Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some commonly asked questions.
A private baby sitter is not monitored, screened, or required to follow any guidelines other than they cannot care for more than 6 children in addition to their own children. There are no age restrictions to ensure quality of care for a private babysitter. A private babysitter is not required to have any training including first aid. A registered approved day home goes through an application and screening procedure that includes all members of the household before it is determined if the agency will approve that home. once approved a Educator is monitored on a regular basis to ensure they are following all government requirements.
An Educator can care for up to 6 children under the age of 13 in addition to her own children. To ensure quality care there can only be 2 children under the age of 2 in the home. This includes the Educators own family.
Educators undergo a comprehensive screening process before receiving approval to operate a day home. This screening includes submitting Criminal Record Checks with Vulnerable Sector Searches and Child Intervention Checks for every family member, along with three character references. The Coordinator is required to conduct two meetings with the entire family as a preliminary step in the approval procedure. Additionally, our agency conducts a minimum of three home visits as an integral component of our approval process
The majority of Educators come to the family day home program with a background in Early Childhood Education.
- A Level 1/Child Development Assistant certification is 50 hours of training in Early Childhood Education.
- A Level 2/Child Development Worker is 1 full year post-secondary training in Early Childhood Education.
- A Level 3/Child Development Supervisor is 2 full years post-secondary education in Early Childhood Education, a degree in Education, or a degree in Social Work or Nursing.
Day homes receive regular visits to verify that standards are upheld. The government mandates a minimum of six visits per year, including two dedicated safety checks. To provide additional support to our Educators, our agency strives to conduct monthly visits. These visits involve carrying out seasonal safety checks, completing Government of Alberta reporting forms, and conducting an annual review for goal setting with the Educator. The majority of our agency's visits are unannounced. Educators must permit access at any time for these unannounced inspections by the Child and Family Services Authority.
Yes, parents who have their children placed in a registered family day home program are able to apply for subsidy. Subsidy is approved on the basis of a families combined income not exceeding a certain amount. Families can apply online or if they would like assistance, the agency is available to help you complete an application.
Yes, parents are paying for the space they are reserving for their child and not necessarily the care they are using. A Educator’s ability to build her income is limited to the number of space she has available. When a space is reserved for a child that family is paying for the space and not the days they use. Parents receive credits for any day their Educator is not available and they choose not to use back-up through the agency.
The agency is open all year except for statutory holidays. Educators are also entitled to have paid time off for statutory holidays. Educators will take pre-arranged holidays from time-to-time. They are required to give families adequate notice so that they may take time off at the same time or arrangement for back-up through the agency.
No, all payments go through the agency. Collecting fees is part of the service we provide for our caregivers. Fees are due at the beginning of the month and we have a number of payment options for families that include debit, automatic withdrawal, post-dated cheques and cash.
Yes, the agency issues one statement of child care expenses at the end of January with a total of all payments received for the year. It is this statement that you submit for income tax purposes.
The agency will need you to share information so that we are able to match your child care needs to the homes we have available. You are under no obligation and there is no cost for referrals. Once we have a better sense of what you are looking for we will give you a list of homes in your area. You are invited to call and make an appointment to go out and meet with the day home Educator and her family. You must take your child to meet the Educator Only after you have interviewed and chosen one of our homes would you make an appointment to come to our office and register your child for care
One of the benefits of the family day home program is that we are able to offer a variety of different child care options. We provide care for children aged 0-12 years. We have Educators that offer full-time, part-time, casual, and shift care including evenings and weekends. We also have a number of Educators who have children before and after school. A few Educators will transport children to and from school. In most cases bussing is arranged and the Educator will take the child to and from the bus stop.
Parents are responsible for providing personal care items for their child’s daily needs e.g. diapers, wipes, crèmes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, medications, daily change of clothing, and season outdoor clothing. For children not eating table foods the parents supplies all nutrients. Once children are ready to eat table food (usually over 12 months of age with a set of teeth, and not drinking from a bottle) the Educator will supply 2 snacks including 2 food groups and 1 meal including all 4 food groups.
Day homes operate differently when it comes to a wait list. In most circumstances a Educator can only financially hold a space for a month or so at the most. Most families only need to start their search 1-2 months prior to their start date because the spaces in day homes are always changing. If a family has a specific Educator they want a guarantee of a placement and that may require paying a retainer until the space is available. This is an unusual situation and does not happen very often. In most cases if the family gives us adequate notice we are usually able to meet their child care needs.
- Parents who have their children placed in a licensed family day home program can apply for subsidy support funding if their combined family income is less than $180,000 for preschool-aged children and $90,000 for school-aged children. Families may apply online, or if they require assistance, the agency can help complete the application.
- Affordability Grant: All families using childcare for over 50 hours per month automatically qualify for the Federal Government’s Affordability Grant Support Program. Agencies apply for this funding monthly on behalf of the families.
- Infant Care Incentive: The Government of Alberta supports Educators who accept infants and toddlers into their care by providing an additional $150 per month directly to the caregiver. This helps cover the extra costs and expenses incurred when caring for younger children.
- FSCD Second Spot Support Funding for Children with Disabilities: Families are eligible to apply for second spot funding through the FSCD program to accommodate their child's additional care needs in a family day home setting.
The agency requires you to share specific information to accurately match your child care needs with the available homes we offer. You are under no obligation, and there is no charge for our referral services. Once we understand your requirements, we will provide you with a list of homes in your area. You are welcome to contact these homes to arrange a visit with the day home Educator and their family. It is essential for your child to accompany you during this meeting with the Educator. Only after you have conducted interviews and selected a suitable home should you reach out to our office to officially register your child for care.
The agency strives to support the needs of both the parent and the Educator regarding our policy on when a child is too ill to remain in the home. We adhere to the Alberta Health Services guidelines, which state that children should not be in care if they are vomiting, have excessive diarrhea, a high fever, have contracted a communicable disease, or are so unwell that it disrupts the day's routine—for instance, if the Educator is unable to take the children outside. A doctor’s note confirming the child's health may be required before they can return. It is the responsibility of all parties to help prevent the spread of infection within the day home. Please note, in light of additional circumstances (e.g., COVID-19), these standards are subject to change at any time.