Overview

A licence is required under the Child Care Licensing Act to operate a child care program that provides care for 7 or more children except for:

  • an education program provided under the Education Act
  • a day camp, vacation camp or other recreational program that operates for less than 12 consecutive weeks
  • 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 available
  • private babysitting for 6 children or less, not including the caregiver's own children
  • approved family day homes, which are monitored by a family day home agency

The Child Care Licensing Regulation sets out the minimum standards that must be met in a licensed child care program to ensure that the health, safety 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, please contact your local Children’s Services office.

How to become a licensed child care program

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To become a licensed child care provider in Alberta, contact a child care licensing officer at your local Children’s Services office. A licensing officer 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 (PDF, 110 KB).

Child Care Licensing Handbook

The Child Care Licensing Handbook provides 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 Child Care Licensing Act and Regulation

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

Licence Holder Information Session

As part of the licensing process, you will have to complete a free online Licence Holder Information Session. Evidence of completion is required to get a child care licence in Alberta.

New licence holders can complete the online version or the self-study guide, which is available through their local Children’s Services office.

To take the course, login to the Online Learning Environment (OLE).

If you are having troubles logging in, see the How to get started in OLE (PDF, 684 KB) guide.

Starting a family day home

There is a different process for starting a family day home. See the Family day home page for more information.

Contact

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