the funding. The top issues identified by the auditing team for 2018/19 fiscal year are as follows:

  • Hours claimed for wage top-up funding are greater than actual;
  • Wage top-up funding is not transferred to staff;
  • Funding not properly identified and/or accounted for;
  • Minimum wage not paid to staff before applying the wage top-up funding.


Connect with the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-1119
Toll free: 1-800-661-9754
Email: [email protected]