​​It is during a site visit that programs are given the opportunity to demonstrate how they meet the accreditation standards through consistency of evidence.

It is the participating program's responsibility to prepare for and provide all the documentation and information necessary for the site visit.  Only after a program has completed the Accreditation Guide (including the six Self-evaluation Tools, along with a Policy and Documents List and a Quality Enhancement Plan can the coordination and scheduling of a site visit begin.

​Type of Site Visits

The following site visits are categorized in several types based on which stage in the accreditation process they occur and what requirements the programs must meet to complete them.  Once each of these site visits are confirmed and scheduled, they follow the same site visit process as described in the Child Care Accreditation Evaluation and Scoring Framework

  • Initial accreditation site visit
    Completed for a child care program that is in the pre-accreditation phase  and has not been previously accredited. This site visit is scheduled only when a program has generated their Quality Enhancement Plan, along with their Policy and Documents Lists on the Program Accreditation Library.  The program must submit a site visit request, and all documentation within the registration package must be completed for a site visit to be scheduled.

  • Re-accreditation site visit

    Completed for accredited child care programs whose Accreditation Certificate is about to or has expired.  The timing of this site visit is based on the program's Accreditation Certificate expiry date.  The QEP and Policy and Documents List must be generated in the Program's Accreditation Library three months prior to the program's certificate expiry date, otherwise the program will miss the opportunity to be re-accredited by their expiration date.  If a program does not complete the QEP and other documentation necessary for scheduling the re-accreditation site visit within 3 months after the Accreditation Certificate expiry date, the accreditation agency will close the program's file.  The program will be required to have a six-month waiting period before they become eligible to apply for accreditation again.

  • Subsequent site visit

    Completed for a child care program that was denied accredited status as a result of the preceding site visit. Programs are given six months to prepare for and request a subsequent site visit after a previous site visit failure. This site visit is scheduled only when a program submits a Subsequent Site Visit request form and has updated their Quality Enhancement Plan to address the items on their denial letter.
    A program will be required to complete a Self-evaluation Workbook in the event of a failed Subsequent Site Visit.

  • License/Contract Holder Site Visit
    Completed for programs that were issued a Temporary Accreditation Status notice as a result of the program having undergone a license/contract holder change.  Programs are responsible for the cost of this site visit.  Click here for details.

Site Visit Request

When a pre-accredited child care program is ready, they need to request a site visit from the accreditation agency. The site visit request is submitted through the Program Accreditation Library (PAL) to the accreditation agency, along with the program's Quality Enhancement Plan, and other documentation as required.

Programs going through re-accreditation do not submit a site visit request.


Site Visit Readiness

Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services will not complete a site visit if a program does not acknowledge that they are ready. 
A program is considered ready for a site visit when they have completed the Accreditation Guide.

The following documents must be completed prior to coordinating and scheduling a site visit:

  • Self-evaluation Tools for all 6 Standards

  • Quality Enhancement Plan (must be generated on PAL)

  • Policy List (must be generated on PAL)

  • Documents List (must be generated on PAL)

  • Consent Forms

  • Surveys

Programs declare that they are prepared for their site visit and are responsible to provide the evidence to support that declaration.  If the accreditation agency's Validators determine, during a site visit, that the program is not ready, as per the following examples:  A significant portion of the program's self-evaluation process is incomplete; the necessary documentation is not organized and/or available, then the site visit will be terminated and the program may be charged a cancellation fee. A terminated site visit is automatically considered a site visit failure.


Site Visit Ineligibility

Programs are not eligible for a site visit if they have been issued a Probationary License from Alberta Children's Services.

Programs are not eligible for a site visit if they are temporarily re-located.

Site Visit Scheduling

Initial Accreditation and Subsequent Site Visits
After the accreditation agency approves a site visit request from a program, the Site Visit Coordinator will inform the program of the two-week time frame during which the site visit will occur.  Typically, site visits will occur 4-8 weeks after a site visit request is approved. 

Re-accreditation Site Visit

An accredited program that is approaching the end of its accreditation term will be contacted by the Site Visit Coordinator to book a site visit.   Programs are not required to submit a site visit request, but a re-accreditation site visit may be scheduled up to 3 months prior to the program's certificate expiry date. The timing of the visit, at a minimum, must be 4-6 weeks prior to their accreditation certificate expiry date.

Site Visit Cancellation

If a program cancels/postpones a previously scheduled Site Visit without adequate notice or significant reason, the program will be subject to a cancellation fee.  Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services will also inform Alberta Children's Services and the Child Care Accreditation Funding Program of cancelled or postponed site visits. This may affect the child care program's accreditation funding provisions.