Table of contents

Important changes: New affordability supports

Effective January 2022, child care in Alberta will be more affordable under the new federal-provincial child care agreement. Fees will be lowered in 2 ways - expanded subsidy and affordability grants.

Subsidy for children from 0 to kindergarten-age (in kindergarten and also attending child care during regular school hours) has been expanded to include families with a gross household income of up to $180,000. Subsidy applications are now open. If your approved application is received by February 28, your savings will be retroactive to January 1. If you already receive subsidy, you do not need to reapply.

Subsidy for children in kindergarten to Grade 6 enrolled in a licensed program outside of regular school hours remains available to families with a household income of up to $90,000.

Affordability grants will also be provided directly to child care operators so they can further lower fees for all families. Parents do not need to apply to benefit from the grant fee reduction.

Overview

Eligible families can apply for child care subsidies if they have children age 0 to Grade 6 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
  • group family child care centre

Subsidy rates vary based on the child’s age, family income, the child care program and the number of hours a child attends each month. Types of subsidy include:

  • subsidy for children 0 to kindergarten-age (in kindergarten and also attending child care during regular school hours)
  • subsidy for children in kindergarten to grade 6 enrolled in a licensed program outside of regular school hours
  • preschool subsidy for children enrolled in a licensed preschool program
  • extended hours subsidy for children who require care outside regular hours

Find child care

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

Use the Child Care Lookup tool to find a licensed child care program.

Subsidy types and rates

A child's subsidy rate is determined by total family income, type of child care program, and the number of hours the child attends in a month. Use Line 15000 from the most recent CRA Notice of Assessment to determine gross household income.

  • Subsidy for 0 to Kindergarten-age (child care during school hours)

    Under the new federal-provincial child care agreement, all parents of children 0 to kindergarten-age (in kindergarten and also attending child care during regular school hours) will pay less for child care through:

    • expanded subsidy eligibility with new rates and income thresholds, and/or
    • affordability grants provided directly to child care operators to reduce fees

    Eligible families with a combined gross income under $180,000 a year can receive subsidy to further reduce child care fees based on the income thresholds below. The combined benefits of affordability grants and subsidies should be considered when estimating your new costs.

    If you already receive child care subsidy, you do not need to reapply. If you are not currently receiving subsidy and meet the eligibility criteria, apply now.

    Maximum subsidy rates for children 0 to kindergarten age (in kindergarten and also attending child care during regular school hours)

    Income ($) Full-time rate
    (100+ hours)
    Licensed
    preschool rate
    0 to 119,999 $266 Flat rate of $125/month (all income brackets)
    120,000 to 124,999 $253
    125,000 to 129,999 $239
    $130,000 to $134,999 $226
    $135,000 to $139,999 $213
    $140,000 to $144,999 $200
    $145,000 to $149,999 $186
    $150,000 to $154,999 $173
    $155,000 to $159,999 $160
    $160,000 to $164,999 $146
    $165,000 to $169,999 $133
    $170,000 to $174,999 $120
    $175,000 to $179,999 $106

    Part time rates are prorated based on hours (80 hours = 80% of the full time rate)

  • Subsidy for Kindergarten to Grade 6 (child care outside school hours)

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

    Families earning under $90,000 gross annually with children in kindergarten to Grade 6 enrolled in a licensed program outside of regular school hours are eligible for child care subsidy.

    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 table below shows the subsidy amounts based on income, child's age, and program type. Children must attend the minimum number of hours to receive the maximum subsidy rate listed under the families’ income bracket.

    Maximum subsidy rates for children in kindergarten to Grade 6 only enrolled in a licensed child care program outside of regular school hours

    Family income Kindergarten: Facility-based care (100 hours) Kindergarten: Day home and group family care (100 hours) School age: Grades 1-6 (50 hours)
    $0 to $49,999 $644 $516 $366
    $50,000 to $54,999 $612 $490 $348
    $55,000 to $59,999 $547 $439 $311
    $60,000 to $64,999 $483 $387 $275
    $65,000 to $69,999 $419 $335 $238
    $70,000 to $74,999 $354 $284 $201
    $75,000 to $79,999 $290 $232 $165
    $80,000 to $84,999 $225 $181 $128
    $85,000 to $89,999 $161 $129 $92

    If your child is in kindergarten and also attending care child during regular school hours, you may qualify for a fee reduction under the new federal-provincial child care agreement. See the subsidy rates for children 0 to kindergarten age (child care during school hours) above.

  • Preschool subsidy

    Families with an annual income of less than $180,000 with children enrolled in a licensed preschool program can apply for a subsidy of $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 to qualify.

  • 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.
    • The child is not using overnight accommodation and receiving an overnight affordability grant. These families will instead see reduced savings through increased affordability grants, regardless of family income.

How to apply

Review your eligibility and apply online for the fastest processing times using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone through the Child Care Subsidy Application.

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.

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.

  • Review your 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

    The amount of subsidy you receive and which program you qualify for will depend on the age of your child, type of child care program and your household income. You are eligible if:

    • Your total family income is less than $180,000 per year for children 0 to kindergarten age (for those children who are in kindergarten and also attending child care during regular school hours).
      • You will also benefit from reduced fees through an affordability grant provided directly to child care operators. The combined benefits of affordability grants and subsidies should be considered when estimating your new costs. Learn more about the new federal-provincial child care agreement.
    • Your total family income is less than $90,000 per year for children in kindergarten to Grade 6 enrolled in a licensed program outside of regular school hours.

    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.
  • Apply online

    Steps to complete

    1. Read the eligibility requirements and make sure you understand what happens after you apply.
    2. Complete the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Consent Applicant Declaration and Acknowledgement form, if you haven't completed it in the past.
    3. Complete the Child Care Subsidy application online using your MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI) account.
    4. Provide additional information or documents as requested during the assessment process.

    Information about MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI)

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

    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.

  • Apply with a paper application

    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).

    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.
  • Get help

    If you need help or have questions about using the 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].

    This service is available in more than 100 languages.

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 officially 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.

  • Approved application

    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.

    Approvals may take a few weeks. As long as your application is in by Feb 28, and you are eligible, based on your household income, your savings will be retroactive to January, no matter when you actually receive your approval letter.

  • Providing additional 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

Estimate your subsidy

Use the online subsidy estimator to calculate an approximate amount of subsidy your family could receive.

The estimator calculates potential subsidy for families who require full-time child care (100+ hours per month for 0 to Kindergarten-age and 50+ hours for school age). Preschool subsidy is a flat rate not based on 100 hours.

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

Contact

Connect with the Alberta Supports Contact Centre for general inquiries about child care subsidies:

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

If you have questions about finding or choosing child care and other options, call Child Care Connect toll free at 1-844-644-5165.

This service is available in more than 100 languages.

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