Professional Development Funding for ECEs

Effective September 1, 2021, all licensed facility-based child care programs and licensed family day home agencies, including wage top-ups and professional development to support the recruitment, retention and professional development of qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) in supporting quality early learning and child care environments for children.

Licensed facility-based child care programs and licensed family day home agencies can receive professional development funding to help eligible ECEs with the costs of approved post-secondary tuition and textbooks, as well as approved conferences or workshops. 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 new 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.
 

Alberta Child Care Funding Guide
 

Professional Development Funding FAQ
 

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)

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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