How to Find the Best Childcare in Calgary

Aug 30, 2016

New parents have a lot to consider when it comes time to choose the right childcare for their precious little one. It can be very hard  for many to even think about heading to work and leaving a new baby or  young child in someone else’s hands. The process of searching for the best daycares in Calgary is often a daunting, emotional and overwhelming chore.  If you have feelings of uncertainty about what you need to look for, or where to begin, that just adds to the stress level. Being informed with the necessary knowledge will greatly reduce your fear and help you to prepare better for this next phase of yours, and your child’s life.

How do registered and unregistered day homes in Calgary differ?

  • Registered day homes in Calgary are accredited and unregistered sites are private. Accredited (registered) day homes operate under an agency that is licensed by the Alberta Government, Human Services Ministry.  These agencies monitor such day homes, which are required to follow strict guidelines and regulations regarding supervision, safety, discipline, and more.  Registered day homes may provide subsidized care for qualified families.
  • An unregistered day home is a private unlicensed facility. Private day homes in Calgary do not have to follow any strict rules or guidelines allowing them more flexibility in their program. Oftentimes, unregistered providers were once accredited through an agency, but for any number of reasons, chose to operate autonomously.  Since private day homes are not monitored by an agency, they can offer such advantages as overnight care for shift workers. Subsidized care is not available at unregistered day homes in Calgary.

What features should I look for in a day home?

  • A positive feeling: You should feel confident and secure each time you drop off your child or children. Look for a warm, child-friendly atmosphere that provides a wide select of crafts, toys and picture books.
  • Good communication: The best daycares in Calgary should offer clear, concise communication, in a timely manner, at all times. Some facilities provide a journal or notebook for daily updates on your child’s experiences. This is particularly useful for infants and toddlers who not yet about to speak for themselves.
  • Seek evidence of learning: You should clearly see signs of positive experiences and learning through each day through artwork, park visits, etc. The whole day doesn’t necessarily need to be strictly structured, but it there should a regular routine. Look for a variety of materials and toys that encourage curiosity and play.
  • A healthy meal plan: Registered day home providers are required to abide by the Canada Food Guide for planning meals for children. Select a day home based childcare facility that follows a nutritious meal plan.


Most importantly, your child should enjoy his or her time at the daycare in Calgary. There may be some tears when you first drop off your child or every time you leave, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your child isn’t having fun. A definite sign that you chose well is if your little one turns things around and cries when it’s time to go home!

Stick with your gut feeling, you will feel at ease when you discover the right day home. If you have any uncertainty, always pay attention to your intuition.