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Frequently asked questions regarding child care.

Aren't all licensed centers "high quality"?

Licensed and regulated centers, along with family home providers, are required to maintain a minimum set of health, safety and training standards. This does not ensure that the centers are high quality.

Childcare centers and family care homes that are “accredited” have gone beyond the minimum licensing standards and have voluntarily met the standards set by national childcare organizations. These standards often include professional development requirements, child development training, and positive discipline programs.
Source: Child Care Aware

Currently, Virginia Quality evaluates different centers based on the level of quality of care and education they provide. Parents are able to view centers that are Virginia Quality rated and use their rating to make an informed decision regarding child care.

What is high quality?

Whether your child is spending time at home or with a childcare provider, his or her surroundings should provide an opportunity for learning. A high quality early learning environment should provide:

  • Healthy and safe surroundings
  • Consistent routines
  • Stimulating and interactive learning experiences
  • Responsive and consistent caregivers
  • Positive adult-child interactions
  • Opportunities to explore and play
  • Parental involvement

How are all the developmental areas linked? Is one area more important than the others?

Each of the developmental areas carries as much importance as the others. It’s the whole child we must consider.

The Virginia Early Childhood Alignment Project produced a guide called Milestones of Child Development: A guide to Young Children’s Learning and Development from Birth to Kindergarten. This is a comprehensive reference guide to understanding child growth and development. It is designed to help persons caring for children to meet a child’s emotional, cognitive, and physical needs. Download the guide at: