Difficulty accessing safe, affordable child care has been identified as a barrier to women’s labour force participation. This, combined with recent tragic incidents involving the neglect, abuse and death of children in private day homes highlight a need for improved oversight of the child care system in Calgary.

In July 2021, a Notice of Motion (NOM) was introduced by then councillors Gondek, Carra and Farrell entitled Increasing Accessibility to & Safety of Affordable Child Care in Calgary.

The NOM recognized that the City of Calgary also has a responsibility for public safety (particularly vulnerable populations like children) and an important role to play in helping to increase accessibility to and safety of affordable child care in the city.


The City of Calgary currently has no role in the regulation of child care. Child care regulations are set by the Alberta Government through the Early Learning and Child Care Act, which provides families with a range of options from licensed facility and home-based care to unregulated private day homes. Under the provincial regulations, there is no proactive oversight or application requirements for home-based child care businesses that choose not to contract with a licensed family day home agency (e.g. private day homes).

Municipal policy could play a role in addressing the gaps noted above, ensuring all families have equal access to high-quality, safe, affordable child care. While the City of Calgary does not currently license home-based child care businesses, it has the ability to do so in the same manner it licenses other businesses to ensure standards for public safety and consumer protection.

Administration was tasked by council with exploring The City’s ability to regulate and license home-based child care businesses that choose not to contract with a licensed family day home agency. As part of this process, Administration is engaging with stakeholders, including child care providers and parents who use child care services.

Administration will report back to Council through the Community Development Committee in July 2022.


Engagement for this project is now closed. Thank you for your input. A What We Heard Report of the feedback provided can be found here as well as in the Document Library of this page.

Are you a parent, guardian or home-based child care operator? Let us know what you think about introducing a municipal business licence for home-based child care businesses that are not part of the provincially licensed system (e.g. private day homes).

Please select the tab below that applies to you and complete a short online survey before May 1, 2022. Your feedback will be used to help inform recommendations for our report. Administration will return to Council with its findings in July 2022.

For unlicensed home-based child care operators, we are also hosting two online engagement workshops. This will be an opportunity for you to share your experiences of operating an unlicensed home-based child care business and provide insight into the barriers that exist to joining the provincial licensed system. You can sign up for one of these workshops via the Eventbrite links on the right side of this page.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact CC-NOM@calgary.ca


Home-based Child Care Providers