An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
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Religiously Exempt Child Day Centers (RECDC)

The Virginia Department of Education is now responsible for overseeing child care and early education programs. Information and resources related to child care licensing, the Child Care Subsidy Program, and professional development may be found at

Child care centers operated by religious institutions may be exempt from licensure, per § 63.2-1716 of the Code of Virginia, if the religious institutions submit certain documents to the Virginia Department of Social Services prior to opening the child day center and then annually prior to the expiration date of their exemption.

Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) Division of Licensing Programs inspectors will conduct inspections to monitor the RECDC's compliance with Code requirements, investigate complaints if noncompliance with Code requirements is alleged, and monitor compliance with subsidy health and safety inspection requirements (if a program participates in subsidy).

Code of Virginia References

Initial and Annual RECDC Documentation

General Information

State law requires that facilities operated as child day centers be licensed. Centers operated by religious institutions may, however, exercise an option to be exempt from licensing standards, provided the religious institution files certain information with the Virginia Department of Social Services prior to opening the center and then annually prior to the anniversary date of its current exemption. This exemption applies to a child day center that is operated under the auspices of the religious institution, i.e., the religious institution offers the child day center its protection, support, patronage, guidance, or aid.

Documents & Procedures

Current RECDC Providers (includes forms)


Background Investigations

Documents & Procedures


Additional Resources

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