Alberta.ca » Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual


Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: November 07, 2013
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Learner Income Support Benefits

Continuous Supplementary Benefits (General Policies)

Child Care

AUTHORITY

Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Schedule 4, Section 16
Delegation of Minister's Authority to Directors/Staff Ministerial Order (Labour)
Delegation of Minister's Authority to Directors/Staff Ministerial Order (Advanced Education)
Full-Time Learners: Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Labour)
Full-Time Learners: Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Advanced Education)

INTENT

To provide Learners and their spouses child care for employment, training and health purposes.

POLICY

Income Support recipients are encouraged to maximize self-sufficiency. The provision of a childcare benefit will:

  • Assist learner households with the costs of child care to encourage them to participate in training/employment
  • Encourage the spouse/partner of the learner to seek or maintain employment even when child care costs exceed earnings
  • Provide the least costly, most reasonable, child care option recognizing the safety and well-being of children is more important than minimizing child care costs.

A child care 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 – for a maximum of three months
  • Attending an approved training program.
  • Attending an approved treatment program.

A child care allowance may also be provided when:

  • A written opinion is received from a physician or nurse practitioner that the physical health of a 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.
  • An emergency situation as outlined in the Emergency Benefits policy, 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.

In most cases child care coverage is limited to children 12 years of age and under. However, child care can be extended to older children in documented circumstances such as special needs/medical conditions that necessitate child care.

Rate

An allowance is issued based on the type of child care and covers actual cost less any subsidy or money received from another source (e.g., grants). Types of child care include:

Babysitting by Family

  • Persons residing in the same household as the child are not eligible to receive babysitting costs
  • Parents are not eligible whether living in the same house or not
  • Costs up to $150 per month per child may be provided to grandparents of a child if they do not live in the child’s home

Private Babysitting

Maximum rates for private babysitting including babysitting by family members not mentioned above are set provincially.

Rate
Actual babysitting rates will be paid up to a maximum of $4 per hour for the first child plus $1.50 per hour for each additional child to a maximum of $8.25 per hour. The rates listed in the table below are maximums and are not issued if the client’s child care costs are less.

 

Additional Children
(Add $1.50/hr to a maximum of $8.25/hr)

Monthly Rate Examples

Hourly Rate

Examples

1 Child

2 Children

3 Children

4 Children

5 Children

$4.00

30 hr week

$520

$714

$909

$1,072

$1,072

$4.00

35 hr week

$606

$834

$1,061

$1,250

$1,250

$4.00

40 hr week

$693

$953

$1,212

$1,429

$1,429

$4.00

45 hr week

$779

$1,072

$1,364

$1,608

$1,608

Exceptions
Higher hourly rates may be approved if special circumstances exist. These could include:

  • Learner or spouse works shift-work
  • Learner lives in a high cost community
  • Multi-needs child (child who needs additional care due to special needs such as autism, behavioral problems, blind, deaf etc.) Learners 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.
  • A substantiated need for 24-hour 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 subsidy received up to the specified babysitting rates.

Licensed and Approved Child Care Programs

  • In the case of licensed day care, out-of-school care, group family child care or preschool or an approved family day home, the difference between the fee charged and the amount covered by Child Care Subsidy is provided.
  • Child care deposits and Registration Fees may be covered as a supplementary benefit.
Note
Unlicensed or unapproved family day homes are provided private babysitting rates.

Lunch Programs

  • Fees for a supervised school lunch program may be provided in lieu of babysitting.

PROCEDURE

A learner must submit an Learner Income Support Application (Full-Time Study) or a Change in Circumstances form with a completed Child Care Expenses form.

APPROVAL

Learner Benefit Coordinator, Learner Income Support Office (LISO)