Table of contents

COVID-19 update

Child care operators should continue following applicable COVID guidelines and public health orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Updated guidance for fall 2021 is now available for Licensed Child Care Centres and Family Day Homes.

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.

Overview

Updated Child care legislation in Alberta came 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.

Child Care Connect

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

Facility-based child care licences

How to get a licence

To apply for a facility-based child care licence in Alberta, contact early learning and child care staff. 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 for facility-based programs

The Child Care Licensing Handbook: 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

PDF form issues

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

  1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
  2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

Application for an Early Learning and Child Care Licence or Family Day Home Agency (PDF, 84 KB) – 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 (facility-based programs) (PDF, 174 KB) – 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.

Application for EFT Direct Deposit (CAD) – 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 – Notifies the parent that you will be receiving this funding for providing a space to their infant.

The Certification Guide for Staff – 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.

If you have any questions, or would like to receive an application package by email, contact us.

Licence holder information session

If you are a first-time applicant for a facility-based licence 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 the ministry, 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.

Family day home agency licences

How to get a license

Applications for a family day home agency licence are considered when the Alberta government determines there is a need for additional agencies. To inquire about when an application will be accepted for a new family day home agency, contact us.

Child Care Licensing Handbook for family day home agencies

The Child Care Licensing Handbook: Family Day Home Agencies provides guidance and information about:

  • how you can apply for or renew a child care licence
  • what is involved in inspecting and monitoring licensed agencies and family day home programs
  • terms used in the Act and Regulation
  • how to appeal or dispute a licensing decision
  • how to report incidents

This handbook does not supersede the Act, Regulation, or Family Day Home Standards Manual for Alberta. Find the necessary forms, checklists and templates related to child care licensing below.

Application package for family day home agencies

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.

The Early Learning and Child Care Act, Early Learning and Child Care Regulation and Family Day Home Standards Manual for Alberta 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.

Family Day Home Agency Program Plan Template (PDF, 164 KB) – 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.

Application for EFT Direct Deposit (CAD) – 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 – Notifies the parent that you will be receiving this funding for providing a space to their infant.

The Certification Guide for Staff – Provides guidance regarding the staff certification process and procedures.

Collateral information – see Step 5: Obtain documentation of approvals, on page 28 of the Child Care Licensing Handbook for Family Day Home Agencies

Forms and templates

Facility-based child care programs and family day home agencies

New Incident Report Form for Programs (PDF, 84 KB) – Licence 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 facility-based program and family day home agency exemption requests.

Notice of Appeal Form (PDF, 1.1 MB) – Use 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.

Family day home agencies only

Family Day Home Program Complaint Record (PDF, 96 KB) – Use for documenting a complaint and the outcome of a complaint made regarding a family day home program.

Family Day Home Program Initial Screening Checklist (PDF, 97 KB) – Checklist used during the initial screening process for family day home educators.

Family Day Home Program Profile (PDF, 96 KB) – Licensed agencies use the family day home program profile to assist families in finding a family day home program that suits their needs.

Family Day Home Program Profile Sharing of Information Acknowledgement (PDF, 135 KB) – Use to allow family day home program educators to consent to agencies sharing information with families on the program profile document.

Licensed Family Day Home Agency Home Visitor/Consultant Checklist (PDF, 137 KB) – Licensed agencies use this form when they visit family day home programs to check how well they are following the Family Day Home Standards.

Become a family 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.

Contact

Connect with Child Care Connect if you have questions about applying for and receiving a child care licence:

Toll free: 1-844-644-5165

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