Overview

Eligible lower- to middle-income families can apply for child care subsidies if they are using:

  • licensed day care centres
  • licensed group family child care
  • approved family day homes
  • licensed out-of-school care centres
  • licensed pre-schools and
  • approved early childhood development programs

Learn about the maximum subsidy rates (PDF, 36 KB). These vary by program type and the age of child attending child care.

Learn how to apply for child care subsidies.

Eligibility

You can apply for a 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
  • 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, or
    • stay-at-home and have your children enrolled in a licensed pre-school or approved early childhood development program

Eligible programs

Programs covered by the subsidy include:

  • programs that promote parent and child literacy
  • play-based early childhood programs, for example, moms and tots programs
  • educational programs that help parents meet their child’s learning and developmental needs
  • licensed pre-schools

Programs not eligible

Programs not covered by the subsidy include:

  • child care where parents remain on-site, for example, exercise facilities
  • services that currently provide cost-free programs, for example, Parent Link Centres

Find child care

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.

How to apply

Apply for child care subsidy online or by filling out and submitting a form.

Apply online

Apply online (using Internet Explorer only)

After you apply online, you will need to submit the Consent Applicant Declaration and Acknowledgement form (PDF, 110 KB).

Apply by form

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Step 1. Review the guide

Read the Guide to Completing your Application for Child Care Subsidy (PDF, 363 KB)

Step 2. Complete the application

Download and fill out the Application for Child Care Subsidy (PDF, 260 KB) form.

Send the completed form to the provincial subsidy office.

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).

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.

The estimator does not calculate subsidy for kin child care, stay-at-home or extended hours subsidies. To calculate your estimated subsidy for these, contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre. Have your current Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment available for reference.

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
  • eligible families attending an Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Centre
    • you can use the child care subsidy to pay the parent portion of the child care fee

Kin child care subsidy

The kin child care subsidy:

  • provides funds for relatives to care for children:
    • up to $400 per month for children 6 or younger and not yet attending Grade 1
    • up to $200 per month for children 6 or younger attending Grade 1
    • up to $200 per month for children not yet attending Grade 7

Applicants must demonstrate a valid reason for care for:

  • a minimum of 50 hours per month for children age 0 to kindergarten (pre-school age children)
  • a minimum of 25 hours per month for children in Grades 1 to 6

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.

Stay-at-home parent subsidy

The stay-at-home parent subsidy assists families where at least one parent stays at home to care for children 6 years of age and younger and does not work or go to school for more than 20 hours per week.

Eligible families who have at least one parent who stays at home or works, volunteers or attends school less than 20 hours per week may qualify for a subsidy of up to $1,200 per year for each pre-school-aged child who attends a licensed pre-school or an approved early childhood development program.

For more information, read the Guide to Completing your Application for Child Care Subsidy (PDF, 363 KB)

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.

After you apply

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. You cannot apply for subsidy for care received in previous months. For example, you cannot apply for August subsidy in September.

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.

Kin child care subsidies

Approved kin child care subsidy applicants need to fill out a Caregiver Monthly Claim Receipt for Care form (PDF, 1.9 MB). You also need to provide either a void check or a completed direct deposit form (PDF, 73 KB) (click on “Application for EFT Direct Deposit (CAD)” on the first page of the form), which will allow us to transfer funding to you.

If you do not submit these forms after you apply for kin child care subsidy, we will send them to you by mail. You will not receive the subsidy funding until these forms are complete and submitted. The Caregiver Monthly Claim Receipt for Care form must be filled out and submitted every month for you to receive a kin child care subsidy payment.

Find useful information and a sample claim form (PDF, 235 KB) to help you through this process.

Rejected applications

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.

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.

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 looked for work longer than 2 months
  • 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 your caregiver’s address
  • 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)
  • change in “On Reserve” or “Métis Settlement” status

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 applications, forms and 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