Open a home-based child care business

Open a home-based child care business

Learn about licensing requirements, fees, timelines, permits and approvals you need to open your business

Home based child care provider

On December 27th 2022, the City of Calgary is introducing a new business licence for home-based child care providers.  This licence will ensure minimum standards are in place to protect the health and safety of children in home-based child care.
 
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Before you apply


Do you need to register your business?

Yes. All businesses operating in Calgary are required to register their business with The City and get approval for their business’ location.

Do you need a business licence?

Yes. All home-based child care business offering care to 6 or less children require a municipal business licence and must meet location approval. 

There are three exceptions to the licence requirement. Home-based child care businesses that don’t require a municipal licence:

  • Nannies are exempt as they are directly employed by families in the family’s home and are not operating as a business. The relationship is governed by employment standards regulations.
  • Babysitters are also exempt as the employment relationship may be similar to a nanny, depending on the arrangement, and they typically provide care on a casual basis.
  • Informal arrangements with family members, friends and neighbours are exempt as these individuals would not meet the threshold of a business or commercial enterprise under the bylaw.

If you are offering care to more than 6 children, you may need a provincial licence and you will be required to operate from a Facility-based child care approved location.

If you don’t know if your business will require a business licence, contact the Planning Services Centre for assistance.

Do you need a municipal or provincial licence?

Check our questionare to find out if you need a municipal or provincial licence:

Note: your responses are anonymous and are not saved.

What's the difference between a municipal licence and a provincial licence?

Depending on how you operate your business, you will require either the City of Calgary Private home-based child care licence OR the Province of Alberta’s family day home agency licence.

Nov 21

Licensing Your Home-Based Child Care Business Webinar

The City of Calgary presents a webinar on licensing your home-based child care business in Calgary.

MyID business account

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

Municipal

  • Private Home-based child care licence issued by the City of Calgary
  • Up to 6 children (under 13 years) are cared for at any given time for periods of less than 24 consecutive hours 
  • Businesses licenced as Private Home-Based Child Care may not qualify for the Federal child-care subsidy.

Provincial licence

  • Provincial family day home agency licence issued by the Province of Alberta
  • Over 6 children (under 13 years) are cared for at any given time requires a Commercial Child Care approved location
  • Businesses registered with the province may qualify for the Federal child-care subsidy.
  • See provincial licence requirements for more details about the Province of Alberta’s family day home agency licence.

What are the benefits?

  1.  Licenced private home-based child care businesses support child safety by ensuring first aid training and background checks in the vulnerable sector are current.
  2.  Our Business Experience Representatives are available to guide you through the licencing process to help you open your business on time
  3.  Database of registered municipal (licensed with the City of Calgary) home-based child care businesses will assist the public in locating approved businesses at a community level 

How much does a Business Licence Cost?

When setting up a new licence, applicable fees apply. Fees are based on the type of licence you need and whether your business is home-based or commercial-based. Business licence fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Fees are subject to change the next calendar year. 

Home based business
Business licence Fee schedule ​New licence Police with vulnerable sector search Total

Private home-based child care

Business licence fee schedule

$172*

$65 + $55 for each additional check*

varies

* Fees will be waived between December 27th 2022 and March 16th 2023. Applications received after March 16th 2023, will need to pay the new licence fee.

How do you pay for your licence?

The City accepts payment for your licence at the time of submission. If you are applying online, you can pay for your licence using apply.calgary.ca​

What permits do you need?

Home based child care businesses will always need location approval to operate the business from the home. This approval is reviewed and granted at the time of your application. You may require a building permit if you are doing construction to prepare your space for your business. Read more about what permits you may need in the Location Approval section.

How long does it take to process an application?

The timeline to obtain City approval for a business licence or registration can vary significantly depending on the permits and approvals that are required for your business to operate from home.

To avoid delays, make sure your application includes all the required documents, plans and information.

Where is your business located?

The business owner needs to live at the home where the private home based child care business is being run.    Review home based child care class 1 qualifications to make sure you meet the rules and to plan for the fees and timelines associated with your specific business location.

For commercial day care or child care centers, please visit Child Care Services - business guide (calgary.ca).

Location approval


Home Base Location

A home based child care class 1 approval will be required for Private Homebased child care licence. If you do not comply with all of the home based child care class 1 rules, you will need to pursue the provincial family day home agency licence. You will not be able to apply for the municipal Private home-based child care licence.

Home based child care class 1

  Qualifies Does not Qualify

You live in the home associated with the business:

Yes

No

Provide temporary care to a maximum of 6 children* under the age of 13 for periods of less than 24 consecutive hours

 

*not including the operator’s own children

Yes

No

Have a maximum of one employee at any give time working at the home who does not also live at the home.

Yes

No

There are other home-based child care business at the home

No

Yes

There is a home occupation class 2 businesses at the home

No

Yes

Additional rules to consider:

  1. You must provide screening for any outdoor play areas. Screening means that the outdoor player is completely or partially concealed by a fence, building, trees and shrubs or berm.
  2. You cannot display any signs related to the child care business on the property.

Fees & Timelines

The timeline to obtain City approval for a business licence or registration can vary significantly depending on the permits and approvals that are required for your business type and location. 

To avoid delays, make sure your application includes all the required documents, plans and information.

​Location Approval Fee schedule Permit fee Timeline

Home-based child care class 1

Planning applications fee schedule

0$

5 business days

Expiry

Business licences expire one year from the issuance date. You will get a notice in the mail 45 days before your licence expires to notify you of the expiry date. To renew your license, see licence renewals.

Permit Type Expiry (from date of issuance)

Home-based child care class 1

No expiry

Building permit (if applicable)

If you are doing construction to prepare your space for your business, a residential improvement permit will be required for your space to comply with the Alberta building Code and all applicable health and safety standards.

Building permit details and drawings can be submitted online or in person at the Planning Services Centre.

For more information on specific application types please see the corresponding checklist below. View some sample drawings to help prepare your application.

Fees & Timelines

  Fee schedule Permit fee ​​Timelines Expiry (from date of issuance)

Home Renovation Checklist

Building and trade fee schedule

Varies

Approximately 7 days*

180 days until you require a progress inspection

*Please see our Timelines Page for up-to-date timeline information

For more information about when a building permit is typically required, visit Calgary.ca/commercial or contact the Planning Services Centre​.​​​​

What is the name of your business?

A business name, or trade name, is used to represent your business to the public. You may wish to register your trade name with the province. Read more in Opening a business in Calgary: Register your Trade Name.

Who will own the business?

  • Sole proprietor – one person owns the business
  • Partnership – agreement between two or more people or companies
  • Corporation – a legal entity that is separate from its owners, the shareholders

Apply for your Licence


Prepare your application

Before you apply for your licence, you will need to have the following information ready:

Tips for a smooth application process

Before you apply:

After you apply:

  • Submit all required documents as soon as you have prepared the permit requirements
    • If your Business needs a Building Permit, submit all necessary Building Permit requirements to avoid processing delays.
  • Follow-up on requests for further information when necessary
  • Book and complete your Inspections if a Building Permit is required

Need help? A business experience representative can help you determine what approvals you will need. Contact The Planning Services Centre.

Apply for your Licence and required permits

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

Apply in person

Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre.

After you apply


What Approvals do you need?

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email summarizing your application. It will include your Business Identification number (BID) and your next steps. If you do notget this email, check your junk email folder and then contact the Planning Services Center if you still did not receive it.

Once you apply for your business licence, you must complete your outstanding approvals before the business licence is issued.

The approvals you will need for your licence are:

Required Approvals
Licence Categories Description Location Approval Show ID Police with vulnerable sector search First Aid w/ CPR

Private home-based child care

Required if you offer, arrange, or provide temporary care or supervision in a residence for 6* or fewer children under the age of 13, for more than 6 hours per week.

*not including the operator’s own children

Required

Required

Required

Required

Location approval

All businesses in Calgary require planning approval before they can open. We recommend that you review and apply for required permits prior to applying for your licence. 

Home-based Location Approval

A home based child care class 1 approval will be required for Private Homebased child care licence. If you do not comply with all of the home based child care class 1 rules, you will need to pursue the provincial family day home agency licence. You will not be able to apply for a Private home-based child care licence.

Show ID

You are required to provide two pieces of valid, government issued identification, one of which must contain photo identification (ID). When you apply for your licence online, you will be required to upload your ID.

Acceptable forms of government issued photo identification may include:

  • driver’s license
  • passport
  • permanent resident card

Acceptable forms of government issued identification include:

  • provincial health care card
  • birth certificate
  • marriage certificate

Police Check with vulnerable sector search

This is an internal process that is completed automatically by the Calgary Police Service and is initiated on your behalf through your business licence application. This approval is completed by the Calgary Police Service through the Police Information Checks unit.

Previously completed police checks cannot be used as a substitute for this approval process.

Business Licence Approval Type Timeline
Police check with vulnerable sector search Approximately 2-3 weeks

First Aid with CPR

When you apply for your licence online, you will be required to upload your First Aid with CPR certificate. You will be required to provide proof of First Aid with CPR certification for the provider and any employee. First Aid needs to have been issued by an approved first aid training agency.

You will be required to update your First Aid with CPR certification upon expiry with a new certificate. 

Check the status of your application

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email with a Job Access Code (JAC).

To track your application and check its status, enter your Job Access Code in Vista.

If you need help or have questions, contact our Planning Services Centre

When does your licence expire?

Business licenses expire one year from the issuance date. You will get a notice in the mail 45 days before your licence expires to notify you of the expiry date. To renew your licence, see licence renewals.

Permit type Expiry (from date of issuance)

Business licence

365 days

First Aid w/ CPR

Typically 3 years from date of issuance, check on your certificate for your specific expiry date

Vulnerable Sector Search

 

Receive a copy of your Licence

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 (calgary.ca)


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 vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

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

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

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