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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.
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
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.
Steps to complete
- Read the eligibility requirements and make sure you understand what happens after you apply.
- Complete the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Consent Applicant Declaration and Acknowledgement form, if you haven't completed it in the past.
- Complete the Child Care Subsidy application online using your MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI) account.
- 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:
- Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
- Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.
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].
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.
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.
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
- you or the co-applicant do not require child care, for example:
Connect with the Alberta Supports Contact Centre for general inquiries about child care subsidies:
Send your completed forms, supporting documents and any inquiries to the provincial subsidy office:
Email: [email protected]
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.
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