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Calgary’s education system offers an enriching range of world-class options to suit students of all ages – from kindergarten to grade 12, post-secondary, continuing education and childcare. Find the perfect fit for your family.

What to think about before choosing a school

When considering a school in Calgary, consider your family’s lifestyle, preferences and what neighbourhood you live in. On this page, we’ve outlined a guide to navigating the school network in Calgary to help you and your family make the right decision.

Before you start looking at particular schools, take the time to consider what you are looking for in a school, and why. This Calgary blog helps identify things to think about before looking at specific schools.

Before choosing a school

Public school: Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Calgary

In Calgary, children can attend public school for free. The public school system is divided into three groups; elementary (Kindergarten to Grade six), junior high school (Grades seven to nine) and high school (Grades 10 to 12).

Calgary has a wide network of great Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) schools across our two systems, the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District.

Private schools in Calgary

You may decide a private school (K-12) makes sense for your family. Separate from the public school system, private schools have higher tuition fees and typically offer unique programs.

There are over 80 private schools in Calgary that offer world-class options and an opportunity for exceptional student enrichment. The Alberta Ministry of Education inspects private schools that offer credits toward the Alberta High School Diploma.

There are different kinds of privates schools in Alberta:

Post-secondary institutions in Calgary

Of Canada's major cities, Calgary has the one of the highest levels of post-secondary graduates, which isn’t surprising when you consider the quality, variety and accessibility of advanced education here.

More than 90,000 students are enrolled in Calgary’s post-secondary institutions. By collaborating with the city’s business, professional services, technology, arts, sports and non-profit communities, Calgary’s post-secondary institutions equip graduates for a career in the city’s diversifying economy.

Creative and strategic minds study in Calgary across a variety of disciplines – ranging from engineering, medicine and entrepreneurship to visual effects, animation, economics and business.

Did you know?

Students rank Calgary as the fifth best city for students in Canada in 2023, up four ranks from the 2021 rating (Best Cities for Students in Canada, 2023 HelloSafe Report).

Calgary childcare and pre-schools

Choosing childcare is a big decision for families. Luckily in Calgary there are many options that create a safe, healthy and supportive environment for your child. 

Choose the path that works best for your family:

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How do you start exploring child care options in Calgary?

The Government of Alberta created a guide to walk your family through how to evaluate your needs and start your search.

Considering child care guide
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Find and choose a program

Once you know what type of program makes sense for your family, the next step is finding the perfect solution. Search all Calgary daycares,  pre-schools, out-of-school care, family day homes or group family child care programs in the Government of Alberta’s lookup tool.

Child care lookup
Affordable child care is a priority across the country and province. Alberta is on track to meet the commitment in the Alberta-Canada Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to reduce child care fees to an average of $10 a day by 2026.
Local Tip:

Child care programs set their own policies related to fees, notice required to withdraw a child, hours of operation, holiday closures and options for part-time and drop-in care. Ask for a copy of these policies when considering child care programs!

Find your perfect neighbourhood.

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Experience living in Calgary

Discover an affordable, vibrant and family-friendly lifestyle in one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world.