Early Learning and Child Care Centres

This Alberta-wide pilot program provides child care for children aged 0 to kindergarten with maximum fees of $25 per day.

Services and information


This Alberta-wide pilot program provides quality child care for children 0 to kindergarten with maximum fees of $25 per day.

Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Centres support children and families by focusing on improvements to address gaps in the current system. Some centres may offer flexible child care for parents who work part-time or shifts that are outside typical day care hours (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or offering care in accessible settings such as co-locating with other public buildings.

All ELCC Centres provide supports for children with diverse needs and implement an early learning child care curriculum.

In 2017, Alberta launched 22 pilot ELCC Centres to support children and families in Alberta. The ELCC Centre pilot is now being expanded with the addition of 100 centres across Alberta. Of the 100 new ELCC Centres, 82 are existing programs, while 18 new centres will be added in future months.

ELCC Centres by the numbers

Enrolling a child

Space in ELCC Centres is limited. To inquire about enrolling your child in an ELCC Centre, please contact the child care program directly.

Parent fees are capped at $25 per day and there are no changes to subsidy eligibility within the centres.

Current locations

A map, full list and regional breakdown showing all the ELCC Centre locations are available which includes program names, addresses, contact information and regional licensing contacts.

Child care programs from across Alberta were invited to apply to become an ELCC Centre through an Expression of Interest process. 160 applications were received and reviewed by regional selection committees. The applications were evaluated and assessed based on their proposal for access, affordability, quality and improvements.

Not-for-profit organizations, those interested in becoming not-for-profit, or those in the process of becoming licensed were able to apply.

Child care subsidy

Eligibility for child care subsidy at an ELCC Centre is the same as it is at any licensed or approved child care program. The subsidy program remains in place for eligible parents whose children are not enrolled in an ELCC centre.

Some families may also qualify for the Alberta Child Benefit and the Alberta Enhanced Family Employment Tax Credit.

Child care accreditation

Child care accreditation will also remain in place and unchanged. Accreditation is available to all licensed day care centres and out-of-school care programs as well as approved family day home agencies in Alberta. Participation in accreditation is voluntary.

Funding for ELCC Centres

In December 2017, the Alberta Government signed a bi-lateral agreement with the federal government that will provide just over $136 million over 3 years to support the expansion of the ELCC Centre pilot.

Future expansion will depend on a successful evaluation of the program and on finances permitting.

Evaluation and next steps

A rigorous 3-year evaluation is currently underway and will provide government with the information needed to determine the success of the ELCC Centres. A summary of the interim results from the first year of the evaluation is now available.

Access to affordable, quality child care is a priority for the Alberta government. We are moving forward in a thoughtful, careful and prudent way. Research shows that investing in child care builds stronger communities, and supports a stronger economy.

Read the July 2019 e-mail from the Minister of Children's Services to all ELCC Centre operators.


If you have additional questions about Alberta’s new Early Learning and Child Care Centres, please contact ELCC@gov.ab.ca.