Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Alberta

You’re always looking for ways to make your dollars go further when taking care of your family. The governments of Canada and Alberta* provide many programs and services to support your efforts, whether your children are newly born, in preschool or daycare, elementary or high school and beyond. Browse through the list below and see how your government can help.

*Provincial programs are denoted by (Alta), federal programs by (Can)

For a full listing of benefits, programs and services, see the Benefits Canada or Service Canada websites:

Tax Related Benefits

(Can) Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)

Toll-Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax‑free, monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18. The amount of this benefit is calculated using the information you provide on your income tax returns. The benefit comprises two parts:

  1. The National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), the federal government’s contribution to the National Child Benefit. This is also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”.
  2. The CCTB may also include the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly benefit for qualified families caring for children with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments.


  • Child must be under age 18
  • Child must live with you and you are the child’s caregiver (there are provisions for shared and temporary custodianship)
  • You must be a citizen or have a recognized legal status with a period of established residency (more information at the program website).

How To Apply:

You should apply for the CCTB as soon as possible after any of these events:

  • Your child is born
  • A child begins to live with you
  • You become a resident of Canada

Also, don’t assume you are ineligible because your family income seems too high. The eligibility calculations can be complex and you might be missing a detail that qualifies you. Apply regardless and see what the agency determines.

There are three ways to apply for the CCTB:

  1. If you consented to use the Automated Benefits Application Service (ABA) on the birth registration form when your child was born, you should have all the information you need to apply using this service. It is important to verify whether or not you provided this consent—if you apply for benefits using one of the methods below, and you are a registered ABA user, your benefits may be delayed. See the webpage for the ABA at
  2. You can fill out a form and mail it in. For the form and address, see here:
  3. You can apply online at

For the CDB (the benefit for families having a disabled child), a special form is also required. You can find a link to it here:

(Alta) Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC)

Toll-Free: 1-800-959-2809 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-959-2809 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program has the dual aim of supporting Alberta’s children in low and middle-income families while providing incentive for their parents to continue working. As parents earn more and more over a threshold amount, the benefit is retained, but reduced commensurate to their improved means. The benefit is indexed to inflation each year to preserve its value over time.


Parents of one or more children under 18 are eligible for this benefit if they:

  • have been residents of Alberta for at least one month
  • Earnings and net income is between designated thresholds for household size.

How To Apply

There is no application necessary. Your last year’s income tax return will provide the necessary information and parents will be automatically notified near the end of July if they will be receiving the benefit.

(Can) Universal Child Care Benefit

Toll-Free: 1-800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This taxable benefit is paid to parents in monthly instalments of $100 per month per child under the age of six. The benefit is available to any Canadian family with young children, no matter where you live or what your financial situation. You can use the payment for any child care-related expense, whether it be out-of-home care, to help pay for pre-school programs or educational materials, or even apply it toward an education fund (see Saving For School, below).


  • You must be the primary caregiver of a child under 6 years of age on or after July 1, 2006
  • You must be a resident of Canada

How to Apply:

If your family is already receiving/has qualified for the CCTB (see above) then you will automatically receive the UCCB. There is no need to apply separately.

Otherwise, there are three ways to apply:

  1. Through the Canada Revenue Agency website at
  2. At a Service Canada Centre. Find the centre closest to you at
  3. By phoning 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Saving For School

(Can) Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-267-3100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-267-3100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

An RESP is a great way to start saving early for your child’s education. For one thing, having an RESP in place makes your child eligible for various grants that can then be deposited into the account; for another, income generated from the contributions is not taxable as long as it remains in the RESP. Parents, relatives, and friends of a beneficiary may also contribute, up to a lifetime limit of $50,000 per child.

Funds from the RESP are disbursed for qualified educational purposes: full- or part-time studies in an apprenticeship program, a CEGEP, trade school, college or university. Students will pay taxes on income disbursed from the fund, but not on contribution amounts.

The RESP account remains open for 36 years from inception, so there’s no pressure on you or your child to start or finish school on a tight schedule. If for some reason the funds are not used for your child’s education, the contributions are returned to you tax-free.


Both the subscriber and the beneficiary(ies) must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

How To Apply:

You (the subscriber) need to choose a promoter (the entity that will administer the savings plan and disburse funds). Information on RESP application procedures is available from most financial institutions, but don’t walk in blind: the following website has a lot of helpful information about things to consider before choosing a promoter

(Can) Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This federal grant makes a payment of 20% on RESP contributions for an eligible beneficiary, up until the age of 17.

For families with low to middle-income, there is also an Additional CESG (A-CESG) over and above the basic CESG described above. This grant will add either 10% or 20%, depending on family income, to the first $500 contributed to the beneficiary’s RESP each calendar year, up until the end of the year in which the child turns 17. Year 2010 income limits are $41,544.00 (for the 20% grant) and $83,088 (for the 10% grant).


All children up to age 17 are eligible for the basic CESG, as long as they are Canadian residents and have a RESP. There are special rules for children age 15-17. These rules and other information can be found at the link above.

How To Apply:

Your RESP provider should automatically ensure that the basic CESG grant is being deposited in your child’s RESP.

One of the considerations when choosing a provider (also known as a promoter) is to ensure they offer the A-CESG if you qualify by income. If you’ve already opened a RESP and your provider does not offer this grant, you will have to transfer the RESP to one who does, in order to apply.

(Can) Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program will deposit $500 into your child’s RESP regardless of any contributions you do or do not make. Each year thereafter until your child reaches age 15, $100 will be deposited into the RESP. (An extra $25 will be provided to help offset any costs associated with setting up the RESP.) That’s up to $2000 plus interest provided for your child’s education after high school.


To qualify for this program:

  • · Your child must have been born after December 31
  • You already receive the “baby bonus” (see Tax Related Benefits, above)

How To Apply

Just open an RESP for your child (a SIN will be required). When selecting an RESP provider/promoter, remember to verify that they offer this bond first. If you anticipate contributing to your child’s RESP at any point in the future, make sure the RESP provider also offers the A-CESG if you believe your income will qualify you for that additional grant amount.

(Alta) Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan (ACES)

Toll-Free: 1-866-515-2237 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866-515-2237 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Alberta will contribute $500 to a RESP for any child born or living in the province. Smaller grants are also issued at milestone ages for children who remain in school, for a potential total deposit of $800.


Children born in or after 2005 with a parent or guardian who is a resident of Alberta.

How To Apply

Your RESP provider will be able to provide you with the forms required to apply.

Child Care Assistance

(Alta) Child Care Subsidy Program

Toll-Free: 1-866-714-5437 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866-714-5437 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Alberta Children and Youth Services provides financial assistance to eligible lower-income families using almost any kind of quality child-care environment, from licensed day care centres to approved family day homes. Funded in part by the National Child Benefit, the program offers subsidy rates that vary based on program type and the age of the child.


Eligibility is based on:

  • Alberta residence and citizenship status
  • Children up to age twelve and not yet attending Grade 7

How To Apply

Apply online, by mail or in person:

(Alta) Alberta Child Health Benefit

Toll-Free: 1-877-469-5437 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-469-5437 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Alberta Child Health Benefit (a program of the National Child Benefit) pays for health services that are not available through standard Alberta Health Care. These services include eyeglasses, prescription drugs and dental care, among others. There is no fee to sign up with this program.

Families qualify with income below $24,397 (one child) and up to $39,336 (for four children). Special circumstances can get around these limitations, so call to see if you qualify even if you make more than this.

Once signed up, eligibility will be figured with each subsequent tax return and your children automatically enrolled if still qualified by age.


Children up to age 18 (age 20 if they are living at home and attending high school) with permanent resident status. It does not matter what your immigration status as parent is.

Families who are receiving health benefits through other government programs cannot also use the Alberta Child Health Benefit. These other programs include:

  • Income Support
  • Alberta Adult Health Benefit
  • Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped
  • Alberta Child Financial Support Program
  • Canadian government programs for people with Indian or Inuit status.

How To Apply

The application form is found at the program website given above. Just print, fill out, sign and return to the address specified in the form.

(Alta) Early Childhood Services and Special Needs

Toll-free (Alberta): 310-0000

Edmonton: 780-427-7219 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 780-427-7219 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Young children (up to age 6) identified as having learning disabilities or delays are entitled to up to three years of specially-funded ECS programming. The recommendation and application for programming must come from an approved school authority, so you’ll have to coordinate with somebody in that capacity to get the ball rolling (teacher, board member, school administrator).


Children with diagnosed learning disabilities under age 6

How To Apply

Discuss with school authorities or call the numbers given above for information on where to go next.

(Alta) Family Support For Children With Disabilities (FSCD)

The FSCD program is a reimbursement program that provides a range of proactive and family-centered services to assist families in helping their children achieve their potential. The program assists with some of the extraordinary costs of raising a child with a disability.

To help make disability-related information (including program information for FSCD) more accessible for families, a provincial toll-free phone line is now available. The Child Disability Resource Link will give callers information about a wide range of government and community supports, services and resources for children with disabilities and their families:

Child Disability Resource Link

Toll-Free: 1-866-346-4661 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866-346-4661 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Lines staffed

Weekdays 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Parenting Support

(Can) Nobody’s Perfect

General Inquiries: 1-613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Nobody’s Perfect is a parenting education and support program for parents of young children. Parents who are young, single, isolated geographically or socially, or who have low income and education levels may not have had access to the kind of parenting information that will help their child thrive. This program, offered as a series of six to eight weekly group sessions, is designed for just such parents.

Materials are free, and trained facilitators (community workers, other parents and public health nurses) help participants work together to discover positive parenting techniques. The program is based on the principles of adult education—building on what these capable adults already know and do, then involving them in the learning process to expand on those capabilities. The network formed by this learning process provides a source of advice and support that can carry well beyond the weekly meetings.


Parents of children age birth to 5 years

How To Apply

Contact a provincial coordinator at:

(Alta) Child Support Services (CSS)

Toll-free (Alberta): 310-0000

Edmonton: 1-780-415-6400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-780-415-6400 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Calgary: 1-403-297-6060 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-403-297-6060 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Obtaining child support helps families improve their financial situation and become more independent. Through formal agreements or orders, children get the maximum benefit available so that parents do not have to turn to other forms of support in order to provide for their children. The additional income that child support provides makes it easier for single parents or parents of blended families to stay in the workforce.

If needed, CSS can help locate the missing parent and establish parentage. The case worker will also interface with the court system as necessary and advocate on the applicant’s behalf.


Parents in the following programs are automatically eligible for help through CSS:

  • Income Support
  • Alberta Adult Health Benefit
  • Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)

Other Albertans qualify based on income, from $15,900 for a two-person household up to $30,300 for a seven-person household.

Other requirements are that there is no existing support order, and a child support worker determines there is potential for the other parent to make support payments.

How To Apply

Contact the CSS centre nearest you:

(Alta) Child and Youth Support Program (CYS)

Toll-free (Alberta): 310-0000

Edmonton: 780-415-9703 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 780-415-9703 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Child and Youth Support Program (CYS) provides financial and medical benefits for a child when the parents/guardians are unable or unwilling to care for the child, and the child is being cared for in another home of an adult caregiver.


The caregiver and child may be eligible to receive benefits if:

  • The child’s parents/guardians have completed a “Program Consent Form”, or the caregiver has private guardianship of the child.
  • The child is under 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • The child’s income does not exceed the financial guidelines of the program (maintenance/child support, school grants or loans, employment, etc.).
  • The child is attending school, employed full-time or attending a full-time training program.
  • The child must reside with the caregiver seven days per week.
  • The parent/guardian who is unable or unwilling to provide care may not live in the same home as the caregiver.
  • The caregiver does not live on-reserve

How To Apply

Due to the unique nature of these situations, it is recommended the caseworker meet in person with the caregiver and child to complete the application and decide on the best course. Use the telephone numbers listed above to contact CYS.

When You’re Not Working

(Can) Employment Insurance (EI)

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Employment Insurance provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job. There’s no way to tell in advance of application what your benefit will be, but the basic rate is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. At present, the maximum amount if $468 per week (based on the maximum yearly insurable amount of $44, 200).

Benefits are provided for a period of from 14 to 45 weeks, depending on unemployment rates in your region and the number of insurable work hours you accumulated during the 52 weeks preceding your claim. If you should find work before exhausting your benefit, the remainder can be “reactivated” for you to use again should another layoff occur.

While you are receiving benefits, you must be actively looking for work and keeping a written record of employer contacts.


You may be eligible for this benefit if you:

  • Have paid EI premiums (through paycheck deductions during periods of employment)
  • Lost your employment through no fault of your own
  • Have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • Have worked for the required number of insurance hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim (whichever is shorter)

How To Apply

The application for EI regular benefits is completed online (whether you do it from home, from a Service Canada Centre, or from some public internet access point) and could take up to an hour. Review the instructions beforehand to make sure you have all required information and documentation:

(Can) Employment Insurance Family Supplement

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Family Supplement is a feature of Employment Insurance (EI) that provides additional benefits to low-income families with children when a caregiver loses his or her job. The maximum Family Supplement will reach as high as 80% of your average insurable earnings.

As your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable.


If your family receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit (see Tax Related Benefits above), then you are eligible to receive the supplement on qualifying income levels.

How To Apply

No application is necessary—if you are eligible, the Family Supplement will automatically be added to your EI benefit.

(Can) Child Rearing Drop-Out Provision (CRDP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9114 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9114 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

When you retire or become disabled, you become eligible to receive basic benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). In the event of your death, these benefits transfer to your partner and/or children. Naturally, you will want this monthly benefit to be calculated to your advantage wherever possible.

The benefit amount is calculated on how much and how long you paid into the pension plan; however, certain life events cause people to “drop out” of earning at their full potential for some period of time. One of these events is child rearing. The CRDP is a provision to exclude such a period from your earnings calculations, so that your ultimate CPP benefit is not reduced


The CRDP can only be used for months where:

  • Your family received baby bonus (see Tax Related Benefits, above) payments or were eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit)


  • Your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, or worked fewer hours to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven


  • That child was born after December 31, 1958

How To Apply

Apply for the CRDP at the same time you apply for any CPP benefit. You should apply at least six months before you would like to start receiving the benefit.

Applications are available online at

You may also stop at any Service Canada Centre for a kit:

(Can) Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Children’s Benefits

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9914 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9914 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

CPP Children’s Benefits provide a monthly benefit to the dependent children of disabled or deceased contributors. Your rates will vary based on your parent’s contributions, but averages and maximums can be investigated at this link:


For you to be eligible for Children’s Benefits, your parent must have made sufficient contributions to the CPP. Also, if you are between 18 and 25, you must be attending school full time at a recognized institution. Children under 18 do not have to be in school to be eligible.

How To Apply

You should apply when you first become aware that your parent has applied for a disability benefit, or should your parent die.

Information and links to application forms can be found here:

2 responses on “Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Alberta

  1. Looking for info for my 25 year old daughter who is. A single mom of 1 , is there not any rent subsidy or income support in Edmonton Alberta

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