Alberta Child Care Subsidy: The Definitive Guide

Child care services, although always essential, can be expensive. Alberta, in specific, is home to many great and expensive daycares. Luckily, the Government of Alberta offers subsidies to help families afford child care programs.

Table of Contents

Important Changes to Alberta Child Care Subsidy 2020

Rates

Eligibility

Application

After Applying

Reporting Changes in Your Application

Extra Financial Aid for Child Care

Important Changes to Alberta Child Care Subsidy 2020

It’s all good news.

The latest changes to Alberta Child Care Subsidy are in effect since August 1, 2020:

  1. Simpler model: Subsidy rates are now exclusively determined by four factors: the child’s age, total family income, the type of program and monthly hours of care. As a result, it’s become easier to calculate the exact amount you could receive. (Here’s the official estimator.)
  2. Increased rates: In the new model, maximum subsidy rates have increased by 18%. This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive an increased amount of subsidy, although you probably will.
  3. Income threshold change: The annual income threshold for subsidy eligibility has been set at $75,000. The old model didn’t have a clearly defined threshold and eligibility was determined by a complex combination of factors.

What Are the Child Care Subsidy Rates?

You could have an estimate before you apply.

The estimation boils down to your income (the lower it is, the greater subsidy you receive), your child’s age (the lower it is, the greater subsidy you receive), the type of program your child attends (childcare centres and out-of-school care cost more than family homes), and the hours your child spends at the program. (The greater it is, the greater the subsidy you receive.)

You won’t know the exact amount unless you successfully apply, but here are the maximum amounts divided by income and your child’s age. The charts assume your infant or preschooler attends the program for more than 100 hours, and your school-age child attends the program for more than 50 hours.

Maximum Day care and Out-of-School Care Rates (Licensed Facility-Based Programs)

IncomeInfant
(18 mos. and under)
Preschooler
(19 mos. up to grade 1)
School Age
(grade 1 to grade 6)
$0 to $49,999$741$644$366
$50,000 to $54,999$704$612$348
$55,000 to $59,999$630$547$311
$60,000 to $64,999$556$483$275
$65,000 to $69,999$482$419$238
$70,000 to $74,999$408$354$201

Maximum Family Day Home Rates

IncomeInfant
(18 mos. and under)
Preschooler
(19 mos. up to grade 1)
School Age
(grade 1 to grade 6)
$0 to $49,999$614$516$366
$50,000 to $54,999$583$490$348
$55,000 to $59,999$522$439$311
$60,000 to $64,999$461$387$275
$65,000 to $69,999$399$335$238
$70,000 to $74,999$338$284$201

Who is Eligible for Child Care Subsidy?

Here’s a checklist for you.

To be eligible, you must meet all of the requirements below. According to the Government of Alberta, you are eligible if:

  • You and/or your partner, or the child receiving care, are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • You or your spouse/partner are an Alberta resident
  • You and your spouse/partner currently:
    • are working, or looking for work
    • are attending school
    • have special needs, or your child has a special need
  • Your children are 0-12 years of age and are not yet attending Grade 7
  • Your children have a secured spot in a licensed facility-based program with day care or out-of-school care programming, or family day home program that is overseen by a licensed agency
    • Be sure to check the institute you want to send your child to. For example, Clever Daycare is a licensed child care facility and accepts the subsidy if you secure a spot.
  • Your total family income is less than $75,000 per year
    • income eligibility is determined by combining you and your spouse/partner’s income tax information from your most recent Notice of Assessment, issued by Canada Revenue Agency
    • income is based on Line 15000 (gross income) subtracted by any amounts that are reported on Line 32000 (education-related tax deductions), as well as Lines 33099 and 33199 (medical related tax deductions)
      • That is, total income (which determines whether or not you get the subsidy) = gross income – education taxes – medical taxes
    • in the event of a recent loss of income, or if you and your spouse/partner were not required to file a Canadian tax return, you can request to be evaluated on current income/deduction estimates using these contact information.

How to Apply for Child Care Subsidy?

There’s a straightforward online form.

You can apply online or via paper form(s). Online applications are processed much faster, so we’ll start with them.

Online Application

  1. Click here and create a MyAlberta Digital ID account. This account allows you access to all digital services the Government of Alberta offers (including this). You can also use it to log in to your My Service Canada Account (MSCA). (Skip this step if you already have the account.)
  2. Make sure you’re logged in to your MyAlberta Digital ID account, then go here to start the process by adding your child or children. Remember that you should apply for the subsidy at least one month before your child is scheduled to attend the licensed program.
    • You will first see a pop-up message telling you the information you enter will be used internally by Alberta and in the application’s verification processes. Click “I understand” to continue.
  3. From now on, you will see only a few boxes to fill at every stage, making the process much simpler than it previously was. Frequently asked questions can be found on the same page they might be asked, like “Who is considered a permanent resident of Canada?” or “What does it mean when a program is income-tested?”.
  4. It’s a pretty user-friendly process, and we won’t have you going back and forth here and there; so, do go fill it out. Should you have any problems or questions about the process, you can call Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 and ask them.
  5. After you apply, you will need to fill out the CRA Consent Applicant Declaration and Acknowledgement form digitally, print the filled-out form, sign by hand, then return it to the address below. If you’re not able to print it, in a few weeks, you will receive an online form via email as your application’s assessment continues.

 

Child Care Subsidy

P.O Box 1641, Station M

Edmonton AB T5J 2N9

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 780-422-5692

Paper Application

Paper applications will take much longer than online applications. However, you can still fill out this Application for Child Care Subsidy form digitally, print the filled-out form, date, and sign by hand, then return it to this address at the bottom of the form.

Child Care Subsidy

P.O Box 1641, Station M

Edmonton AB T5J 2N9

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 780-422-5692

If your reason for care is a special need (either your own need or your child’s), you will also need to fill and return this Verification for Need for Child Care – Special Needs form. Most of the form should be filled in by an authorized professional (such as a medical doctor or psychiatrist) who can confirm the need listed as your reason for care. This form is to be filled out digitally, printed out, dated, and signed by hand, then returned to this address at the bottom of the form.

Child Care Subsidy

P.O Box 1641, Station M

Edmonton AB T5J 2N9

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 780-422-5692

After Applying for Child Care Subsidy

Wait and See!

The application will take some time to process. If you meet certain conditions, you will shortly receive a conditional 2-month subsidy as your application is assessed. You may also be asked to provide more information as the assessment process comes to a close.

This subsidy doesn’t come to you but goes straight to the licensed program(s) on your behalf. The program(s) should notify you when they receive the subsidy.

If your application is not approved, you will receive a letter stating the reasons why not. You can request a review of the decision within 30 days by filling this Administrative Review Request form digitally, printing it, signing it by hand, and returning it to the same address.

Child Care Subsidy

P.O Box 1641, Station M

Edmonton AB T5J 2N9

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 780-422-5692

Reporting Changes in Your Subsidy Application

That is, any change in information you have provided.

If any of the information you’ve submitted to Alberta go under any change, you should report the changes in the same month they occur. These are the changes you should report, according to the Government of Alberta:

  • You or the co-applicant do not have a valid reason for child care, for example:
  • not working (you may be eligible to receive up to 4 months of subsidy to allow you to look for work)
  • not attending school
  • You have a decrease [or increase] in annual income that may impact your subsidy benefits
  • Change in child care arrangements
    • adding a new child to a child care program
    • removing a child from a child care program
    • changing your child to a different child care program
  • Change in marital status
  • Change of address or telephone number
  • Change of an applicant, co-applicant, or dependent name

Changes can be reported online here or by filling a Change of Information form and posting it alongside needed documents.

Child Care Subsidy

P.O Box 1641, Station M

Edmonton AB T5J 2N9

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 780-422-5692

Extra Financial Aid for Child Care

Any other subsidies I can apply for?

There’s only one other child care subsidy you may receive; Extended Hours subsidy. This is an extra $100 in addition to the Child Care Subsidy if:

  1. You have a valid reason for child care in hours outside of 6 AM to 6 PM or on weekends.
  2. Your child requires at least 4 hours of extended-hours care in a month.
  3. The licensed program your child is enrolled in is approved to offer extended-hours care. (That is, the extended-hours care is noted under the program’s license, which the Government of Alberta issues.)

There are no additional forms to fill for this subsidy; you will be asked about extended-hours care in your Child Care Subsidy application.

For extra benefits, take a look at Alberta Child and Family Benefit and Alberta Child Health Benefit and see if you’re eligible. If you have any questions or concerns we can help you with, or you want to secure a spot for your child in Clever Daycare, do call or email us!

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