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 All the information you need to be a successful, high-quality childcare or preschool provider in Virginia Beach.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Early Education Providers

As a teacher, director, or business owner in early education, you work tirelessly to offer the best possible care and educational settings for the children you serve. Whether you provide center-based childcare or work in a faith-based program, family day home, or preschool, you are helping to set the stage for children’s later life experiences. It’s a big job, and the work you do couldn’t be more important. At Virginia Beach GrowSmart, supporting early education providers is central to our mission. We offer free resources, partnership programs, scholarships, and professional development opportunities to keep you focused on quality and continuous improvement. You play a critical role in realizing GrowSmart’s vision that all children in Virginia Beach will enter kindergarten ready to learn.


Learn what it means to be “high quality” and how we can help you get there. Read more


Discover plenty of free professional development opportunities waiting for you! Read more


Are you strong in academics but struggling in business basics?  The Early Education Small Business Training Program can help you turn things around! Read more


Change can be tough. Learn how to help children and families prepare for the exciting transition to kindergarten. Read more

Looking for answers? If you are a Virginia Beach provider in need of information, resources, or training, we are here to help. If you want to connect with other local providers or become involved in GrowSmart’s initiatives, we want to hear from you. If you are thinking of starting a childcare business in Virginia Beach, please contact us and let us point you in the right direction.

Related Information

The Foundation Blocks

The Virginia Department of Education has created Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning as a guide for preschool education. These foundation blocks focus on the skills and experiences children will need in order to successfully enter kindergarten. Download the guide here.


The Classroom Assessment Scoring System®, or CLASS®, was developed at the Curry School’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia. This tool is used to assess teacher behaviors that are linked to student gains. The Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI) uses the CLASS® evaluation tool in Standard 2: Interactions. A helpful resource is the CLASS® Implementation Guide. You can also purchase the CLASS® PreK from Brookes Publishing here.


The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised, Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised and Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised are designed to assess early childhood environments for specified age groups.

The Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI) uses the ECERS-R evaluation tool in Standard 4: Environment and Instruction. ECERS-R consists of 43 items organized into seven subscales:

  1. Space and Furnishings;
  2. Personal Care Routines;
  3. Language and Reasoning;
  4. Activities;
  5. Interactions;
  6. Program Structure;
  7. Parents and Staff.

Further information on the ECERS, ITERS, and FCERS can be found at Franklin Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

View ECERS-R articles featured in previous newsletters.


Are you looking to open a childcare center and need assistance with the process? Do you have a licensing question? The Virginia Department of Social Services website contains comprehensive licensing information for child day centers, family day homes, voluntarily registered family day homes, religiously exempt child day centers, and certified preschools.

Quick Links:

Please note: The information provided above is for general information and convenience only. It is not meant to be comprehensive nor serve as a substitute for VA DSS resources. To ensure that all information is current and accurate, please visit the Virginia Department of Social Services website or contact a DSS licensing specialist. Virginia DSS is the commonwealth’s licensing authority.

Family Day Homes

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.

Apply for a Scholarship

Are you a childcare or early education provider with a desire to continue your education in the area of early childhood education and development? Virginia Beach GrowSmart awards scholarships to early childcare professionals to continue their education at approved institutions. Apply today!

Please note: As of August 2014, all early education providers in the city of Virginia Beach are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Employment at a VSQI site is no longer a requirement.

Community Connections Guide

The Community Connections guide, provided by The Planning Council, is a resource for families, caregivers and educators of young children birth to age five in South Hampton Roads. Download the guide now!

Dr. Downer Training

“This training was awesome! It really opens up the possibilities to create collaborative approaches to assist our children and families.”

- Barb Lito, Recreation Supervisor, Out-of-School Time Programs, VB Parks& Recreation

: Bringing together City, Schools, and the Community for a common mission.

GrowSmart’s mission is to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness, and reading proficiency of young children, ages 0-8, in Virginia Beach.