The Child Care Licensing Act states that anyone caring for 7 or more children must be licensed by the Government of Alberta. Individuals who care for 6 or less children do not require a licence, but have the option of becoming an approved family day home. Approved family day home agencies recruit, monitor and support these family day home providers.
These approved home-based early childhood educators may:
- care for infants, toddlers and pre-school aged children
- offer before-and-after school care for children
For more information, see the Family Day Home Standards Manual.
People who offer child care and are not licensed by the province or approved to operate under the provincial family day home category, are considered private babysitters. These programs can offer private babysitting to up to 6 children, not including their own, at any given time. There are no government oversights on private babysitting arrangement, nor are they monitored by the Government of Alberta.
Family day home agencies
Family day home agencies employ consultants to work closely with both family day home providers and parents to ensure the safety and well-being of children in their provider’s care. Agency staff are certified at minimum as a Child Development Worker. They are responsible for monitoring approved family day home providers for compliance to the family day home standards.
Agency consultants help providers to:
- develop programs for children at different stages of development
- provide advice about nutritious meal planning
- choose toys and equipment that are safe and developmentally appropriate
Benefits of being an approved family day home
As an approved family day home provider, you:
- may care for up to 6 children in your home, including your own children
- get support from consultants
- participate in networking opportunities with other family day home providers
- access child care training and other professional development opportunities
- enable eligible families to qualify for child care subsidy to help meet the costs of child care
- will receive home visits to ensure the safety of your program
- can use the Approved Family Day Home Logo (see below)
- may qualify for accreditation funding, including wage top-ups
- can have agency staff help place children in your care
Image 1. Alberta Approved Family Day Home logo
How to apply
Step 1. Review the standards manual
Step 2. Get supporting documents
You will need to provide the following documents:
- a current first aid certification
- proof that you are at least 18 years of age
- a completed criminal record check, including vulnerable sector search, for yourself and:
- a completed criminal record check, including vulnerable sector search, for anyone who is over 18 years of age who lives in the home or who may be in the provider’s home on a regular basis during regular operating hours
- a statement disclosing any prior criminal involvement of any person younger than 18 years who resides in the provider’s home
- Three satisfactory personal references from non-relatives that corroborate your suitability for working with children
- a physician’s note that states the applicant is mentally and physically able to care for children
Step 3. Contact a family day home agency
Approved Family day home agencies hold contracts with a Children’s Services office to administer the family day home service in their local area. An approved family day home agency will work with you to become an approved family day home provider. They will also advise you on the steps required to become an approved provider.
Approved family day home agencies are required to monitor all providers at least 6 times per year with both scheduled and unscheduled visits.
In Alberta, all licensed and approved child care programs must meet a minimum set of provincial standards. The Alberta Child Care Accreditation Program establishes standards for day care programs and approved family day homes that exceed the provincial standards.