Table of contents

COVID-19 update

COVID guidelines for licensed child care centres changed on July 1 as part of Alberta’s Open for Summer plan. This includes removing the requirement for cohorts.

See guidance for preschool, day care and out of school care for a detailed outline of the changes.

Call Child Care Connect toll free at 1-844-644-5165 for help finding child care or any questions you might have about child care in Alberta.


Updated Child care legislation in Alberta comes into effect on February 1, 2021. For more information, see  Improving child care. Learn more about Changes in Child Care under the updated legislation.

Under the Early Learning and Child Care Act, a licence is 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
  • programs or services provided under the Education Act
  • 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 the safety, well-being and developmental needs of children are met. The Act and Regulation are currently with the Queen’s Printer. Once they are posted they will be available through this link. In the meantime, we encourage you to become familiar with the overview of changes provided in Changes in Child Care.

Child Care Connect

Children's Services licenses, monitors and issues enforcement actions. If you have any questions about applying for a child care licence, call Child Care Connect at 1-844-644-5165.

How to get a licence

PDF form issues

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To become a licensed child care provider in Alberta, contact early learning and child care staff by calling Child Care Connect at 1-844-644-5165. 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 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 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.

Application package for licensed facilities

The following forms will be posted on this page by Monday, February 8.

If you need a form before then, call Child Care Connect toll free: 1-844-644-5165

Application for an Early Learning and Child Care Licence or Family Day Home Agency (PDF, 84 KB)
This is the main application form that you will fill out as part of your application for a new licence or to renew your existing licence. In this form you will include information about the applicant, what type of child care you are planning to provide, as well as a checklist of all the pieces you will need to compile and include in your application.

Program plan (PDF, 174 KB)
The program plan outlines required submissions, including those for your staffing plan and administrative policies and procedures.

Child Care Subsidy Grant Application form
This is a funding agreement between your program and Children’s Services if you will be receiving subsidy benefits on behalf of parents or guardians who qualify for subsidy.

Vendor Management- Direct Deposit, Maintenance and Adding Vendors form
This form provides your financial information to allow payment of eligible claimed funding (for example, wage-top ups, and subsidy)

Infant Care Incentive Parent Statement of Acknowledgement form
This form notifies the parent that you will be receiving this funding for providing a space to their infant.

The Certification Guide for Staff
This guide provides guidance regarding the staff certification process and procedures.

Collateral information (see Step 5: Obtain the required health, municipal and safety approvals on page 17 of the Child Care Licensing Handbook for facility-based programs)

The Early Learning and Child Care Act and Early Learning and Child Care Regulation

Sets out the minimum standards that must be met in a licensed child care program to ensure the safety, well-being and developmental needs of children are met.

Forms and templates for licensed programs

New Incident Report Form for Programs (PDF, 84 KB)
Licence and contract holders are required to report serious illness, injury to a child, or any other incident that occurs while the child is attending a program that may seriously affect the health or safety of the child. The Incident Report form must be completed and submitted to your local Children's Services’ licensing office within two days of the incident.

Licence Holder Request for Variation of a Licence (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Early Learning and Child Care Regulation Exemption Request (PDF, 118 KB)
Use this form for all exemption requests including staff qualifications, transportation, crib, outdoor playspace and mixed-age group requests.

Notice of Appeal Form (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Can be used if you have applied for a new licence or licence renewal and were refused, or you are a licence holder and you want to appeal an enforcement decision by a licensing staff member. Find out how to appeal a decision about child care licensing.

If you have any questions, or would like to receive an application package by email, call Child Care Connect toll free at 1-844-644-5165.

Licence Holder Information Session

If you are a first-time licence applicant under the 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 Act and Regulation.

Become a day home educator

There is a different process for becoming a family day home educator 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.

For more information, see Become a family day home educator.


Call Child Care Connect toll free at 1-844-644-5165 if you have questions about applying for and receiving a child care licence.

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