Quality Child Care

Why It Matters

Your child's early experiences support his development. Children with access to high quality early learning experiences are more likely to get the skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed. They have better people skills, make friends more easily, and later in life, are more successful at their jobs.

What It Looks Like

Choosing a preschool, child care program or family child care home is one of the most important decisions parents and families can make. There are some standards to define quality in childcare.

How to Find It

There is support to help you find childcare. Here are some options:

  • Call 866-543-7852 (Child Care Aware of Virginia), then select Option 2 to discuss your childcare needs, ask questions and receive a personalized list of referrals.
  • Child Care Aware of Virginia provides a search function to find child care in your community. You must register on this site to conduct your custom search.

Types of Child Care

Quality child care can be home-based or center-based. Get more information about the types of child care and regulations in Virginia. Make sure your child is safe and happy in a child care environment that's fun, educational, and nurturing. Here's what to look for.

Quality Measurement

Virginia's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) awards quality levels to child care and preschool programs based on four nationally recognized quality standards and best practices:

  • The curriculum or intentional teaching approach the program uses to guide children's learning
  • The education and qualifications of the staff
  • The learning environment
  • Teacher-child interactions

At each level, programs are measured on certain quality features and are engaged in quality improvement. Participation in Virginia Quality is voluntary and Early learning programs have access to a variety of Technical Assistance options like mentoring, coaching, on site and online training and technical support and professional development.

Virginia Quality is leading the way for quality early care and education for Virginia's children and families. Early learning programs participating in Virginia Quality are focused on top-quality in areas proven to matter to children's school success. Find more information on Virginia Quality programs in our Region.