COVID-19 relaunch update

Licensed daycare, out-of-school and preschool programs are now able to begin reopening as part of Alberta's relaunch strategy.

These providers are required to follow the guidance for safely reopening child care programs found on Alberta Biz Connect.

Overview

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

  • licensed daycare centres
  • licensed group family child care
  • approved family day homes
  • licensed out-of-school care centres

Learn about the maximum subsidy rates (PDF, 18 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

If you have already applied and have been approved, you will be reassessed and any changes will come through automatically. The new subsidy rate increase comes into effect on August 1, 2020.

Get more information on the new rates and how to apply for the child care subsidy.

Please 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, please email cs.subsidyappfeedback@gov.ab.ca.

After you apply online, you will need to submit the CRA Consent Applicant Declaration and Acknowledgement form.

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, simply log back in to continue.

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

Important child care subsidy changes

Subsidy rate increases – Effective August 1, 2020

Effective August 1, 2020, the maximum child care subsidy rates have increased. Additionally, the model for calculating a child's approved subsidy amount has simplified.

A child's subsidy rate is now exclusively determined by total family income, the age of the child, the type of program that the child goes to, and the amount of hours the child attends in a month.

Please review the eligibility section of this page 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 reflect the increased 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.

Subsidy Step Model

Maximum Daycare and Out of School Care Rates

Rates reflect attendance of 100+ hours for infants/pre-schoolers and 50+ hours for school age children.
Income Infant
(18 mos. and under)
Preschooler
(19 mos. up to grade 1)
School Age
(grade 1 to grade 6)
$0 to $49,999 $741 $644 $366
$50,000 to $54,999 $704 $612 $348
$55,000 to $59,999 $630 $547 $311
$60,000 to $64,999 $556 $483 $275
$65,000 to $69,999 $482 $419 $238
$70,000 to $74,999 $408 $354 $201

Maximum Family Day Homes and Group Family Care Centres Rates

Rates reflect attendance of 100+ hours for infants/pre-schoolers and 50+ hours for school age children
Income Infant
(18 mos. and under)
Preschooler
(19 mos. up to grade 1)
School Age
(grade 1 to grade 6)
$0 to $49,999 $614 $516 $366
$50,000 to $54,999 $583 $490 $348
$55,000 to $59,999 $522 $439 $311
$60,000 to $64,999 $461 $387 $275
$65,000 to $69,999 $399 $335 $238
$70,000 to $74,999 $338 $284 $201

Increase to school-age subsidy rates – July and August 2020 only

In an effort to assist parents with the increased cost of child care for school-age children in the summer months, the subsidy rates for school-age children have increased to match preschooler subsidy rates for July and August 2020 only.

For example, if a school-age child attending an out-of-school care program received the current maximum school-age subsidy rate of $310 in June, they will receive an increase to $546 in July – the current maximum preschooler rate. In August, when all maximum subsidy rates are increased, the child will also receive an increase to the new maximum preschooler rate, which will be $644 in the new model.

In September, the summer rates end and the child's subsidy rate will reduce to $366, the new maximum subsidy rate for school-age children.

If you have been approved for subsidy for a school-age child attending in July and/or August 2020, you will receive a letter informing you of the change in your subsidy rates. If you have already paid your child care fee for July or August, please speak with your child care program to receive a credit or refund.

Eligibility

You can apply for child care subsidy if:

  • you and/or your spouse/partner, or the child receiving care are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • you or your spouse/partner are an Alberta resident
  • you and your spouse/partner:
    • are currently working, attending school, looking for work, have special needs or your child has a special need
  • your children are 12 years of age or younger and are not yet attending Grade 7
  • your children have a secured spot in a licensed daycare or out of school care facility, or an approved family day home or group family child care program
  • your total family income is less than $75,000 per year
    • income eligibility is determined by combining you and your spouse/partner's income tax information from your most recent Notice of Assessment, issued by Canada Revenue Agency
    • income is based on Line 15000 (gross income) subtracted by any amounts that are reported on Line 32000 (education related tax deductions), as well as Lines 33099 and 33199 (medical related tax deductions)
    • in the event of a recent loss of income, or if you and your spouse/partner were not required to file a Canadian tax return, you can request to be evaluated on current income/deduction estimates using the contact information below

Find eligible child care services

Learn about what to look for when finding qualified 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. The estimator tool reflects the new subsidy rates that are effective August 1, 2020.

The estimator calculates potential subsidy for families who require full-time child care (100+ hours per month). 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 of age and not yet in Grade 7 to pay child care costs for children enrolled in:
    • an approved family day home
    • a licensed day care program
    • licensed out-of-school care program
    • licensed group family child care program

Extended hours subsidy

The extended hours subsidy assists families with a valid reason for 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 or approved 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 certain conditions, 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.

Depending on the details of your application, 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 to let you know when it is time, 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 have a valid reason for 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
  • you have a decrease in annual income that may impact your subsidy benefits
  • change in child care arrangements
    • adding a new child to a child care program
    • removing a child from a child care program
    • changing 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

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

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

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

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 8:00 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: css.childsubsidy@gov.ab.ca

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