Author: Susan Bencini, BA, BEd, PGDip (Ed)
On November 15, 2021, the provincial government and the federal government of Canada signed an agreement committing to making childcare more affordable and accessible for Alberta families. In December, 2021, the Alberta Minister of Children and Families announced the new plan to reduce childcare fees. The goal of the plan is to create $10/day childcare for all families by 2026; with a reduction in fees starting January 2022. This is made up of two separate components: first is the Affordability Grant and second is Childcare Subsidy.
Day homes contracted with Licensed Family Day Home agencies WILL qualify for the new funding under the Affordability Grant (as well as Childcare Subsidy).
The Affordability Grant (Federal-Provincial Agreement)
The Affordability Grant is funding received by childcare programs on behalf of the children in their care. This is one step in helping to reduce parent fees.
Families do not need to apply for this and any family in a licensed childcare program will qualify. This grant is based on the age of the child (0 to 5; and not yet in Kindergarten) and whether the child is attending care full time or part time. Many people have been asking if Kindergarten-age children will receive this funding – at this time the answer is no. Kindergarten and school age children will not qualify for this funding (or the change in subsidy) and the supports they have in place will not change at this time (ie, their subsidy will not be lowered to the new amounts).
The Affordability Grant will be distributed to different programs at different amounts. The amounts for family day homes are shown in the table below.
Affordability Grants for Licensed Home-Based Child Care
|Infant (Under 19 months)||Toddler (19 months to under 3 years||Preschool (3 years to kindergarten age)|
|Family Day Home – Full Time||$350||$325||$300|
|Family Day Home – Part Time||$175||$162.50||$150|
|Family Day Home – Overnight Full Time||$525||$487.50||$450|
|Family Day Home – Overnight Part Time||$262.50||$243.75||$225|
See the full table here.
At the end of the month, the timesheets are recorded on a government form and submitted to the government. The government then uses this information to allocate funds based on the childrens’ age and hours of care. These funds are given directly to programs once they are processed (in the case of day homes, the agency receives the funds). This means that the money is always one month behind (ie, grant money for January hours is received late February). For more information on the Affordability Grant and to see the breakdown of grant money based on age, please click here.
Alberta Childcare Subsidy (Provincial)
Subsidy will continue to operate in addition to the grant. Unlike the Affordability grant, parents and families must apply for subsidy and it may be different for each family.
Subsidy is based on income, not your child’s age or hours of care. Previous to 2022, subsidy was only available for families with an annual household income of less than $120,000. In January 2022, subsidy amounts and eligibility changed so that now anyone with a household annual income of $179,000 or less should apply and may receive partial subsidy. For more information on Subsidy or to apply, click here.
Affordability Grant + Childcare Subsidy
For families that will receive the Affordability Grant, the Subsidy amounts are decreasing. If the family of a preschool child was receiving full subsidy of $514, they will now receive $266. While this looks like a decrease, it amounts to slightly more support from the government. For example:
- 2021: $514 in support from the government (Subsidy)
- 2022: $300 (Affordability Grant – paid to program) + $266 (Subsidy – paid to family) = $566 in support from the government
Families previously receiving subsidy will not need to reapply and their subsidy will automatically be adjusted. Kindergarten and school age children that were receiving subsidy should see no change to their subsidy.
Still have questions? Feel free to get in touch with our office.