Voluntary Registration is a form of regulation offered to family day homes that are not required to be licensed. These homes have fewer than six children in care, not including provider's own children and any children who reside in the home. Voluntary registration is not available in areas where local ordinances regulate unlicensed providers (Arlington, Fairfax, and Alexandria). The program is administered by four agencies that have contracted with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to perform this function in a specific area of the state.
To register, a family day home provider pays a contracting agency $50.00 for a two-year certificate. All adult residents of the applicant's household must undergo a criminal history background check, child abuse registry clearance and a tuberculosis screening at the time of their initial application and subsequent renewals. Assistants and/or substitutes must complete a health and safety checklist assessing the home and personal qualifications.
The contract agency makes a home inspection to make sure basic child safeguards are adequate. Upon recommendation by the contract agency, VDSS' Commissioner then issues them a two-year certificate of registration. During two-year period, the contracting agency and VDSS licensing staff monitor a small sample of registered homes for compliance with staffing requirements and a health and safety checklist.