COVID-19 update

Provincewide restrictions on social gatherings do not apply to co-parenting arrangements, or service visits from family care givers, health care or child care providers. However, those visits must be limited to their intended purpose and not be of a social nature.

Licensed daycare, out-of-school and preschool programs can operate as long as providers follow all public health orders and guidance for child care programs.


Child care legislation in Alberta is being updated and will come into effect on February 1, 2021. For more information, see Improving child care. Learn more about Changes in Child Care (PDF, 1.6 MB) under the updated legislation.

Under the Early Learning and Child Care Act, a licence will be required to operate a child care program that provides care for 7 or more children except for:

  • group homes, foster homes or other residential care settings
  • day camps, vacation camps or other recreational programs that are operated for less than 12 consecutive weeks in any 12‑month period
  • supervision of children at a recreational facility, retail centre or other commercial establishment where the parents of the children remain on the premises and are immediately available

The Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulation set out the minimum standards that must be met in a licensed child care program to ensure that safety, well-being and developmental needs of children are met.

Children's Services licenses, monitors and issues enforcement actions. If you have any questions about applying for a child care licence, contact your local Children’s Services office.

How to become a licensed facility-based child care program

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To become a licensed child care provider in Alberta, contact early learning and child care staff at your local Children’s Services office. They will take you through the steps you need to take to prepare and apply for a licence and will provide you with a child care licence application package.

Child Care Licensing Handbook

The Child Care Licensing Handbook for facility-based programs (PDF, 313 KB) provides guidance and information about:

  • how you can apply for or renew a child care licence
  • what is involved in inspecting and monitoring a licensed child care program
  • terms used in the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulation
  • how to appeal or dispute a licensing decision
  • how to report incidents
  • other important information to assist you with being licensed

This handbook does not supersede the act or regulation. Find the necessary forms, checklists and templates related to child care licensing below.

Forms and templates

For forms and templates, contact early learning and child care staff at your local Children’s Services office.

Forms and templates will be available on this page on February 1, when the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulation come into effect. Current child care providers should contact their licensing teams to attend a training session and to answer any questions they might have.

Licence Holder Information Session

If you are a first-time licence applicant under the Early Learning and Child Care Act, you must complete an information session offered by Children’s Services before you can be issued a facility-based licence. If the applicant is a corporation, one or more corporate directors, as determined by Children’s Services, should complete the session. You will be required to produce proof that you completed an information session.

Through the information session, you will receive information to help you understand the licensing process, as well as an outline of the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulation.

Starting a family day home

There is a different process for starting a family day home if you are interested in providing child care in your private residence for 6 or fewer children (not including your own) under a licensed family day home agency,

See for Become an approved family day home for more information or contact your local Children’s Services office to learn more about home-based child care.


Connect with your local Children’s Services office for any questions you have about applying for and receiving a child care licence.