Recently, the government of Alberta announced an extended child care subsidy plan as the Canadian federal government renewed their child care investment. The revised subsidy implements a new funding model aimed to drop more barriers to middle-income families that previously had been just above the mark to receive subsidy family benefits.
The UCP’s subsidy program is a shift away from the NDP’s $25 a day program plan, while keeping accessibility, economic recovery and top-ups as the focus. The government aims to drop barriers for parents in critical financial need, support employers with highly-trained staff and implement more flexibility in programs for children with special needs.
Alberta’s Extended Child Care Subsidy Opens to Accredited Preschools
One of the biggest changes to the subsidy program is the inclusion of accredited preschools. Parents in financial need whose children are attending an accredited daycare, family day-home, out-of-school care or preschool are eligible to receive support. For preschool parents, this means up to $125 a month to cover approximately half of preschool costs.
According to a statement from the government, Alberta will receive $290 million in funding from the federal government through an extended Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Over the course of four years, Alberta will use these funds to invest in a more inclusive, high-quality early learning environment for low-middle income families. Of these funds, $45 million will be put towards directly funding childcare, resulting in another 12,000 parents being eligible for the Alberta Child Care Subsidy.
The Alberta government acknowledges that of the children currently in accredited daycare centres, 26% used the child care subsidy. Of this 26%, 23,000 children in full-time daycare receive the full subsidy benefit and can now pay an average $13 per day.
Funding Allocated to Accredited Preschool Caregiver Top-Ups
Rebecca Schulz, the Alberta Minister of Children’s services, highlighted the importance of supporting working families as a key trajectory to the province’s economic recovery. Economic stability starts with the peace of mind working parents have knowing their children are receiving the best care possible. $56 million of the Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will support the economy by increasing the employment of high-quality caregivers in the next year. As well, Schulz recognized the 1,300 certified early preschool childhood educators who were left out of previous wage top-ups during the pandemic. To rectify this, $4.25 million of the $56 million will be allocated towards preschool educator’s wages.
Little Stars is a licensed Alberta child care facility. Our accredited Calgary daycare and preschool is open for parents to receive the Alberta Child Care Subsidy . All children deserve high-quality care essential to nurturing bright minds and good people. Little Stars is proud to be accredited to lower barriers of access to our facility.
How to Apply to the Alberta Child Care Subsidy
The child care subsidy program is for children 18 months to 12 years of age and cannot exceed children over grade six. Your combined family income will determine your eligibility and must be less than $90,000 per year – calculated from your gross income, minus education and medical deductions. Previously, the household threshold was $75,000. If you want to receive an updated estimate on the amount of support your family will be eligible to receive, Alberta’s online subsidy estimator tool will be updated on August 16.
For those who have not applied yet, you can apply for the Alberta Child Care Subsidy through the Alberta government’s website. The subsidy will be available to preschool families starting September 1. To be deemed eligible for the subsidy, your child needs to already be enrolled in an accredited daycare or preschool program. Sign up for your My Alberta Digital ID if you do not already have one before you apply.
To continue receiving your child care subsidy without disrupting your payment, reapply one month before the end date. The government will also send you a reminder by letter every year. We highly recommend submitting all the supporting documentation needed when applying to avoid receiving 2-month conditional subsidy funds.
We are excited to continue supporting Calgary’s families with our quality, accredited daycare. Register in our Calgary daycare or preschool to meet eligibility for the Alberta Child Care Subsidy. If you would like to visit our facility, schedule a tour, we cannot wait to see you!