The Commonwealth of Virginia helps to assure parents that child day programs that assume responsibility for the supervision, protection and well being of a child for any part of a 24-hour day are safe. Title 63.1, Chapter 10 of the code of Virginia gives the Department of Social Services authority to license these programs. While there are some legislative exemptions to licensure, licensed programs include child day centers, family day homes, and family day systems. The State may also voluntarily register family day homes not required to be licensed.
Standards for licensed child day centers address certain health precautions: adequate play space, a ration of children per staff member, equipment, program, and record keeping. Criminal record checks and specific qualifications for staff and most volunteers working directly with children are also required. Standards require the facility to meet applicable fire, health, and building codes.
Compliance with standards is determined by announced and unannounced visits to the program by licensing staff within the Department of Social Services. In addition, parents, or other individuals may register a complaint about a program, which will be investigated if it violates a standard.
Three types of licenses may be issued to programs.
Conditional licenses may be issued to a new program to allow up to six months for the program to demonstrate compliance with the standards for licensure. A provisional license, which cannot exceed six months, is issued when the program is temporarily unable to comply with the standards. Operating without a license when required constitutes a misdemeanor which upon conviction, can be punishable by a fine up to $100, imprisonment of up to 12 months or both for each day’s violation.
If you would like additional information about the licensing of child day programs or would like to register a complaint, please contact the following Regional Office of Social Services.
Central Regional Office
1604 Santa Rosa Drive
Wythe Bldg., Suite 130
Richmond, VA 23229-5008
Sharon Fink, Licensing Specialist