Table of contents

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.

Licensed facility-based programs and licensed family day home agencies can operate as long as providers follow all public health orders and guidance for child care programs.

Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide

Licensed daycare, out-of-school care and 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.

Read the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide to see if you are eligible and learn about the process of applying for wage top-up and professional development funding

Types of funding

Wage top-up funding

This funding provides licensed child care programs with a wage top-up for certified early childhood educators over and above the base wage paid by the employer. Staff must be paid at least minimum wage before the wage top-up.

Eligibility

The wage top-up grant provides a wage enhancement for frontline staff that are certified paid employees and contracted family day home providers who:

  • provide direct child care, including program supervisors and alternate supervisors (as defined in the Early Learning and Child Care Licensing Regulation) as well as persons hired in the role of family child care consultants/coordinators with a contracted family day home agency;
  • are certified as an Early Childhood Educator Level 1, 2 or 3
  • meet the conditions outlined in the Eligible hours for wage top-up section of the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide

 
Funding rates

Table 1. Funding is paid monthly up to a maximum of 181 hours at the following rates

Early Childhood Educator certification level Average employer-paid wage (average as of September 2020) Wage top-up rate Average wage (with wage top-up)
Level 1 Early Childhood Educator $16.19 $2.14 $18.33
Level 2 Early Childhood Educator $17.30 $4.05 $21.35
Level 3 Early Childhood Educator $18.95 $6.62 $25.57

Professional development funding

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This funding is provided to licensed 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 Level 1 Early Childhood Educator, Level 2 Early Childhood Educator and Level 3 Early Childhood Educator.

To receive professional development funding, you will need to submit a Professional Development Funding Request form (PDF, 121 KB).

Eligibility

Professional development grant funding is intended for staff that are paid employees of eligible child care programs who:

  • provide direct child care, including program supervisors and alternate supervisors (as defined in the Early Learning and Child Care Regulation), as well as persons hired in the role of family child care consultants/coordinators with a contracted family day home agency
  • are certified as an Early Childhood Educator Level 1, 2 or 3
  • are a Canadian citizen or an official Permanent Resident of Canada
  • have worked at least 29 hours per month for the previous 2 consecutive months from the date of the expenditure or the date the application was received

How to apply

Step 1. Review the program guide

Details about eligibility, application process and requirements are included in the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide. Please read this guide before applying.

Step 2. Complete the application form

Download to your computer or print the Grant Application for Wage Top-ups and Professional Development (PDF, 104 KB).

Step 3. Send in your application

Save a copy of the grant application form for your records. Then send it using one of the following methods:

  1. Online only – Click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of the form after you have completed it.
  2. Online only – Save the completed application to your computer then email it to: [email protected]
  3. Print and mail the application form to:

    Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program
    Early Childhood Development Branch
    Sterling Place, 9940 106 Street NW
    Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2N2

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.

As of March 31, 2020, accreditation funding under an approved Child Care Accreditation Funding Application is no longer valid.

Grant payments

Wage top-ups will be paid every month based on the hours claimed by the program.

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 professional development payments. For information regarding the online claims system, visit the online child care claims system page.

Professional development funding

This funding is provided to licensed 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 Level 1 Early Childhood Educator, Level 2 Early Childhood Educator and Level 5 Early Childhood Educator.

Audits

Every year the Government of Alberta audits a sample of child care programs that received grant funding. The top issues identified by the auditing team for the 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 or accounted for
  • minimum wage not paid to staff before applying the wage top-up funding

Contact

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]