ECE and child playing with bead maze

Professional Development (PD) Funding

Effective September 1, 2021, all licensed facility-based child care programs and licensed family day home agencies are eligible for further funding for their early childhood educators (ECEs), including wage top-ups and professional development to support the recruitment, retention and professional development of qualified ECEs in supporting quality early learning and child care environments for children. Paid ECEs can use this funding to pursue further training and professional development opportunities to obtain higher levels of certification and strengthen leadership, management, administration, and early childhood education skills and knowledge.

If you have any questions about the process for professional development funding, please contact Children's Services at the following:

Phone: 780-422-1119
Toll free: 1-800-661-9754
Email: cs.childcarefunding@gov.ab.ca

To reach the government page with all of this information, go here.

See the Alberta Child Care Funding Guide here.


Professional Development Funding Sources

Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program

Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program

Licensed daycare, out-of-school care and preschool programs, as well as licensed family day home agencies can apply for grant funding to support the recruitment, retention and professional development of their certified educators. Available supports include wage top-up, professional development funding and release time grant funding.

Read the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide to see if you are eligible and learn about the process to apply for wage top-up, professional development and release time grant funding.


Wage top-up funding

This funding provides licensed child care programs with a wage top-up for certified Early Childhood Educators over and above the base wage paid by the employer. Staff must be paid at least minimum wage before the wage top-up.

Eligibility

The wage top-up grant provides a wage enhancement for certified frontline staff who:

  • provide direct child care, including program supervisors and alternate supervisors (as defined in the Early Learning and Child Care Licensing Regulation) as well as people hired in the role of family child care consultants or coordinators with a licensed family day home agency
  • are certified as an Early Childhood Educator Level 1, 2 or 3
  • meet the conditions outlined in the Eligible hours for wage top-up section of the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Guide.

Funding rates

Funding is paid monthly up to a maximum of 181 hours at the following rates

Early Childhood Educator Certification Level Average Employer-Paid Wage* Wage Top-Up Rate Average Wage with Top-Up
Level 1 $16.75 $2.14 $18.89
Level 2 $17.87 $4.05 $21.62
Level 3 $19.55 $6.62 $26.17
* average as of January 2022

Professional Development Funding

The funding amounts educators are eligible for are determined by the certification level of the educator and the number of hours worked in the two months preceding the application.

Eligibility

Professional development grant funding is intended for staff who are paid employees of licensed child care programs, as well as family day home program educators working under licensed family day home agencies, who:

  • provide direct child care, including program supervisors and alternate supervisors (as defined in the Early Learning and Child Care Regulation), as well as people hired in the role of family child care consultants/coordinators with a licensed family day home agency
  • are certified as an Early Childhood Educator Level 1, 2 or 3
  • are a Canadian citizen or an official Permanent Resident of Canada
  • have worked at least 29 hours in at least one month preceding the date of the expenditure or the date the application was received

Funding rates

Professional Development Type Funding Rate per Early Childhood Educator
Post secondary courses Up to $,1500 per year
Workshops and conferences Up to $500 per year

Paid Release Time Grant

The Paid Release Time Grant provides licensed child care programs with funding that allows their certified educators to be paid while studying, completing post-secondary coursework, and attending workshops or conferences that have been approved for professional development funding.

The grant will apply only to those courses, workshops and conferences that take place on or after September 1, 2021.

Eligibility

This grant is for Early Childhood Educators who are paid employees of licensed child care programs or family day home program educators working under licensed family day home agencies who:

  • are eligible for the professional development grant, and
  • paid for or enrolled in a post-secondary course, workshop or conference that is approved for the professional development grant and takes place on or after September 1, 2021.

Funding rates

Professional Development Type Payment to Early Childhood Educator Payment to program to offset wage related expenses
Post secondary courses $800 per course $60 per course
Workshops and conferences $17.50 per hour (up to 45 hours per year) $1.33 per hour (up to 45 hours)

Further eligibility information, and the application for funding, can be found on the Alberta Children's Services website.

ALIGN Leadership Bursary - Agency Leadership Development Bursary

ALIGN Leadership Bursary - Agency Leadership Development Bursary

Purpose:

The purpose of the Leadership Bursaries are to foster future leadership capacity by enabling senior organizational leaders to participate in formal education and professional development programs that enhance their ability to lead their organization and the field. The focus will be to develop or enhance leadership skills and innovation in service delivery and development, human resource management, organizational excellence and fiscal management.

Eligibility:

For all bursaries, applicants must:

  • Currently work as a senior staff member in a supervisory leadership role
  • Work in a Non-Government Organization (NGO) whose primary responsibility is to serve clients through the Children Services delivery system
  • Have worked in this organization a minimum of one year
  • Be employed by an organization/agency that is contracted by Children Services, to provide services

Organizations must:

Have contracted funding from the Government of Alberta through Children Services and be responsible for providing direct services to clients through the service delivery system.


The ALIGN Leadership Bursary program is offering agencies a bursary up to $5,000.00 towards Agency Leadership Development. We will choose on a first come first serve bases and can offer up to $5,000.00 per agency/per year.

Criteria:

  • You don’t have to be members of ALIGN, but you do have to provide services that are part of the Children Services through contract or grant
  • Agency to send a short (no more than 2 pages) outline of their plan including the cost, and goals that you intend to achieve.
  • When activities are complete report back as to how many people in your agency received the training and how it met your goals

Process:

  • Fill in the ALIGN Bursary Application Form and attach your proposal.
  • Submit to katiew@alignab.ca
  • You will receive a response back to your request within 4 weeks of receiving the request.

For more information, go here.

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

ALIGN Leadership Bursary - ALIGN Leadership Bursary for Non-Accredited Programs/Courses

ALIGN Leadership Bursary - ALIGN Leadership Bursary for Non-Accredited Programs/Courses

The purpose of this Leadership Bursary is to foster future leadership capacity by enabling senior organizational leaders to participate in formal education and professional development programs that enhance their ability to lead their organization and the field. The focus will be to develop or enhance leadership skills and innovation in service delivery and development, human resource management, organizational excellence and fiscal management. Tuition costs for non-accredited programs are a max. $5,000 and do not cover travel costs. This bursary can be granted throughout the year. This can be a course, workshop, conference etc. but must be leadership focused. Please note the intention it to support leadership courses. This is NOT a practice (counselling, NMT, trauma, etc.) enhancement bursary.

Eligibility:

For all bursaries, applicants must:

  • Currently work as a senior staff member in a supervisory leadership role
  • Work in a Non-Government Organization (NGO) whose primary responsibility is to serve clients through the Children Services delivery system
  • Have worked in this organization a minimum of one year
  • Be employed by an organization/agency that is contracted by Children Services, to provide services

Organizations must:

Have contracted funding from the Government of Alberta through Children Services and be responsible for providing direct services to clients through the service delivery system.


Criteria:

  • You don’t have to be a member of ALIGN, but you do have to provide services that are part of Children Services through contract or grant.
  • Send the course outline or brochure with the application.
  • We require the exact costs. The agency or individual must pay for the tuition and provide a receipt. They will be reimbursed once submitted.

Process:

  • Fill in the ALIGN Bursary Application Form. The ED or CEO must sign the form so we know that this is part of the plan for your agency.
  • Send that to katiew@alignab.ca
  • You will receive a response back to your request within 4 weeks of receiving the request.

For more information, go here.

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG)

Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG)

The CAJG is an employer-driven training program where employers and government share the cost of training new and existing employees. Employers decide who gets training and what type of training may be needed for their employees. Eligible employers are required to contribute a minimum of one-third of the total training costs. Government contributes two-thirds of the cost to a maximum of $10,000 per trainee. If hiring and training an unemployed Albertan, up to 100% of training costs could be covered, up to $15,000 per trainee. Individual employers will have a cap on the amount of grant funding they can receive annually ($300,000) to ensure that funding will be available for as many Alberta employers as possible.

Eligible trainees under the CAJG are: Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and protected persons under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) who are entitled to work in Canada. Trainees must be residents of Alberta.

Eligible training:

  • Training must be incremental, meaning that the training is in addition to the employer’s regular operational training, and would not have otherwise taken place without the grant
  • Exceptions are made where the trainee is an unemployed hire who requires training, upgrading or bridging before starting the job
  • Training must be instructional and result in a credential

Training duration and format:

  • Minimum 21 instructional hours of training must start within 6 months of approval and be completed within 52 weeks of start date
  • Training that starts before grant is approved will not be reimbursed
  • Training can be delivered online, on-site, in a classroom or combined, on a part-time or full-time basis

For more information on the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, go here.

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies

Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies

Eligibility:

  • The student must be enrolled in 20-59% of a full-time course load
  • be enrolled in a program of study designated for federal part-time funding, and
  • have a family income that is below the income threshold at which grant eligibility is cut-off listed in the table below.

To be eligible the student with dependants must:

  • comply with all of the above; and
  • have at least one dependant under the the age of 12 at the start date of studies, or 12 years of age or older requiring daily care due to a permanent disability.

Family size (including dependants)

Income threshold for maximum grant (in $)

Income threshold at which grant eligibility is cut-off (in $)

1

32,102

63,615

2

45,399

89,004

3

55,602

106,278

4

64,204

117,021

5

71,782

126,929

6

78,634

136,326

7 or more

84,933

144,457

Eligible students may receive up to $3,600 each school year (August 1 to July 31). Students can get this grant for each year of studies (including undergraduate and graduate levels) as long as they still qualify.

The grant amount is based on family income and family size. The grant amount gradually decreases as income increases, with the rate of reduction varying by family size. When family income is equal to or greater than the income threshold at which grant eligibility is cut-off, students are not eligible to receive any grant funding.

For more information on the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies, go here​.

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

Freehorse Family Wellness Society (FFWS)

Freehorse Family Wellness Society (FFWS)

Freehorse Family Wellness Society (FFWS) is a non-profit organization founded by a few committed and dedicated leaders of Alberta based First Nations.

A Board of Directors including First Nations people provides the leadership and direction to the management and staff of FFWS.

FFWS is currently offering a post secondary funding program on behalf of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Post Secondary Funding Program assists students from various Alberta First Nations whose status is the result of Bill C-31. Alberta residents from Nunavut and the North West Territories with Indian or Inuit Status are also eligible under our Post Secondary Funding Program.

Please go through their eligibility criteria to see if you are eligible to apply for sponsorship with their Program. During sponsorship, FFWS supports our students by providing tuition, books, and living allowance.

For more information and to apply, go here.

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

Indigenous Student Supports

Indigenous Student Supports

Band funding

If you’re a Band member of a First Nation, you may be eligible for federal funding, administered through your Band office, to help you pay for your education. Here’s how to get started:

Scholarships and bursaries

 

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

The Muttart Foundation Bursary Program - Restricted to Registered Charities

Muttart Bursary Program

(Restricted to Registered Charities)

Grants are usually awarded in amounts of less than $1,000 to cover the tuition or registration costs of courses, programs, conferences or other training opportunities. Courses or programs must be offered by a non-profit entity or a publicly funded post-secondary institution. Professional development opportunities may include:

  • administrative courses – accounting, computer skills, communication, interpersonal skills, supervision, etc.
  • program related courses – cultural awareness, youth engagement, counseling, community development, mentoring, coaching, pedagogical leadership, child development,  collective impact, outcome measurement, etc.
  • management level courses – human resources, information technology, legal, communications, project and change management, operations, financial and accounting, fund development, etc. 

​Muttart Leadership Program

The aim of the Leadership Bursary program is to increase the capacity of senior staff, management staff, or persons serving in a senior staff capacity within these charities to contribute now, or in the near future, to leadership within or across organizations, or enhance leadership competence in key policy areas related to the charity or sub-sector’s work. Professional development opportunities may include:

  • leadership courses or programs
  • management programs
  • governance courses or programs
  • public policy courses or programs

Grants are usually awarded in amounts of less than $2,500 to cover the tuition or registration costs of courses or programs. Courses or programs must be offered by a non-profit entity or a publicly funded post-secondary institution. Bursaries cover course or program tuition costs, not travel, accommodation or incidental expenses.

Application Process

Please submit applications to the Foundation at least three weeks in advance of the course start date to provide sufficient time for a review of your request. If the application is received after the registration deadline, or if you have already registered for the course, the bursary will not be awarded.

For more information and to submit an application, go here.

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

Scholarships Canada

Scholarships Canada is a website that helps students search for scholarships to attend school (field of study: early childhood).

Whole Kids Foundation

Whole Kids Foundation

Whole Kids Foundation provides an Extended Learning Garden Grant program that provides grants grant to non-profits or charity children's programming organizations.

Garden Grant Program

Our Garden Grant program provides a $3,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible educational garden located at either a K-12 school or a non-profit organization (Registered Charity) that serves children in the K-12 grade range.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for this grant, the school or organization must meet the below criteria:

  • Be a charter or public school including tribally controlled and Bureau of Indian Education schools, non-profit private school, or a non-profit organization or tribal entity that serves children in the K-12 age range
  • Engage at least 10 children on a regular basis
  • Be growing edible plants in your garden

For previous Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant recipients: eligible to re-apply if you received your previous grant funds in 2020 or earlier and have completed the required follow-up documentation.

Process

For information and application process, click here.


Bee Grants

The Bee Grants allows for K-12 schools or non-profit organizations that serve any grades K-12 to start a new or enhance an existing bee program hosting live bees on their campus.

Grant Options

  • Monetary Grant: $1,500 monetary grant
  • Equipment Grant: Indoor Observation Hive
  • Equipment Grant: Traditional Langstroth Hive

For previous Whole Kids Foundation Bee Grant recipients: A $500 monetary grant intended to boost or support existing educational bee programs. and completed the required Progress Report. Live bees are not required to apply for this grant.

Process

For information and application process, click here.

AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy.

Updated on 2022-08-17

Professional Development (PD) Funding FAQ

How do I apply for PD funding?

Step 1: Submit the grant application form

Fill out the online grant application and submit it to the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program using the contact information noted on the form. The grant application form is available online at https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-child-care-grant-funding-program.aspx. 

The Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program will review the grant application once it has been submitted. If the program is eligible, the authorized representative of the licence holder will receive a grant agreement (as specified by the program on the grant application). If the program is ineligible, the authorized representative of the licence holder will receive a written notification explaining why.

Step 2: Review and sign the grant agreement

After a child care program is declared eligible, the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program will send the official (unsigned) grant agreement to the authorized representative of the licence holder as listed on the application.

The licence holder must ensure full understanding and compliance with all requirements for the wage top-up and professional development funding, as contained in this Funding Guide, prior to signing the grant agreement.

The authorized official of the licence holder must sign the grant agreement and return the original signed copy by mail or email to:

Alberta Children’s Services

Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program

6th Floor, Sterling Place, 9940-106 Street

Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2N2

cs.childcarefunding@gov.ab.ca

The approved professional development funding payment will be part of the overall child care program deposit when the next monthly claim is processed. The ECE name and professional development funding payment amount (including the release time grant, if approved) will be reflected on the monthly payment summary statement.

If you have questions about submitting your monthly claim or the payments received, you can call the Alberta Child Care Claims Unit at 1-855-638-6121 or email cs.childcareclaims@gov.ab.ca. For more information, visit https://www.alberta.ca/online-child-care-claims-system.aspx.

How much PD funding am I eligible for?

Professional Development Type

Grant rate per ECE
Workshops and conferences $500/year
Post-secondary coursework and workbooks $1,500/year
Maximum available funding $2,000/year

 

Program Accountability for PD Funding

The program must comply with all the terms set out in the grant agreement that was signed between the grant recipient and the Minister, which includes the content contained in this funding guide.

All child care programs that receive grant funding must maintain required attendance records, receipts, and financial/payroll records to support all funding payments relating to wage top-ups and professional development (and the release time grant, if applicable). Programs are subject to selected or random audits by the Government of Alberta. If a program falsely obtains funds, fails to provide required documentation, or fails to report funding not paid to ECEs, the amount will be adjusted accordingly through the claims payment process. Eligibility for ongoing funding may be terminated.

Failure to comply with the terms set out in the agreement and this funding guide may result in the recovery of the funding.

  • The program must retain a copy of its submitted professional development funding request form, and all receipts supporting the professional development grant payments made to the program.
  • Receipts must indicate the same expenditure that was claimed and must match the ECE’s or program’s name, amount of payment and payment date as was submitted on the professional development funding request form.
  • Any funding that is paid without supporting receipts, not transferred to the ECE, or not used as approved on the professional development funding request form, must be reported using the program funding adjustment form at alberta.ca/online-child-care-claims-system.aspx.
  • The professional development grant is not taxable.
  • If programs receive the release time grant payments:
    • The release time funding is paid to programs as a grant but when the program transfers this funding to their ECE employee, payments fall under the definition of “wage” in Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. As such, the program must administer this funding as a wage in accordance with all applicable legislation.
    • According to the Alberta Employment Standards Code, employers must pay at least the minimum wage. They must also pay to ECE the legislated vacation and general holiday pay on both the employee’s base wage and the wage covered through the release time grant funding. Information about the Employment Standards Code is available at www.alberta.ca/employment-standards.aspx.
    • The employer is also responsible to pay the legislated premiums on the wage covered through the release time grant that includes Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Board premiums.
    • For licensed family day home agencies, the release time grant paid to family day home educators must be identified as income and administered according to all applicable legislation.
    • Programs must reflect the release time grant funding payments as a provincial government contribution on paystubs.
    • Programs must report any unused or incorrectly reported funding using the program funding adjustment form.

What types of training costs are covered?

Professional development funding helps offset tuition fees and required course textbooks for approved post-secondary coursework. For educators certified as an Early Childhood Educator Level 1 or 2, this coursework should lead to a higher level of certification. For those at Level 3, this coursework should strengthen leadership, management, pedagogical leadership, administration, and early childhood education skills and knowledge.

Professional development funding may also be used to offset the cost of tuition fees, conference and workshop fees related to early learning and child care that have been approved by the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program. Please email the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program at cs.childcarefunding@gov.ab.ca to find out whether the course/conference/workshop you are interested in is eligible for professional development funding.

Professional development funding may not be requested if another grant or bursary has been awarded for the same purpose.

What types of training costs are not covered?

Expenses not covered by professional development:

  • Accommodations, meals, alcohol, and travel costs
  • Additional fees charged by an educational institution
  • Non-approved courses, workshops or conferences (i.e., those not related to child development or not approved by the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program)
  • Language proficiency assessments (CELPIP/IELTS)
  • English as a Second Language coursework
  • First-Aid training and food safety courses
  • Resource books and materials not part of registered coursework

Professional development funding may not be requested if another grant or bursary has been awarded for the same purpose.

Who is eligible for PD funding?

The professional development grant funding is for ECEs who are paid employees or contracted family day home educators of eligible child care programs who:

  •  Provide direct child care, including as program supervisors (as defined in the Early Learning and Child Care Regulation), as well as individuals hired by licensed family day home agencies as agency coordinators or home visitors/consultants
  •  Are certified as Early Childhood Educators, Level 1, 2 or 3
  •  Are Canadian citizens or official Permanent Residents of Canada
  •  Have worked at least 29 hours in at least one month from the date of the expenditure or the date the application was received
  •  Have submitted a Professional Development Funding Request Form from https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-child-caregrant-funding-program.aspx and made a payment for the course, workshop, or conference within the same fiscal year (April to March)