Virginia Licensing and Regulation for Child Care Providers

Starting a Child Care business entails a lot of hardwork, dedication, perseverance and above all professionalism. Like any other business venture, it requires a lot of preparation and documentation. Fortunately, the Virginia Department of Social Services has provided the Virginians the needed guidance in successfully opening up this type of business. To give you an idea, below are major points a Child Care provider should consider:

  • Training Needs – Child Care providers need to show their capability through trainings they and their staff have attended. You need to immerse your staff into the Professional Child Care Training Programs and acquaint them with the needed Emergency Training Programs in cases where the kids encounter problems/hazards (refer to this link:

  • Financial Capability – You need to be financially liquid to be able to provide the needed structures/fixtures fit for the type of Child Care facility you will choose. Salaries and wages of your staff is also one of the prime considerations.

  • Licensing – Application for Licensing is an important part of a Child Care business. Otherwise, you may end up folding before you could even start. For the application forms, you may refer to this link (

Below are some regulations to be considered for the different types of Child care facility:

Center-Based Child Day Center

Licensed programs must meet the standards promulgated by the State Board of Social Services. The Virginia Department of Social Services enforces these standards by inspecting centers at least twice a year and investigating complaints.

Religious Exempt Child Day Center

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.

The Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Licensing, may send inspectors to these facilities only to confirm that they are in compliance with Code requirements and to investigate complaints.

Certified Preschools

Section 63.2-1717 of the Code of Virginia allows preschool programs operated by private schools that are accredited by a statewide accrediting organization (or another accrediting organization recognized by the Board of Education) to be exempt from licensure.

  • Home-based Family Day Homes

The Code of Virginia mandates the licensure of family day homes that provide care for six to twelve children (exclusive of the provider’s own children and any children who reside in the home). The care may be offered in the home of the provider or in the home of any of the children in care.

Licensing standards, which are proposed by the State Board of Social Services and enforced by the Division of Licensing Programs, ensure that the activities, services, and facilities of the family day home are conducive to the welfare of the children in care.

For more clarification on these regulations, refer to this link: (

These are just the initial steps in order for a Child Care provider to start a Child Care business. The real challenge is in the actual handling of the business – where Child Care providers face actual scenarios/problems. As long as there is an open communication between the Child Care providers and the parents, no amount of challenges can break their commitment to provide the utmost care the child needs. At the end of the day, the reward for these type of business is in seeing the children develop their potential with a smile in their faces and a thumbs up from the grateful parents.