Are you looking for child care? VBGrowSmart.com wants to make sure you find a child care provider that meets your needs. Please see the information below. Another helpful tool for parents is ChildCareva.com.
Go there! The Internet is an excellent resource, and many centers now have Web sites full of helpful information about their philosophy and curriculum, but there is NO substitute for a personal visit, so make the time to meet with the director and observe what would be your child’s classroom. Does the center seem open and welcoming to visitors? Find out whether they have an open door policy for parents? If you’re there for arrival or departure time, observe how the teachers interact with parents and communicate about the children.
Who are the teachers? Your child’s teacher will be an important partner in your child’s development, so you want this person to be open and welcoming, both to parents and children. Have most of the teachers been with this center for some time? Do they have degrees or specializations in early childhood? Bonus points for staff that are continuing their education or working toward a higher degree.
The basics. Classroom furniture and playground should be safe, clean, and in good condition. State licensing standards cover the basics of health and safety for childcare centers, including legal ratios of children to teachers, so look for an up-to-date license on display in the center. Above and beyond the basic regulations, ask if the center is accredited by any independent agencies. Ask whether the center participates in the Virginia Quality Initiative, which means they’re a high quality level by the Virginia Quality (VQ) formerly known as QRIS, a type of “consumer reports” of childcare in our region.
Are the kids happy? This may seem obvious, but the social atmosphere of the center and the classroom your child would be joining is something you’ll want to pay special attention to. Are children happy in the classroom? Is the teacher warm and welcoming toward children, speaking kindly to them? How does the teacher address discipline and is the school’s discipline policy consistent with your personal philosophy?
The learning environment. You’ll want to see that children are engaged in activities and that they have the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences. Look for “centers” in the room such as an art center, housekeeping center, blocks center, and a comfortable library displaying books in good condition. Look for a schedule posted in the classroom. It should describe a variety of activities available to the children daily, including unstructured play outdoors (weather permitting, of course!). Are there examples of children’s work displayed in the classroom? Are teachers talking with children and working with them directly one-on-one and in small groups, in addition to whole-group formats?
Trust yourself! You are your child’s first and most important teacher, so trust your instincts and “gut” feeling about a center and the people who work there. This is where your child is going to be spending much of his or her time learning how to interact with others and exploring the world around him. You want this to be a welcoming, comfortable place for both you and your child.
The answer could be in the level! Virginia Quality is the state’s voluntary Quality Rating Improvement System (formerly known as QRIS). Virginia Quality (VQ) is the Consumer Reports of childcare; a tool for parents to use to know what quality looks like. Centers receive quality level ratings based on four nationally recognized quality standards and best practices:
To find out if your child’s center is participating:
The Eastern Region Virginia Quality Representative is: Sarah Gunnell – Email Sarah @
firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone 757-822-5165.
email@example.com for more information.
Once you know what type of child care you want for your little one, call and visit potential providers. Have a list of questions ready.
Visit the Virginia Department of Social Services site to locate a licensed child care provider. You may narrow your search by adding the type of care and zip code to your search criteria.
Search the Database
Accredited Child Care Locator Certain child care providers have voluntary achieved accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC). More than 10,000 accredited child care programs serve families around the nation. Learn more about NAEYC and NAFCC accredited child care providers near you.
NAEYC Accredited Providers
NAFCC Accredited Providers
In Virginia there are two types of child care. One type of child care takes place in a child care center and then there is family child care which takes place in a provider’s home.
Center-Based Child Care Child care that takes place in a facility that is not a private home is center based care. The Standards are developed by the Child Day-Care Council and made available through the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Child Day Center Child day centers include preschools, child care centers, Head Start programs and more. Providers agree to assume responsibility for the supervision, protection and well-being of children under 13-years-old for less than a 24-hour period. Licensed child care centers must meet the rules in Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers. For more information go to: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cc/.
How do you know what centers are licensed in your area? Visit the Virginia Department of Social Services and enter your zip code.
Short-Term Child Day Center Short-term child day centers are child day centers that only operate for part of the year.
Religious Exempt Child Day Center Religious exempt child day centers are child day centers operated by religious institutions like a church or synagogue. They are not required by law to be licensed because of religious practices or because they are private certified preschools. Exempt centers must still meet some state regulations.
Unregulated Provider An unregulated provider is a child care provider that is not licensed or regulated. They include recreational camps and programs and are not required to meet licensing regulations.
Family Day Home A family day home is similar to a child day center, but it is held in either the child or provider’s home. Family day homes serving six through 12 children should be licensed. Children living in the home are not included in the licensing count. Licensed home providers must meet the minimum standards for licensed family day homes. For more information go to: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/child_care/licensed/fdh/.
Voluntary Registered Day Homes Voluntary registration is a form of regulation offered to family day homes that are not required to be licensed. These homes have fewer than six children in care, not including provider's own children and any children who reside in the home. An oversight agency visits the home to confirm that basic safeguards are in place to protect children in care. For more information go to: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/child_care/unlicensed/vrfdh/.
Unregulated Family Care Also known as “family, friend and neighbor” care is not licensed or regulated in any way.
Selecting Child Care Would you like assistance selecting child care? Are you unsure what quality looks like or what questions to ask? The Virginia Child Care Resource and Referral Network (VACCRRN) can help. The network is comprised of early care and education specialists whose deliver services to families, child care professionals and communities. It was created to increase the accessibility, availability, and quality of child care in Virginia.
Virginia Beach Department of Human Services (VBDHS) provides financial assistance for child care to eligible families. The Child Care Program was designed to help families become economically self-sufficient while providing parental care, protection, guidance, and early childhood education. Parents or caretakers of children under the age of 13 who are working, receiving agency approved education/training or participating in one of the agency's employment services programs may qualify for financial assistance. Some categories of child care require a copayment. That amount depends on your family income and the number of individuals in your household.
There may be a waiting list for some child care services. If this is the case, your name will be added to a waiting list, and you will be contacted when services are available.
Not sure if you qualify for financial assistance? Call (757) 437-3351.
The VBDHS refers its customers to child care centers and home providers that have been licensed by the Eastern Regional Office of the State Department of Social Services (757) 491-3990 or to those voluntarily registered by The Planning Council in Norfolk (757) 622-9268.
It’s important to know what questions to ask when choosing a child care provider. Here’s a list of common questions you may want to ask.
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Out-of-School Time Programs Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation offers quality before school, after school, intersession, breaks and summer programming concurrent with Virginia Beach City Public & Year-Round School schedules at designated elementary and middle schools, as well as Virginia Beach Community Recreation Centers. Students participate in engaging, interactive and exciting games and activities that keep their minds and bodies energized when they’re not in school!
Preschool Programs; Ages 3 to 4 Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation offers a licensed recreation center-based preschool program that provides children with the opportunity to explore, examine, and discover developmental skills while enabling independent thinking and hands-on activity. Currently offered at Kempsville Recreation Center for either the morning, afternoon or all day.
Kindergarten Programs; Ages 5 to 6 Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation grows with your children through licensed recreation center-based kindergarten programs that encourage creative play and social interaction. Committed to providing quality programming in a safe community environment, Parks & Recreation ensures kindergarteners enjoy energetic activities, creativity to explore, a healthy snack and more! Currently offered at Kempsville and Princess Anne Recreation Centers for either the morning, afternoon, after school or all day.
Elementary School-Age Recreation Center-Based Youth Programs; Ages 5 to 12 The Out-of-School Time Programs at all six Virginia Beach Community Recreation Centers boast the same high quality components as school-based programs, with the added bonus of access to stimulating recreation center amenities like the action-packed game rooms, spacious gymnasiums and indoor swimming pools! Some of our sites offer homework time, field trips, racquetball challenges, or the chance to scale a super-cool rock climbing wall! Recreation and leisure activities for kids are proving essential for reaching important social, emotional and cognitive developmental milestones, and enables children to better manage stress and maintain resiliency. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation has a 45-year track record for providing safe, structured environments where children are surrounded and supported by adults who care about them.
KidzQuest Before and After School Programs; Ages 5 to 12 As convenient as it gets! High-quality, affordable and easy-access programs offered right inside various Virginia Beach public elementary schools for a stress-free solution to your children’s before and after school needs.
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation offers many diverse and fun opportunities which revolve around the fact that we believe child’s play is an essential quality as youth develop into young adults. We also believe that leisure opportunities for youth give way for them to make healthy and positive lifestyle choices. As this generation of youth is threatened by the health risks and dangers of childhood obesity, we want our participants to hit the floor running as we emphasize the importance of more vigorous physical activity.
Our days progress from high energy activities, to moderate level play time, and then to quiet, mind-building endeavors. Additionally, many special events are planned for each KidzQuest program: walking program, group and board games, talent shows, arts and crafts, Adopt-A-School Grounds, field trips and special guests, etc.
We are dedicated to providing convenient, high-quality and affordable out-of-school care for your children. We also pride ourselves on maintaining professional staff who always puts the needs of your child(ren) first!
Mega Middle School Mania Before School Programs; Ages 10 to 15 Our Mega Middle School Mania Program spends time building mutual respect with youth and fostering their positive development. During these critical adolescent years, middle schoolers have a growing ability to take leadership for program structure and process, as well as to construct boundaries and goals for themselves, so we provide a safe and positive environment filled with fun and dynamic activities.
This site was designed to provide information and resources for Virginia Beach parents, caregivers,and teachers of young children, ages 0-8.
The site is also intended for our community stakeholders who wish to find out more about the City of Virginia Beach’s early learning efforts and how you can get involved.
Address: 4525 Main Street Suite 700 Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: (757) 385-0144
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| The City of Virginia Beach