3 Things you need to know before getting Subsidy for Child Care

1. What is subsidy for Childcare?

Subsidy is financial assistance from the Alberta government to help low income families cover the costs of childcare so parents can work outside of the home.

2. Who/What is applicable for subsidy?

If you, as a family, are in a low to middle income bracket, you may be eligible to receive subsidy from the Alberta government to help offset some of the costs of childcare. Whether or not you are eligible depends on your household annual income, how many children you have, and what ages they are.

For example, if your household monthly income is $6500, and you have 3 children; aged 16 months, 3 years old and 7 years old, you could be eligible for a maximum subsidy of $551/month for care in a licensed Daycare or Out of School facility.  Or in a family or group childcare/dayhome, your maximum eligibility would be $334/month. HOWEVER, after talking to an agent at the Human Services Department, I was told the MAXIMUM household income that would be eligible to receive subsidy is $50,000/year.

To calculate your own personal eligibility, you can go to:  http://humanservices.alberta.ca/financial-support/15668.html ** you must use Firefox or Internet Explorer. Google Chrome is not supported**

Only certain childcare centres are eligible for you to receive subsidy, they are:

  • Licensed Daycare Centres – maximums range from $310-$628/month/child, depending on age of child
  • Licensed Group Family Childcare – maximums range from $310-$520/month/child, depending on age of child
  • Licensed Family Dayhomes– maximums range from $310-$520/month/child, depending on age of child
  • Licensed Out of School Centres- maximums range from $310-$628/month/child, depending on age of child
  • Licensed Preschools – maximum of $100/month/child subsidy
  • Accredited Early Childhood Development Programs  – maximum of $100/month/child subsidy
  • Stay-At-Home-Parent  – maximum of $100/month/child subsidy
  • Kin Child Care (childcare being done by a member of the family) – maximum of $200-$400/month/child, depending on age of child.

Unfortunately, at this time, private dayhomes are NOT eligible for families to receive subsidy. 

3. How to Apply:

You can apply for a subsidy if:

  • You or your spouse/partner, or the child receiving care are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and live in Alberta.
  • You or your spouse/partner are an Alberta resident.
  • Your children are 12 years of age or younger and are not yet attending Grade 7.
  • You and your spouse/partner are currently working, attending school, looking for work or have special needs
    You or your spouse/partner stay-at-home and have your child(ren) enrolled in a licensed pre-school or approved early childhood development program.

You can find the actual application forms here: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/financial-support/15669.html

You can either fill out the form on line, or print it out and mail it in.  You can call and ask for help, but the wait time on hold is very long (I waited over 20 mins to get some of my questions answered).  

Next week’s article?  What subsidy do you qualify for as a licensed provider, depending on your Early Childhood Education level!?  And an opinion poll :) Stay tuned! Better yet, subscribe to receive our blog posts as soon as they are published!


2 thoughts on “3 Things you need to know before getting Subsidy for Child Care

  1. sameer

    I am a co-applicant and not too sure if I am eligible for a child care subsidy if I am on parental leave for my second baby ,I am applying for my elder baby which is 2 year old.

    As I am also not sure which category I should select while applying as it has 5 options i.e working,Attending school,looking for work,special needs,stay at home parent.

    My wife is working at the moment and she is main applicant.

    Please advise.


    1. Faye Holt Faye Holt

      Sameer, I’m afraid I am not an expert in this area and would hate to give you false information. The best place to find this information would be to call Alberta Human Services directly. I know its a pain to have to wait on hold, but better to get the absolute accurate information.


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