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Under the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulation, licensed family day home agencies recruit and train family day home educators who then offer child care from their home. These programs can offer child care for up to 6 children (not including their own) in their home.
Licensed agencies help by offering family day home program educators a network for training, resources and assistance. Agencies provide assurance to parents using family day homes by monitoring each home to ensure they are meeting health, safety and program quality standards for children in their care as prescribed under the Family Day Home Standards and the act.
Family day home agencies employ consultants to work closely with both family day home educators and parents to support the safety and well-being of children in their educators’ care. Agency staff are certified at minimum as a Level 2 Early Childhood Educator. They are responsible for recruiting, training and monitoring family day home educators for compliance to the family day home standards.
Agency consultants help family day home educators 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
As a family day home program educator, you:
- may care for up to 6 children in your home, not including your own children
- get support from consultants
- participate in networking opportunities with other family day home educators
- 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 from licensed family day home agency staff to ensure the safety of your program
- can use the Family Day Home Logo
- may qualify for wage top-up funding
- can have agency staff help place children in your care
- receive assistance from an agency to collect parent fees
How to apply
Step 1. Review the standards manual
- Family Day Home Standards Manual for Alberta
- Read the child care licensing handbook for family day home agencies for more information about the licensing process for family day home agencies.
Step 2. Get supporting documents
You will need to provide the following documents:
- current first aid certification
- proof you are at least 18 years of age
- 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 your 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 your home
- 3 satisfactory personal references from non-relatives that corroborate your suitability for working with children
- physician’s note that states you are mentally and physically able to care for children
Step 3. Contact a family day home agency
Licensed family day home agencies hold contracts with a Children’s Services office to administer the family day home service in their local area. A licensed family day home agency will take you through the steps to become a family day home educator.
To find a licensed family day home agency in your area:
- see the list oflicensed family day home agencies (PDF, 370 KB)
- use our online Child Care Lookup, or
- contact your local Children’s Services office.
Licensed family day home agencies are required to monitor all family day home program educators under their agency at least 6 times per year with both scheduled and unscheduled visits.
Unlicensed child care
Unlicensed child care programs can provide child care for up to 6 children – not including their own – at any given time. Unlicensed providers are not monitored by the Alberta government or licensed agencies. Examples of unlicensed care include:
- private day homes
- informal arrangements with friends, neighbours or family
Find a checklist and learn more about Providing child care in your home.
There are networks and support groups that can provide resources, direction and support such as Embolden Private Dayhome Community.
Under the act, the Alberta government can investigate complaints about private, unlicensed child care providers when there is reason to believe that:
- a person is providing care for more than 6 children (not including their own), or
- an imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare of any children to whom the person is offering or providing care exists.
If either of these is confirmed, Children’s Services will issue and enforce a stop order. In this situation, parents of the children in the unlicensed program will be notified of the stop order.
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