Child care programs enroll in the accreditation process through application to Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services.

Enrolling in accreditation is a voluntary process for licensed day care centres, out-of-school care programs, and contracted family day home agencies in Alberta.  Once the child care program has an operating license (for day care and out-of-school care programs), or an approved contract (family day home agencies) with Alberta Children's Services, they can apply to enroll in the accreditation process.

As part of the application process, child care programs will be asked to upload a copy of their license or contract. Applications submitted by programs before the date their license or contract is in effect will be denied.

Program Accreditation Library (PAL) 

Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services provides participating programs with a web-based accreditation portal, which allows programs an opportunity to complete their accreditation process with the convenience of electronic online tools.

This web portal, known as the Program Accreditation Library (PAL), allows child care programs to complete various tasks associated with the accreditation process online:

  • accessing and working with the Accreditation Guide

  • storing the program's documents and materials

  • coordinating the accreditation process

  • communicating with the accreditation agency

To apply for accreditation and/or access the PAL, click here.



‚Äč Accreditation Process Timeline

The accreditation process begins when a program's application to the accreditation agency is approved and access to the Accreditation Guide is provided to the program.  The time it takes to work through the steps of the accreditation process before requesting a site visit varies for different programs.  Potentially, a new program will require several months to over a year to complete the process and gather the historical evidence necessary to demonstrate their policy to practice.

Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services monitors the progress of each participating program to ensure they are actively involved in the process.  The program's application with the accreditation agency will remain active when the program is able to demonstrate that they are actively working towards accreditation.

If the accreditation agency determines that a program is not actively participating in the accreditation process, the agency will close the program's file.  The Alberta Children's Services' Accreditation Funding Program, will be notified that the program is no longer participating in the accreditation process.

Programs can withdraw their accreditation application at any time.


Proprietary Rights of Accreditation Materials

A program's eligibility to become accredited and to maintain accreditation status is linked to the status of a program's operating license/contract.  Therefore, the Accreditation Guide and materials that are issued to a program to become accredited are not owned by the program.  The materials developed using the tools within the Accreditation Guide are not owned by any one individual and, therefore, must not be removed from the program when an individual leaves or when a program is sold.  New directors and owners must have access to the program's Accreditation Guide and materials to complete their accreditation process, or to demonstrate that they are maintaining the accreditation standards. It is the program's responsibility to inform the accreditation agency of any changes to their program to ensure continuity in the accreditation process and providing quality care.