There are many childcare facilities in Edmonton. There are six University-affiliated Child Care Centres.
The Alberta Government also offers an online resource to help you search for and choose a child care centre.
Most daycare centres have waiting lists, which can be as long as 1-2 years. Many charge a fee for waiting list registration. However, if you find a centre that you are very interested in, it is worthwhile putting your name on the waiting list, even though you may need to make alternative arrangements until a space becomes available there. Call every few months to get an update on your status. Doing so keeps your waiting list registration active and reminds the centre that you are still very interested in a spot.
There are also a number of agencies which coordinate the childcare in private homes.
As of the academic year (2018-2019), a child is eligible to enter Kindergarten if they turn 5 years of age by Dec. 31 of that year. Any child, who 6 years of age by September, is eligible to enter Grade 1 at one of Edmonton’s elementary schools.
If your spouse/partner plans on working during your full-time studies you will have to find a suitable childcare centre for your non-school aged children.
Child care services are quite costly (anywhere from $600 - $1500 per month); costs usually decrease as the child gets older. While there are several subsidies to help low-income parents with child care expenses; you may not be eligible to many of them immediately after you arrive (information on such subsidies follows).
Note: Many childcare centres have long waiting lists. Make sure to put your child’s name on the waiting list as soon as possible until a spot becomes available.
There are currently 6 University of Alberta affiliated childcare centres. Learn more about these centres.
Information on childcare centres in Edmonton and how to find one with Childcare Lookup.
You may also want to utilize the services of an approved Family Day Home, which can be less expensive. In Alberta, all licensed and approved child care programs must meet a minimum set of provincial standards which make these a better option over private babysitters. More information on Approved Family Day Homes:
Information for Low-Income Families
Low-income graduate students with children may apply for the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) Child Care Grant. The GSA offers grants during 4 specified funding periods throughout the year (a period of 3 months each) on a first-come, first-serve basis.
When all allocated funding during one funding period is expended, students can apply when the next funding period starts, provided they have not already received the grant in the current GSA fiscal year. The grant is a maximum of $1000 per child per student in each GSA fiscal year. More information on the GSA Child Care Grant.
Low-income parents are usually eligible to receive certain subsidies to help with childcare expenses. Temporary residents are usually eligible after 18 months of residency in Canada as long as they file their tax returns during that time.
Information on low-income activity benefits in Edmonton (including leisure program access and transit programs).
Possible subsidies to help with children expenses in Canada include: