Bursaries and accreditation funding, including wage top-ups, professional development, and staff attraction incentives are available to child care educators and those looking to start or return to a career in child care.

Child care programs eligible to apply for this accreditation grant incentive on behalf of educators include:

  • licensed daycare programs
  • licensed out-of-school care programs
  • contracted family day home agencies

Average child care wages in Alberta

Child care operators are responsible for setting the base wages of their employees. The average hourly wage reported by employers for staff working in pre-accredited and accredited child care programs as of September 2019 is indicated in the table below.

Table 1. Average employer-reported hourly wages of child care staff

Child care certification level Average employer-paid wage (without wage top-up) Average wage (with pre-accredited wage top-up) Average wage (with accredited wage top-up)
Child Development Assistant $15.90 $17.34 $18.04
Child Development Worker $16.91 $19.61 $20.96
Child Development Supervisor $18.51 $22.93 $25.13

Funding for high school graduates

Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Career Scholarship (for high school graduates)

If you are a recent graduate and want to pursue a career in child care, you may be able to receive a $2,500 ELCC Career Scholarship to attend post-secondary programs in early learning and child care education. This scholarship will be discontinued effective August 31, 2020.

Funding for child care programs and educators

Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program

Four types of grants are available through the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program to support the recruitment and retention of trained qualified educators. The grants are available to child care programs that are either accredited or in the process of becoming accredited and include:

  • Staff Support Funding
  • Professional Development Grant
  • Staff Attraction Incentive
  • Benefit Contribution Grant

As of the April 2020 claim period, the Benefit Contribution Grant and Staff Attraction Incentive will be unavailable. Effective April 1, 2020, the Child Care Accreditation Funding Program will be discontinued and replaced with professional development and one set of wage top-up rates that will be available to all licensed day care programs, licensed out-of-school care programs, licensed group family child care programs and contracted family day home agencies. The funding will be administered under the new Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program. Details will be made available on April 1, 2020.

Staff Support Funding (Wage top-ups)

This funding provides a wage top-up for paid, certified educators over and above the employer-paid wage. The wage top-up is based on the certification level of the educator and the accreditation status of the child care program.

Professional Development Funding

Funding is available to assist with tuition fees and required textbooks for educators certified as a Child Development Assistant/Worker to obtain a higher level of certification, and to register for approved conferences and workshops that contribute to ongoing professional development.

Educators certified as Child Development Supervisors can apply for professional development funding through the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta.

Staff Attraction Incentive

If you are certified as a Child Development Worker/Supervisor that is new to the field or have not worked in the field for at least 6 months, and find a full-time employment with a pre-accredited or accredited child care program, you may be eligible for the Staff Attraction Incentive (of up to $5,000).

As of April 1, 2020, the Staff Attraction Incentive will no longer be available. Applications for this grant will be accepted up until March 31, 2020 – Child care staff with approved applications as of March 31, 2020 will receive payment upon meeting the required 12 or 24 month work commitment up to June 30, 2022. No new Staff Attraction Incentive applications will be processed as of April 1, 2020.

How to apply

Visit Accreditation funding for child care programs to learn more and apply.


Connect with the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-1119 (extension 2)
Toll free: 1-800-661-9754 (extension 2)
Email: cs.accredfunding@gov.ab.ca