Child Day Care
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A child day care program in Virginia refers to a regularly operating service arrangement for children where, during the absence of a parent or guardian, a person or organization has agreed to assume responsibility for the supervision, protection, and well-being of a child under the age of 13 for less than a twenty-four-hour period. The broadest categories of care are out-of-home ("Center-Based") care and in-home or "Family-Based" care in a private home. Those categories can be further broken down into "licensed", "unlicensed (but regulated)", and "approved". Regulated refers to a facility is regulated by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS). Approved refers to a facility that is regulated by an entity other than VDSS. The chart below allows you to explore the types of child care available, how they are regulated and provide you with related forms and applications. If you need further assistance selecting child care, the ChildCare Aware of VIRGINIA can help.

Learn About Child Day Care
  Center-Based Family-Based
Licensed Child Day Center Short-Term Child Day Center Family Day Home
Regulated Unlicensed Religious Exempt Child Day Centers Certified Preschools Voluntary Registered Family Day System
Approved Approved by Department of Education N/A
Approved by Local Ordinance
(Alexandria)
Approved by Local Ordinance
(Arlington)
Approved by Local Ordinance
(Arlington)
Approved by Local Ordinance
(Fairfax County)