Information on Becoming a Child Care ProviderStandards for Family Child Care Homes
In the City of Alexandria, all persons providing child care for pay in their homes for one through five children, including the provider's own or resident children under the age of 14, are required to be registered with the City.
Providers who care for more than five children including their own or resident children under age 14 must have a Special Use Permit from the City. Information on the Special Use Permit is available through the Alexandria Planning and Zoning Office at 703.746.4666.
Providers who care for more than six unrelated children are required to be licensed by the state. Contact the Northern Region Licensing Office at 703.934.1505 or visit the state website for more information.
All persons providing child care within the City of Alexandria must be registered with the Early Childhood Division or licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Registration requirements include training, shown below.
The City requires attendance at an orientation session for all individuals interested in registering as child care providers.
Call 703.746.KIDS (5437) to attend.
City Child Care Provider Registration Requirements
- Attend orientation (required of all participants). Call 703.746.5437(KIDS) to register.
- Completed application.
- Payment of $5 registration fee.
- Certification in First Aid and CPR (see information below).
- Child Protective Services background check on everyone 14 years of age and older living in the provider's home.
- LiveScan (FBI) criminal background check on everyone 18 years of age and older living in the provider's home (cost is $37 per person).
- Fire and Safety Inspection of the provider's home, conducted by the City's Building & Fire Code Administration (fee is $35).
- Results of tuberculosis (TB) test for everyone 18 years of age and older living in the provider's home, obtainable from a priviate physician or through the Health Department for a fee. Call 703.746.4960 for fee information and to schedule an appointment.
- Successful completion of the six-hour New Provder Training (see information below) and initial home visit.
The professional development model created by the Early Childhood Division (ECD) offers several training options:
- First Aid and CPR Training: This training is offered monthly for applicants and registered providers.
- Six-Hour New Provider Training: This required course is offered four times a year. An applicant must complete all six hours to become a registered provider. The course covers the City's child care policies and regulations as well as the fundamentals of health and safety for family child care homes.
- Twelve-Week Training Course: Includes forty-two hours on early childhood theory and practice and three hours on business practices. This course is open to all registered providers who wish to increase their knowledge of child development, developmentally appropriate practices, nutrition, health and safety, child care environments, temperament, guiding behavior and discipline, as well as good business practices. The course is taught by ECD staff once or twice a year depending on demand. Students who successfully complete this course may become agency approved, are eligible for fee system payments though the ECD and are listed on the department's website on the Approved Child Care Provider List.
- Continuation of Professional Development for Academic Credit: Family Child Care Providers may apply for state scholarships if they wish to take courses at local colleges and universities. To obtain a scholarship application, interested providers may call the Virginia Child Care Provider Scholarship Program at 1.866.636.1608 or 804. 225.3110 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, please visit Virginia DSS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Development.
Monthly workshops: The ECD offers two workshops a month on topics related to child development and early care and education. Two hours of training credit are given for each workshop to assist family child care providers and grandparents in meeting their yearly training requirement. The workshops are held at the Department of Community and Human Services at 2525 Mt. Vernon Ave.
There are credentials and certifications that are not required either by the City or by state licensing. However, parents should ask about them when interviewing a provider.
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified caregivers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development. For more information, click here.
The Medication Administration Training (MAT) provides instruction in the administration of medications for staff in community settings such as child care centers and family child care homes. Caregivers who do not have a medical license such as doctors, nurses or emergency medical personnel must be trained to properly administer medications to children who receive services in these settings. The training is voluntary for family child care providers but is necessary if they plan to administer medications.
Accreditation and Quality Rating Systems
In the State of Virginia, there are two generally accepted measures of program quality. One is accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and othe other is a rating through the Virginia Star Quality Initiative.
- To search for an accredited program, go to NAEYCE Accreditation.
- To search for a Star Quality rated program, go to Smart Beginnings and choose Star Quality Initiative.
The Early Childhood Division supports the participation of Alexandria's family child care providers and child care centers in the Virginia Quality Rating Improvement System. VQRIS raters visit participating programs and assign ratings that range from one to five. VQRIS develops a quality improvement plan with each provider or center and provides mentoring services to help programs address any areas that need attention.