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Child Care Provider Resources

Virginia Preservice Training for Child Care Staff - Virginia's Health and Safety Training

This FREE online course introduces child care staff to important health and safety information and addresses other topics such as child development, inclusion, and Virginia's Subsidy and Licensing Programs. Participants will earn a 10-hour training certificate upon completion and a CEU! Completion of the training is required for all staff who work in a program that participates in Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy Program, but all Virginia child care staff are welcome and strongly encouraged to take this FREE course.Please check with your employer to determine if your program participates in Virginia’s Subsidy Program and you are required to complete the training.

The Virginia Department of Social Services is partnering with Pennsylvania State University's Better Kid Care Program to bring this course to you. For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

To access the course, click on “Start Training.” If you already have an account with Better Kid Care, sign in to On-Demand, and select "Virginia Preservice Training for Child Care Staff" at the bottom of the alphabetical listing. If you have not used Better Kid Care's website before, you will need to register as a new user first, and then choose Virginia Preservice Training from the alphabetical listing.

Start Training Frequently Asked Questions Virginia Preservice Training Course Flyer

If you have any issues accessing the training, please contact call the Better Kid Care HELP line at (800) 452-9108, or Saretha Williams - VDSS at (804) 726-7778.

News, Events, Bulletins


Business Management

Child Development

Early Intervention & Special Education

Emergency Preparedness

Family Engagement


Health & Safety

Look Before You Lock Transportation Safety Message

About this Video

The Administration for Children and Families started a campaign on 7/26 called, "Look Before You Lock" to prevent child deaths related to heat stroke from being left in child care buses and vans.


Inclusive Practices and Trauma Informed Care

Professional Associations

Professional Development & Technical Assistance



General Training Information

  • TIPS Calendar
    The TIPS (Training Information for Provider Success) Calendar is for private, non-profit and governmental organizations to list child care provider training in Virginia and Washington D.C.
  • Training Catalog
    The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) provides online professional development opportunities for all child care providers.

Business Management Training for Child Care Leaders

Child Development

Emergency Planning

Expulsion in Child Care

Health and Safety

Homelessness Awareness

Inclusive Practices

Infant and Toddler Care

Preschool-age Care

School-age Care

Read-A-Book Program

This is a distance learning, self-study program that allows early childhood professionals to earn training clock hours by completing lessons with children's literature books, or reporting on pre-approved books about early childhood education and child development. The Virginia Department of Social Services' Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Development collaborated with the Library of Virginia to place sets of books in each of the 350 public libraries across Virginia.

This initial phase of the Read-A-Book Program focuses on the importance of incorporating children's literature across the curriculum, reading to and with young children daily, understanding early brain development, fostering language and literacy development, and communicating successfully with young children.

The program currently offers two book report options for obtaining clock hours of training credit. Early childhood professionals are encouraged to choose one or both, without repeating the same books. Participants are eligible to receive clock hours of training credit for each option selected and book report submitted to Child Care Aware of Virginia (CCAVA) for grading. The number of training hours awarded depends on the option and book selected, as well as the points earned (from 0-10 hours). Book report materials are available online for free and via email by contacting Grading the completed book reports costs participants $20 per option selected, and the check should accompany the completed book report materials when submitted for grading. (All checks should be made payable to CCAVA.)

For additional information contact at or 804-285-0846.

Scholarship Program

The purpose of this tuition assistance program is to offer child care providers foundational knowledge and skills in the care and development of children. Funded by the federal Child Care and Development Fund, the program allows early educators to attend undergraduate courses at Virginia's accredited colleges.

Courses that are currently required for a certificate or degree in the early childhood education field are pre-approved for payment through the Virginia Child Care Provider Scholarship Program (VCCPSP) as funding allows. Current maximum allowable benefits are either eight classes, or a lifetime award of $3,570.00, whichever comes first. Once a child care provider applies for their first scholarship, the maximum award amount will not change; this serves as an incentive to use the scholarship funds before tuition increases. For example, if the original application in the scholarship program was in 2013, the maximum lifetime award amount was $2,988.00 based on the average tuition costs at that time, and this maximum award amount will not change.

Scholarships pay for tuition and a technology fees for up to two courses per semester when the eligibility criteria are met. Expenses for travel, books and activity fees are the responsibility of the student.  Students MUST apply each semester for which they wish to receive a scholarship, and during the corresponding semester application period (Fall - June 15 - August 1; Spring - October 15 - December 1; and Summer - March 15 -April 15).

The program does not reimburse college students: colleges are paid directly. If a student does pay for a course, it is his/her responsibility to make sure the college will reimburse the student. It is the student’s responsibility to submit a copy of the scholarship award letter to the college business office. Without this, the business office will not apply the scholarship award to the student’s account. Award letters will be sent via email when possible, and they will contain the award recipient’s name and address. If there are any changes in plans regarding an award, students must submit a Course/College Change Form to VCCPSP before the end of the college's drop/add period. Please read the Scholarship Program Information sheet (below) for more details on Program eligibility and how to apply.

Eligibility Information

The applicant must meet all of the following criteria (Regulation 22 VAC 40-690-30):

  1. Submit an online application.
    • Paper applications are only available upon request to applicants who do not have a personal email address and to all who are applying for a scholarship with a 4-year college. This Program only reimburses up to $400 per 3-credit course at a 4-year college. Send an email request to or call 866.636.1608 and provide your name, address and telephone number.
  2. Be an employee of a child care program located in Virginia, OR a Virginia resident (as defined by the Code of Virginia) who is employed in a non-Virginia child care program, OR a Virginia resident who intends to become employed in a Virginia child care program.
  3. Select a Program-approved course for which a scholarship was not previously received.
  4. Award Recipients must:
    1. Register for the class after receiving an award; and complete the course;
    2. Earn an A, B, C or passing grade. VDSS will not award future scholarships to those who receive a D or failing grade unless the state is reimbursed for the tuition and technology fees used; and
    3. Have no past occurrences of receiving an award without registering for the class or withdrawing from an awarded class after the add/drop deadline without completing the class.
  5. Priority will be given to applicants currently employed in the field of child care. Based on eligibility and funding availability, applications for applicants who do not currently work in child care will be processed in the final week before the application deadline. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the application period since funding is limited.

Guidelines and Forms

Project Pathfinders Ė Additional Scholarship Resources

The Virginia Child Care Provider Scholarship Program is partnering with Project Pathfinders, a scholarship program through the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, to refer child care practitioners to additional resources for help with earning child development college degrees and certificates. Project Pathfinders may be able to assist with needed courses that cannot be funded by the VDSS Virginia Child Care Provider Scholarship Program, other mandatory fees, and book costs AFTER students first apply to the Virginia Child Care Provider Scholarship Program. Please review the attached Project Pathfinders Information Sheet for additional information.

Professional Development Publications

Career Pathways

The purpose of the Career Pathways is to help practitioners plan their training, education and career development goals so they may be well-prepared to educate, nurture and meet the needs of young children and their families.

Choosing Child Care

This publication provides a concise and convenient review for parents to use when searching for child care services.

Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals

This publication is intended to improve the quality of early childhood programs by clearly identifying the skills and knowledge needed by adults who are supporting the growth and development of children from birth to kindergarten. This publication is currently only available in English.

Milestones of Child Development

This is a comprehensive reference guide designed to assist adults working with and caring for young children with emotional, cognitive, and physical needs.

Director's Toolbox

This publication is designed to assist directors in meeting the standards for Licensed Child Day Centers. It also guides directors and new staff members through the process of orientation. Included is a wide variety of recommended and required sample and model forms.

Family Child Care Tool Kit

This publication is designed to assist family child care providers in providing quality care and education to the children they serve. It contains guides and outlines, sample policies and procedures, and forms and checklists. Topic areas are getting started, policies and procedures, health and safety, child development, and resources.

VDSS Endorsements


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