Child Care Services - business guide

Most businesses operating as a child care service do not require a City of Calgary licence. They are governed by the province of Alberta. Please contact Calgary Family & Child Services at 403-297-6100 or​

Child care service business​es include:

  • Before and after-school care
  • Babysitting
  • Child care facilities
  • Day care centres
  • Pre-schools
  • Nannies and nurseries

If you are providing child care 6 children or less, under the age of 13, please refer to the Home Based Child Care page for licence details.

As part of The City’s efforts to accelerate the business license approvals process, customers with a myID business account can receive a digital copy of their business licence via email. This is available to customers applying for a new business licence or renewing an existing licence. To learn more about the benefits of a myID business account and to sign-up today, please visit myID business account (

Rules and regulations

Home-based child care

The operator of the a child care service must live in the home.

Home-based child care services can care for up to six children. The number of children allowed does not include the operator’s own children. Businesses wanting to supervise more than six children at a residential address are required to apply for a land use redesignation.

Effective January 1, 2023, private home-based child care providers who do not work under the oversight of a provincially-licensed day home agency will require a business licence. Detailed information on how to apply for a private home-based child care licence is available on the Home Based Child Care page

Land Use Bylaw

All commercial child care services require a permit to approve the business where there are more than seven children under the age of 13 years being supervised for less than 24 consecutive hours.

Note: All businesses operating in Calgary are required to register their business, obtain a business identification number (BID) or Business ID, and obtain land use approval for the business location even if it does not require a licence. Certain businesses that do not need a municipal licence may still require licensing, permits or inspections from other regulatory bodies.

Land use approval

All businesses in Calgary require land use approval. Each space in a building has its own specified, approved use that cannot be changed without an approval, permit or both. Visit home-based business or commercial-based businesses for more information, or contact our Planning Services Centre to investigate land use approval for your business.


Businesses which do not require a licence do not have an associated fee to register for a Business ID.

Fees may be required for permits that are needed to meet land use approval.

Additional information

Business ownership changes

A business licence or business ID is not transferable from one person to another or from one person's business premises to another.

Multiple premises

A business operating from more than one location requires a separate business licence for each premises.

Charitable organization

All charitable organizations must be associated with another licenced business activity. Approval must be granted by the province before applying for a municipal licence.

Businesses not eligible for a charity status:

  • Alcohol beverage sales
  • Tobacco retailer

All fundraising activity is governed by the charitable fundraising act. Charitable organizations that are only fundraising should contact Alberta Municipal Affairs, Housing and Consumer Affairs Division at 1-780-427-8044 or 1-877-427-4088.

All applicants for this licence type should first consult with the province about eligibility for this designation and register their business, prior to applying for a municipal business licence. Contact Service Alberta at 1-780-427-4088 (or toll free in Alberta only at 1-877-427-4088) for more information.

How to apply


Apply now

If you need help when completing your application Chat with us, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday to Friday.

In person

Apply in person at the Planning Services Centre

Planning Services Centre

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (MT)

Live chat:


In person:
Whitehorn Multi-Services Centre
3705 35 Street N.E.


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