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, 36 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

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

The new online application is in beta (test) mode. As the Government of Alberta launches new or redesigned digital services, the beta label will indicate these services are still being tested and improved and may not work as well in some cases.

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. (PDF, 121 KB)

Before you apply

Create a MyAlberta Digital ID 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, simply log back in to continue.

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 and live in Alberta
  • you or your spouse/partner are an Alberta resident
  • your children are 12 years of age or younger and are not yet attending Grade 7
  • you and your spouse/partner:
    • are currently working, attending school, looking for work, have special needs or your child has a special need

Your eligibility will also depend on:

  • your income
  • your reason for needing child care
  • the number of children requiring care
  • the size of your family
  • the type of child care program you are using
  • when your child started or when they will start attending care

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 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.

Kin child care subsidy

The kin child care subsidy will be discontinued effective January 1, 2020.

If you have been approved for kin child care subsidy with an end date of November 30, 2019:

  • The last month that payment will be made is for care received until December 31, 2019.
  • You will not have to apply for a one-month renewal, you will automatically be extended through to the end of December 2019 with no paperwork required for this extension.
  • If you do not require child care in the month of December, please notify the Child Care Subsidy Program by using the contact details below.
  • You have until March 31, 2020 to submit invoices for care provided up to the month of December 2019. Any invoices submitted after March 31, 2020, will not be approved for processing for back payment.

If you have any questions about child care subsidy, please contact the Child Care Subsidy Program by email at css.childsubsidy@gov.ab.ca or by calling the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.

Stay-at-home parent subsidy

The stay-at-home subsidy will be discontinued effective January 1, 2020.

If you have been approved for stay-at-home subsidy with an end date of November 30, 2019:

  • The last month that payments will be made is for care received until December 31, 2019.
  • You will not have to apply for a one-month renewal, you will automatically be extended through to the end of December 2019 with no paperwork required for this extension.
  • If you do not require child care in the month of December, please notify the Child Care Subsidy Program using the contact details below.
  • Preschool and early childhood development programs will be required to submit their final claim for parents approved for stay-at-home subsidy for the month of December 2019. Programs can submit claims for care provided up to the month of December 2019 until March 31, 2020. Any claims submitted after March 31, 2020, will not be approved for processing for back payment.

If you have any questions about child care subsidy, please contact the Child Care Subsidy Program by email at css.childsubsidy@gov.ab.ca or by calling the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.

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 provided for the remainder of the grant period.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 personal change of information as soon as possible. Changes to your personal information can result in an increase or decrease in subsidy benefits, or you may have to pay some of the subsidy back. The subsidy does not cover services already received.

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

Some reasons to update your information include:

  • you or the co-applicant no longer require child care, for example:
    • you are no longer working
    • not attending school
    • no longer have special needs
  • you have a decrease in annual income that may impact your subsidy benefits

Other reasons to change your information:

  • addition, removal or transfer of a child in child care
  • change in marital status
  • change of address or telephone number
  • change of an applicant, co-applicant or dependent name
  • change in the number of people in your family structure (for example, addition of a dependent)
  • extension of your subsidy while looking for work (up to a total of 4 months)
  • change in “On Reserve” or “Métis Settlement” status

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

If you are applying by form, send your completed application forms and any email 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