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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: January 01, 2023
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08 Supplementary Benefits

Child Care


Income and Employment Supports Act, Schedule, section 10
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Schedule 4, section 16
Ministerial Order 2016-21: Delegation of Minister's Authority to Directors/Staff
Ministerial Order 2018-19, Appendix D: Schedule 4 - Supplementary Income Support Rates


To provide reasonable child care for employment, training and health purposes.


Ensuring the safety and well-being of children is more important than minimizing income support childcare costs. Clients should not jeopardize their employment to minimize Income Support (IS) child care costs. The intent is to encourage client independence even if the cost of child care and the earnings exemption makes going to work more expensive for IS than the parent staying at home.

A childcare allowance may be provided in situations where all adult members of the household unit are engaged in one of the following activities:

  • Full or part-time employment.
  • Participating in an active job search or attending an employment preparation program in accordance with a Service Plan.
  • Attending a full or part-time education or training program in accordance with a Service Plan.
  • Attending an approved treatment program.

A childcare allowance may also be provided when: 

  • A written opinion is received from a physician or nurse practitioner that the physical health of an adult member of the household unit makes child care necessary.
  • A written opinion is received from a physician, nurse practitioner or a psychologist that the provision of child care is in the best interest of the child. The written opinion should also include the duration for which child care should be provided.
  • There is an emergency situation as outlined in Emergency Allowance, and there are no other household members that can be reasonably expected to provide child care.

Child care is limited to the hours actually required and may include travel time to and from approved activities.

Child care coverage is limited to children 12 years of age and younger. However, child care can be extended to older children if there are documented special needs/medical conditions that necessitate child care.

Child care is discontinued if the Service Plan is not followed.

Child care is provided for job-seeking only after other resources (e.g., family and friends) have been explored. Clients completing an independent job search and in receipt of IS are not eligible for subsidy under the Child Care Subsidy Program.

The allowance covers the actual cost of child care, less the amount of any subsidy or any money received from another source for this purpose (e.g. grant), with the following limitations:

  • Providers can include non-custodial grandparents who do not live in the child’s home.
  • Parents, step-parents, or other persons who live in the same residence as the child do not receive babysitting costs.

Clients substantiate their initial need for child care by providing a receipt or written statement from the child care provider which contains:

  • The provider’s signature and
  • The monthly child care fee charged by a licensed or approved program to the parent or
  • The rate charged by a private babysitter.

The worker enters the information provided in Mobius Notes and returns the documents to the client.

Clients provide verbal statement of the child’s relationship to the childcare provider where the provider is a grandparent.

Clients document subsequent changes in their child care needs through their monthly reporting. Further substantiation may be requested when:

  • A worker has reason to believe the client is not accurately reporting their child care needs or
  • The hours a client has worked in a benefit period do not match with the hours claimed for child care.
  • Private Babysitting
    Maximum rates for private babysitting including babysitting by family members not mentioned above are set provincially.

Actual babysitting rates will be paid up to a maximum of $6.00 per hour for the first child plus $3.00 per hour for each additional child to a maximum of $12.00 per hour. 

A worker may approve higher rates if there are special circumstances. These could include:
  • Client works shift-work
  • Multi-needs child (child who needs additional care due to special needs such as autism, behavioral problems, blind, deaf etc.). This may include children older than 12 years of age. Clients should explore other options such as Family Supports for Child with Disabilities funding and/or an Inclusive Child Care Program through Child Care Subsidy, if available or appropriate, before requesting babysitting expenses.
  • Client resides in a high cost of living centre such as Fort McMurray or High Level. Regional Directors determine the communities that fit the definition.
  • The client requires and has substantiated the need for 24-hour child care.

Private babysitting rates are established under the authority of the Minister, delegated to Regional Directors, so appeal panels do not have the authority to adjust these rates.

  • Grandparents
    The babysitting rate for grandparents not residing in the home is $164.00 per child per month.
  • Kin-Care and Extended Hours Child Care
    Clients accessing a subsidy for private child care such as the Kin-Care and Extended Hours Child Care programs may also be eligible for private babysitting rates less any Child Care Subsidy received up to the specified babysitting rates.

Unlicensed or unapproved family day homes are provided private babysitting rates.

  • Lunch Programs
    Fees for a supervised school lunch program may be paid in lieu of babysitting when a client is working or participating in an employment preparation program in accordance with the Service Plan.
  • Licensed and Approved Child Care Programs
    If appropriate, the client must provide verification that they have applied for a subsidy under the Child Care Subsidy Program.

In the case of licensed day cares, out-of-school care, group family child care or preschool or an approved family day home, the parent portion plus any required Child Care Deposit and Registration Fees are provided. The parent portion is the difference between the fee charged and the amount covered by Child Care Subsidy.

Need Codes
1702 Babysitting by Family (including grandparent not in same home)
1703 Babysitting (for all other child care)
1708 Day Care (if the child is attending a child care program, including an out-of-school care program, which qualifies for provincial Child Care Subsidy)
1840 Emergency Child care (if the child care is being provided in conjunction with the Emergency Allowance policy).