Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the Staff Attraction Incentive Allowance implemented?
The Staff Attraction Incentive Allowance is intended to help owners and operators recruit trained staff.
What changes have been made to the Staff Attraction Incentive Allowance?
Effective April 1, 2009, new and returning child care staff who are certified or eligible for certification as child development workers or child development supervisors qualify for the allowance.
Who can apply?
Licensed day care programs, contracted family day home agencies and licensed out-of-school care programs can apply on behalf of day care and out-of-school care staff, family day home visitors and family day home providers. This allowance is offered under the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program.
How do I apply for the allowance?
Licensed day care programs, family day home agencies and licensed out-of-school care programs that participate in accreditation must submit a Supplementary Form C to the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program, within 60 days of the new employee's commencement.
Both the employer and employee are required to sign the Supplementary Form C. Applications are available on the Alberta Human Services website. Paper applications are also available by contacting 1-800-661-9754
Does the staff member have to work in an accredited centre?
Day care, out-of-school care and family day home staff/providers may be employed at pre-accredited or accredited child care programs that are currently receiving funding under the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program.
Is it the owner/operator's responsibility to find staff?
Will a contract/agreement need to be signed in order to receive the allowance?
Yes. The Supplementary Form C must be signed by the employer/family day home agency and the employee/family day home provider in order to receive the Allowance. For the $5,000 Allowance, a commitment to work in a child care program for a minimum of 80 hours each month for a two-year period is required for day care and family day home staff/providers, and a minimum of 40 hours each month for staff working in out-of-school care programs. For the $2,500 Allowance, the return service commitment time is one year.
How is the allowance paid?
The Allowance is paid to the child care program after the service commitment is completed. The program is responsible for transferring these funds to staff/providers. A 16 per cent benefit contribution grant payment will be made to the child care program to offset the cost related to the mandatory employer contributions for the staff who receive the Staff Attraction Incentive Allowance. The 16 per cent benefit contribution grant is not applicable to family day home providers.
Is the allowance taxable?
Yes. The employer must include this income on the employee's T4, similar to staff support funding provided by the Alberta government under the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program.
When recruiting-back trained staff, how much previous child care work experience should an operator/owner look for?
For the $5,000 Allowance, a minimum of six months work experience in the child care field is required. This does not include a practicum. For the $2,500 Allowance, six months of work experience is not required.
Is previous child care experience in another province valid for the $5,000 Allowance?
Yes. The employee must be eligible for certification as a child development worker or child development supervisor.
How long must you be out of the child care field to be eligible for the allowance?
For both the $5,000 and the $2,500 Allowance, an employee must have been out of the child care profession for a minimum of six months prior to the date of employment.
Note: In order to qualify for the $5,000 allowance, employees must also have a minimum of six months of previous child care professional experience. The $2,500 allowance is for employees that are new to the child care field or have less than six months of previous child care experience.
Are staff certified as child development assistants eligible to receive the allowance?
Are direct care providers eligible to receive this allowance?
No. Only licensed day care programs, licensed out-of-school care programs and contracted family day home agencies can apply on behalf of day care and out-of-school care staff, family day home visitors and family day home providers. Direct child care providers are contracted independently with their Child and Family Services Authority and do not work on behalf of a family day home agency.
If I currently live in another province and move to Alberta will I be eligible to receive this allowance?
Yes. You can receive the $5,000 Allowance as long as you have been out of the child care field for at least six months prior to the date of employment, have at least six months prior child care experience and are eligible for certification as a child development worker or child development supervisor. You can receive the $2,500 Allowance if you are new to child care or have been out of the field for at least six months prior to the date of employment and are eligible for certification as a child development worker or child development supervisor.
Are people wishing to return to work from maternity leave eligible for the allowance?
No. Individuals currently on maternity leave, leave of absence or special leave, or working full or part-time in a child care program in Alberta are not eligible for the allowance as they still have employment status with a child care program.
If staff take holidays and cannot work the required 80 hours each month, will they still be eligible to receive the allowance?
Yes. As long as the vacation time is approved by the employer, the individual is eligible. If the individual does not work the required 80 hours for that month, the individual must work an extra month to account for the missing month.
If staff do not complete a full year of employment will the allowance be pro-rated?
No. Payments will not be pro-rated should an individual leave prior to the 12 month commitment period.
For the $5,000 Allowance, if after one year of service the employee receives the first installment of $2,500 and quits, does the $2,500 have to be repaid?
No. However, we do expect that the signed two-year agreement would be honoured wherever possible. It is understood that there are circumstances that are beyond the employee's control, such as a spouse being transferred to a different community.
Do staff have to stay with the same employer for the two years?
No. Approved applicants may work in more than one child care program during the two-year period as long as the break in service is no longer than one month, and if this occurs, the applicant must work an extra month to account for the missing month.
The new day care, out-of-school care or family day home agency will need to complete an Accreditation Funding Grant Application and a Supplementary Form C and notify the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program of these changes.
After a two-year commitment and receipt of the total $5,000, can a staff quit for six months and then return to the child care field and apply for the allowance again?
Why doesn't the government offer an incentive to the staff currently in the system, which is over and above the wage enhancement to which all staff are entitled?
This incentive is intended to help owners and operators recruit trained child development workers and child development supervisors. There are many other benefits available to staff currently working in child care. Eligible staff may access up to $1,000 in professional development funding each year. Employers may also offer incentives to staff currently in their employ that is over and above those supports provided by the Alberta Government.
Who can I call for more information?
More information on the Staff Attraction Incentive Allowance is available on our website. You may also contact the Alberta Child Care Accreditation Funding Program at 1-800-661-9754 or in Edmonton at (780) 422-1119.