Table of contents

COVID-19 update

Child care operators should continue following applicable COVID guidelines and public health orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Updated guidance for fall 2021 is now available for Licensed Child Care Centres and Family Day Homes.

Call Child Care Connect toll free at 1-844-644-5165 for help finding child care or any questions you might have about child care in Alberta.

Overview

Eligible lower- and middle-income families can apply for child care subsidies if they have a child enrolled in a:

  • licensed facility-based program (daycare, out-of-school care and preschool)
  • family day home program overseen by a licensed family day home agency

Learn about the maximum subsidy rates (PDF, 80 KB). These vary by program type and the age of child attending child care.

How to apply

You can now apply online using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone through the Child Care Subsidy Application.

Child Care Subsidy Application

Starting September 1, 2021, supported by federal government funding, the Government of Alberta is expanding the subsidy program to include families with a household income of up to $90,000 as well as making subsidy available to support eligible families who have children attending licensed preschools.

Families can start applying for these new subsidies on August 16 for a September subsidy start date.

Learn more about the changes to child care subsidy.

Read the eligibility requirements and make sure you understand what happens after you apply.

As part of the assessment process, we may contact you if we need additional information or documents.

If you need help or have questions about using the new Child Care Subsidy online application, call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992. If you experience any technical issues, have any feedback on the new application, or have any questions about an application you have submitted, email [email protected].

During your application, you will need to submit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Consent Applicant Declaration and Acknowledgement form. If you have completed this form in the past, it is not necessary to fill it out again.

Information about MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI)

MyAlberta Digital ID is your single, verified online identity for interacting with Government of Alberta online programs and services. It is free to create and gives you secure access to apply for child care subsidy.

MyAlberta Digital ID allows you to start an application for child care subsidy, stop, and then come back to it later. If you are in the middle of an application or need to submit documents, simply log back in to continue and upload your documents.

During the application process, you will be required to create a MADI account.

Important subsidy changes

Income threshold increase

Families with a gross household income under $90,000 will now be eligible to apply for a subsidy. Families in 3 new income brackets may be eligible for partial subsidy:

  • $75,000 to $79,999
  • $80,000 to $84,999
  • $85,000 to $89,999

Families can use Line 15000 from the most recent CRA Notice of Assessment to determine gross household income. Families can start applying August 16 for a September subsidy start date.

Learn more about subsidy rates to determine if you are eligible.

Preschool subsidy

Families with children enrolled in a licensed preschool program can apply for a subsidy of $125 per month effective September 1, 2021. This means all eligible families with an income less than $90,000 could receive $125 per month.

Families can only receive one subsidy type. Families who have children enrolled in any other licensed program will receive the subsidy type with the highest subsidy rate.

Families must meet the child care subsidy eligibility requirements listed below to qualify.

School-age summer subsidy rate increase

To assist parents with the cost of child care for school-age children in the summer months, the subsidy rates for school-age children will increase to support full day attendance during July and August 2021.

This means, if you’re currently receiving subsidy and will be increasing your out of school care hours throughout the summer months, you will be eligible for a subsidy increase.

The school-age rate change will occur automatically and will change back to the regular rate in September.

The subsidy rate tables below show the summer rates you can expect based on the type of program your child attends and your income or current subsidy rate.

Subsidy rates based on income

Table 1. Licensed facility-based programs

Income Current
school age
(grades 1 to 6)
Summer
school age
(grades 1 to 6)
$0 to $49,999 $366 $644
$50,000 to $54,999 $348 $612
$55,000 to $59,999 $311 $547
$60,000 to $64,99 $275 $483
$65,000 to $69,999 $238 $419
$70,000 to $74,999 $201 $354

Table 2. Licensed family day home agencies and group family child care

Income Current
school age
(grades 1 to 6)
Summer
school age
(grades 1 to 6)
$0 to $49,999 $366 $516
$50,000 to $54,999 $348 $490
$55,000 to $59,999 $311 $439
$60,000 to $64,99 $275 $387
$65,000 to $69,999 $238 $335
$70,000 to $74,999 $201 $284

For example, a school-age child who received the current maximum school-age subsidy rate of $366 in June will receive an increase to $644 for July and August.

If you have been approved for subsidy for a school-age child attending in July or August 2021, you will receive a letter informing you of the change in your subsidy rate. If you have already paid your child care fee for July or August, speak with your child care program to receive a credit or refund.

Subsidy rates

A child's subsidy rate is determined by total family income, the child’s age, the child care program, and the number of hours the child attends in a month.

Review the eligibility requirements for more information on how to qualify for subsidy and how to calculate your total family income. Additionally, find out if you are an individual who is temporarily not required to file a Canadian tax return to qualify, and what to do in the event of a recent reduction in income.

The tables below show the subsidy amounts based on income, child's age, and program type.

For more information on child care changes, visit Changes to Alberta's child care system.

Table 3. Maximum day care and out-of-school care rates (licensed facility-based programs)

Rates reflect attendance of 100+ hours for infants or preschool age and 50+ hours for school age children. Preschool programs are part-time and do not require minimum attendance hours.
Income Infant
(18 months and under)
Preschooler
(19 months up to grade 1)
School age
(grades 1
to 6)
$0 to $49,999 (100%) $741 $644 $366
$50,000 to $54,999 (95%) $704 $612 $348
$55,000 to $59,999 (85%) $630 $547 $311
$60,000 to $64,999 (75%) $556 $483 $275
$65,000 to $69,999 (65%) $482 $419 $238
$70,000 to $74,999 (55%) $408 $354 $201
$75,000 to $79,999 (45%) $333 $290 $165
$80,000 to $84,999 (35%) $259 $225 $128
$85,000 to $89,999 (25%) $185 $161 $92
Licensed preschool program
(part-time programs that typically run 2 to 3 days per week for half days)
Flat rate $125 per month
(all income brackets)

Table 4. Maximum licensed family day home agency rates

Rates reflect attendance of 100+ hours for infants or preschool age and 50+ hours for school age children
Income Infant
(18 months
and under)
Preschool Age
(19 months up to
grade 1)
School Age
(grade 1 to 6)
$0 to $49,999 (100%) $614 $516 $366
$50,000 to $54,999 (95%) $583 $490 $348
$55,000 to $59,999 (85%) $522 $439 $311
$60,000 to $64,999 (75%) $461 $387 $275
$65,000 to $69,999 (65%) $399 $335 $238
$70,000 to $74,999 (55%) $338 $284 $201
$75,000 to $79,999 (45%) $276 $232 $165
$80,000 to $84,999 (35%) $215 $181 $128
$85,000 to $89,999 (25%) $154 $129 $92

Eligibility

You can apply for child care subsidy if:

  • you or your spouse or partner, or the child receiving care, are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • you or your spouse or partner are an Alberta resident
  • you and your spouse or partner:
    • are working, or looking for work
    • are attending school
    • have special needs, or your child has a special need
  • your children are 12 years old or younger and are not yet attending Grade 7
  • your children have a secured spot in a licensed facility-based program  with preschool, daycare or out-of-school care programming, or a family day home program that is overseen by a licensed agency
  • your total family income is less than $90,000 per year
    • income eligibility is determined by the combined amount  of your and your spouse or partner's income from your most recent Notice of Assessment, issued by CRA
    • income is based on Line 15000 (gross income) of your tax return less  amounts  reported on Line 32000 (education related tax deductions), and  Lines 33099 and 33199 (medical related tax deductions)
    • in the event of a recent loss of income, or if you and your spouse or partner were not required to file a Canadian tax return, you can contact us to request an evaluation of income and education estimates

Find eligible services

Learn about what to look for when finding and choosing child care.

Use the Child Care Lookup tool to find information about licensed child care programs.

Estimate your subsidy

Use the online subsidy estimator to find out the approximate amount of your subsidy. On August 16, 2021, the estimator tool will reflect the new subsidy income threshold and preschool subsidy.

The estimator calculates potential subsidy for families who require full-time child care (100+ hours per month). It also includes a separate flat rate for preschool programs.

Note: the information you provide in the estimator is not shared or saved.

Types of subsidies

Child care subsidy

The child care subsidy assists:

  • eligible families with children 0 to 12 years old and not yet in Grade 7 to pay child care costs for children enrolled in a licensed:
    • daycares
    • family day home program overseen by a licensed agency
    • out-of-school care
    • preschool

Extended hours subsidy

The extended hours subsidy assists families who require child care outside of the regular hours of 6 am to 6 pm or on weekends to receive, in addition to the child care subsidy, an extra $100 per month per child.

  • The licensed program must be approved to offer extended hours of care.
  • The child must require 4 or more hours of extended hours of care in a month for the family to receive the additional $100.

After you apply

If you meet requirements, you will receive a conditional 2-month subsidy after submitting your application while we complete your assessment. If you do not meet the conditional acceptance requirements, you will receive subsidy once your application is approved.

You may be required to provide additional documentation to complete your application. We will let you know what documents are required towards the end of the assessment process.

Each subsidy starts at the beginning of the month your completed application is received. You can apply as early as the month before your child is starting child care. For example, if your child's start date is September 1, you can apply as early as August 1.

Approved applications

If approved for a subsidy, you will receive a letter indicating the subsidy start and end date and the amount your child care program will receive on your behalf.

Supporting documentation

If you did not submit all of your supporting documentation when you applied, you will be given a 2-month conditional approval period to submit them. Once all necessary documents are received and approved, the subsidy may be granted for a maximum period of 12 months. You will be responsible for returning any funds paid if all documentation is not submitted within the time period specified.

Applications that are not approved

If your application is not approved, you will receive a letter stating the reasons why the subsidy application was not approved. You can request a review of a subsidy decision by submitting the Administrative Review Request form (PDF, 153 KB) within 30 days from the date of the decision.

Renew your subsidy

In order to continue to receive your subsidy, you must renew it before it expires. We will send you a notice, or you can contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre to find out when your subsidy ends.

You can renew your subsidy as early as the first day of the month in which your subsidy ends. For example, if your subsidy expires August 31, you can renew your subsidy as early as August 1.

Change personal information

You must report a change of information in the same month the change occurs. Changes to your information can result in an increase or decrease in subsidy benefits, or you may have to pay some of the subsidy back.

You can report changes online or download and complete a Change of Information form (PDF, 59 KB) and submit it with your supporting documentation.

Changes you must report in the month they occur:

  • you or the co-applicant do not require child care, for example:
    • not working (you may be eligible to receive up to 4 months of subsidy to allow you to look for work)
    • not attending school
  • a decrease in annual income that may impact your subsidy benefits
  • change in child care arrangements
    • adding a child to a child care program
    • removing a child from a child care program
    • moving your child to a different child care program
  • change in marital status
  • change of address or telephone number
  • change of an applicant, co-applicant or dependent name

Apply by form

PDF form issues

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

  1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
  2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

We encourage all applicants to apply online as a paper application can take much longer to process. However, child care subsidy applicants can still apply using the paper form.

To apply using the paper form, download and fill out the Application for Child Care Subsidy (PDF, 260 KB) form.

If you or your child's reason for care is a special need, you must submit a completed Verification for Need for Child Care – Special Needs (PDF, 305 KB).

Contact

For general inquiries about child care subsidies, contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:

Hours: 7:30 am to 8 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-9992 (in Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992

Send your completed forms, supporting documents and any inquiries to the provincial subsidy office:

Fax: 780-422-5692
Email: [email protected]

Address:
Child Care Subsidy
PO Box 1641, Station M
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2N9

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