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 fewer children do not require a licence, but have the option of becoming an approved family day home under a contracted family day home agency. 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 for Alberta.

Private child care providers

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 child care providers. These programs can offer private care for up to 6 children, not including their own, at any given time. There are no government oversights on private child care arrangements, 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 wage top-up funding
  • 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.

To find a family day home agency in your area please use our online Child Care Lookup or contact your local Children’s Services office.


Approved family day home agencies are required to monitor all providers at least 6 times per year with both scheduled and unscheduled visits.

Agency consultants use a standard Government of Alberta checklist (PDF, 186 KB) to ensure adherence to the family day home standards.