Effective July 1, 2021, the Virginia Department of Education will be responsible for overseeing child care and early education programs, including licensing, the Child Care Subsidy Program, and resources for educators. More information about the transition is available here.
Need Help Paying For Child Care?
The Child Care Subsidy Program assists families in paying child care costs for children under age 13 who are not eligible to attend public school during the part of the day when public education is available, or children with special needs under age 18 who reside with the applicant. If you are eligible and are approved for services, the Subsidy Program can pay a portion of your child care costs directly to the child care provider.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy Program, you must:
Be a Virginia resident who is either:
- Actively employed or engaged in a job search; Let your local department of social services know if you are searching for a job during your phone interview;
- Participating in an education or training program;
- Receiving child protective services (CPS);
- Participating in an assigned activity for the Virginia Initiative for Education and Work (VIEW); or
- Participating in a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAPET) plan of participation.
- Provide documentation of child's citizenship or legal residence in the United States.
- Provide documentation of child's immunization requirements as outlined by the State Board of Health.
- Provide documentation of household income that does not exceed the limits of the locality in which you reside.
Families of a child experiencing homelessness that cannot provide the required documentation needed to determine eligibility at the time of application may be conditionally approved for services for a period not to exceed 90 days.
Two ways to apply for the Child Care Subsidy Program
- Apply online, or screen for eligibility through CommonHelp, a self-service portal available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A video or Quick Guide for the application portal is also available.
- Submit a Child Care Service Application and Redetermination Form to your local department of social services. You may also pick up an application (Spanish version) at the local department of social services, or request that one be mailed to you.
Your application will be reviewed within 30 days. During that time, you may be required to participate in an interview and provide documentation of basic eligibility requirements.
If you are eligible, and approved for services, your local department will authorize child care with a VDSS Subsidy-approved child care provider of your choice, and VDSS will pay a part of the child care cost directly to your provider.
Finding Child Care
Parents have different provider options they may choose to best fit the needs of their family. All parents want to support their child's health, happiness and development. High quality child care programs feature enriched experiences that are linked to greater achievement and success in school and in life.
View High Quality Child Care Infomercial
Click on the image below for a quick description of the benefits of providing high quality developmental care in a child's first 5 years.
The Search for Child Care web tool provides facility information and inspection reports for licensed and religiously exempt child care centers, licensed and voluntarily registered family day homes and certified pre-schools.
If you would like personal assistance in finding child care, contact Child Care Aware of Virginia at 866-543-7852.