The Certification Process
Opening a Family Day Care Home In Norfolk
Norfolk's Department of Human Services offers certification for Family Day Care Homes, better known as Home-Based Care, located in the home of the provider for up to 12 children under the age of 13 for which the provider receives compensation, including the provider’s own children and any children who reside in the home. A Family Day Care home where the children in care are all related to the provider by blood, adoption, or marriage shall not be required to be licensed, unless the provider receives compensation.
All Family Day Care residences certified in the City of Norfolk for five or more children will also need to be licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. For additional information, see the Virginia Department of Education.
The Home-Base Childcare Network (HCN) Certification Process
Prior to beginning the certification process, review the information provided on our website for potential providers, to include [link to City code enforcement once complete]
- Step 1: Contact the Norfolk Home-Based Childcare Network office
- Step 2: VDSS Pre-Licensing and HCN Orientation
- Step 3: Family Childcare Application and Training
- Step 4: Initial Inspection & Code Consultation
- Step 5: Permits & Licenses
- Step 6: Validation Visit
- Step 7: VDSS Childcare License
Contact the Norfolk Home-Based Childcare Network office
Applicants interested in becoming a certified family day home in the City of Norfolk must contact the Home-Based Childcare Network by completing the interest form here.
The VDSS Pre-Licensing & Norfolk HCN Orientation
At the orientation, participants receive an overview of VDSS licensing, inspection, monitoring and renewal process. A certificate of completion will be given to individuals who complete the session.
*Completion of the Pre-Licensing Orientation is required prior to applying for a VDSS child care license. A copy of your certificate must be submitted with your application.
Family Childcare Application and Training
Complete the required trainings and submit your applications to receive a Family Day Care Home Certificate from the City of Norfolk.
Only upon successful completion of the Pre-Licensing Orientation may an applicant submit an application. You must submit the following documents:
- Family Day Care Home Application.
- A minimum of two child care reference check forms.
- Medical certification for the applicant of the family day care home; including a report of tuberculosis screening.
- Medical certification for adult household members (18 years of age and older) of the family day care home; including a report of tuberculosis screening.
- Documentation of completion of required background checks for all members of the family day care household, including the provider, family members, assistants, and lodgers 18 years of age and older:
- Sworn Disclosure Statement Form
- National Criminal Background Check
- If applicable, an out-of-state Central Registry Check
- Documentation of completion of Child Protective Central Registry Check for all members of the family day care household, including family members, assistants, and tenants 14 years of age and older.
- Proof of identity for applicant, assistant(s), and household members.
- Copy of Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
- Documentation of liability insurance.
*Note this is not a comprehensive list of all application requirements.
The following trainings are required prior to licensure:
- Virginia Pre-Service Training for Child Care Staff
- Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect (For Educators).
- First Aid and CPR certification.
Barrier Crimes for Child Day Care Programs
ALERT: Virginia law changed, effective July 1, 2015, making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to operate a family day care home if the provider or any household member, employee, or volunteer in a family day care home has been convicted of any offense that requires registration in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry, § 63.2-1727.
The Office of the Attorney General has revised the list of Barrier Crimes for Child Day Programs. This list is effective immediately; discard any other barrier crimes lists previously issued.
Upon successful completion of the application package and verification of required trainings being completed, the HCN Specialist will contact you to schedule an appointment to complete the first home inspection.
Potential providers can discuss elements of construction and/or building code requirements with the Department of Planning. The consultation is to assess health and safety concerns, determine license capacity, and provide technical assistance.
Conditional Use Permit
Participants apply for a conditional use permit with the Department of Zoning. The conditional use permit will include conditions which address and mitigate any potential land use impacts, such as parking or pick-up and drop-off. To obtain approval applicants need to demonstrate the following:
- The location of outdoor play space
- If located on-site, outdoor play space must be enclosed and screened by a solid wall or fence, or a combination of landscaping and fencing
- One off-street parking space available for pick-up/drop-off of children
To open a family day care home, applicants must obtain a business license from the Office of the Commissioner of Revenue. It is illegal to engage in any business without first obtaining a business license. The Office of the Commissioner of Revenue will assign a business license number to the application. The City of Norfolk also offers assistance with Applying for a Business License
The HCN Specialist will contact participants to schedule an appointment to conduct a validation visit. After the visit is completed, participants will receive an inspection report that will identify compliance or non-compliance with regulations.
The following documentation is required to be onsite at the home during the validation visit:
- Fire Evacuation Plan (Written Plan and Diagram)
- State Health Department “Communicable Disease Chart”
- Emergency Numbers
- State Health Department and Education Department flip chart, “Suggestions for Temporary Care of Emergencies in Schools”
- Business License
- Behavior Management Plan
- Written Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abuse Head Trauma Procedures
- Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan
- Written Medication Procedures
VDSS Childcare License
Participants apply for the state childcare license (valid for one year) through the VDSS Licensing Office. When all the licensure requirements have been met, a family day care home license* will be issued.
The hours of operation, age range, and the number of children you can care for will be included on the license. Your family day care home license must be renewed annually. You must have a valid license before you can take care of children or you shall be subject to civil penalties for an illegal operation of child care.
*A Conditional License will be issued to NEW APPLICANTS for a period of six months to allow time for all requirements to be met. If at the end of the six month conditional period, the licensee is in full compliance, a regular license will be issued.
**Please allow 6-8 weeks to complete the entire process.**