Finding reliable and affordable child care is a concern for most families. Families need support and information to understand and navigate the world of child care and early education services. Research shows that high quality child care experiences support a child’s school readiness and future success. The following resources can help you evaluate the options and make the most informed choice possible.
How do I find child care?
Search online or speak with a child care specialist from Child Care Aware of Virginia. Get a free, individualized list of child care referrals in your area that meets your unique needs (such as location, hours, language spoken, ages of children, and other quality preferences). Note: listings are referrals, not recommendations. Also, ask other parents, your pediatrician, your religious community. Visit more than one provider if you can.
How do I interview providers?
Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has an extensive Resource Guide for Choosing Quality Child Care that includes information about the different types of child care available, and how to interview and assess potential providers.
The ReadyKids Growing Minds Program provides workshops for families on Choosing Quality Child Care. Call Gail Esterman, Growing Minds Program Manager, 434-296-4118, x228 for more information.
How do I check for complaints and licensing violations?
The VDSS website allows you to search for regulated child care providers by county. The listing includes facility inspection reports by the licensing agency. Please educate yourself about provider qualifications. Child Care Aware of Virginia has valuable information for families about child care quality.
How can I get financial assistance to help me pay for child care?
Click here for information about Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy Program. Families can also contact their local Department of Social Services office to learn about eligibility for child care subsidies. The Thomas Jefferson Area United Way offers child care scholarships. Contact Barbara Hutchinson at United Way to learn more.