If you are looking to work in a licensed day care program, out-of-school care program, or pre-school program you need to be certified. Child care staff must be certified within 6 months of employment and must not have unsupervised access to children until certified.
Once you apply, your application will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible for one of the three levels of child care staff certification:
- Child Development Assistant
- Child Development Worker
- Child Development Supervisor
For more information, see the Child Care Staff Certification Guide (PDF, 1.0 MB).
To be certified as a Child Development Assistant (formerly Level One), you need to have completed one of the following:
- the Child Care Orientation Course
- CCS 3110, 3120, 3130, 3140 and 3150 through Alberta high schools CTS program, or
- a 45-hour (3 credit) college-level course in child development
To be certified as a Child Development Worker (formerly Level Two), you need to have completed:
- a one-year early learning and child care certificate program offered by an Alberta public college, or an approved educational equivalency.
To be certified as a Child Development Supervisor (formerly Level Three), you need to have completed:
- a two-year early learning and child care diploma program offered by an Alberta public college, or an approved educational equivalency.
If you do not have education in early learning and child care, you can refer to the Coursework Equivalency Chart in the Child Care Staff Certification Guide (PDF, 1.0 MB) to determine if your education is recognized for certification.
Individuals who have not completed a full educational certificate/diploma/degree program or whose training does not match the Educational Equivalencies Chart can have their individual coursework assessed by Early Learning and Child Care subject areas and course hours to determine an equivalent level of certification. Refer to the Coursework Equivalency Chart in the guide.
Educational equivalency changes
On April 2, 2018, the educational equivalencies and language proficiency requirements for child care staff certification were changed.
To learn more about the changes, read the Overview of Child Care Certification Changes and Frequently Asked Questions in the Child Care Staff Certification Guide (PDF, 1.0 MB).
How to apply
Step 1. Read the guide
Child Care Staff Certification Guide (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Step 2. Complete the application package
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Fill out the Certification Application Form (PDF, 184 KB)
Include the following documents in your application package:
- a copy of personal identification that includes your birth date and signature
- for Child Development Assistant certification, a photocopy of transcripts or course completion for one of the following:
- 45 hours (3 credits) of early learning and child care coursework
- Child Care Orientation Course
- CCS 3110, 3120, 3130, 3140 and 3150 (offered through Alberta high schools).
- for Child Development Worker and Supervisor certification, you must arrange for your official transcripts to be sent directly from your educational institution to the certification office; do not submit your original documents
If your education was completed outside of Canada, refer to the Child Care Staff Certification Guide (PDF, 1 MB) to determine if you require a language proficiency assessment or other additional documents.
Step 3. Submit application package
You can submit your application by email, fax or mail:
Alberta Child Care Staff Certification Office
Alberta Children’s Services
9940 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2N2
After you apply
After your application is assessed, the result will be sent to you by mail. Current certification application processing time is 10 to 12 weeks.
If you believe your education qualifies you for a higher level of certification than what you received or you have completed education that leads to a higher level of certification, you can submit a new application along with any additional information that might be useful for the re-assessment (for example: course descriptions, updated official transcript).
Replacing lost certificates
If you lose your certificate or need to update your personal information, you can request a replacement certificate by using the Change of Personal Information form (PDF, 2 MB).
Child Care Orientation Course
The Child Care Orientation Course is for employed child care staff without formal training in early learning and child care or high school students interested in pursuing a career in early learning and child care.
To register for the course, students must be:
- Canadian Citizens or hold a valid Canadian Permanent Resident card.
- currently working in an Alberta licensed child care program (or attending high school with an interest to pursue a career in child care)
This non-credit course is available online by BaseCorp. Learning Systems and meets training requirements for child development assistant certification. The curriculum was developed by Children’s Services in partnership with early childhood professionals, stakeholders, and educational institutions in Alberta. The course is funding by the Alberta Government and is offered at no cost to the student.
The Certification Office is not open for walk-in service.