Helpful Links

Virginia Department of Social Services:  Child Care Resources

  • News, Events, Bulletins
  • Guidance & Resources
  • Courses
  • Scholarship Program. The purpose of this tuition assistance program is to offer child care providers foundational knowledge and skills in the care and development of children. Funded by the federal Child Care and Development Fund, the program allows early educators to attend undergraduate courses at Virginia’s accredited colleges.
  • Professional Development Publications
  • VDSS Endorsements



Resources on the Opioid Crisis:




All young children (Birth to 5) with and without disabilities have the right to experience settings, relationships and interactions that will support and further their development and learning.

Young children with disabilities have both the need and the right to participate in and benefitt from the same experiences as their peers without disabilities in all settings and activities within their communities. Download PDF version Inclusion Means Everyone.


Are you looking for creative ideas and support for improving the quality of your infant and toddler program? Would you like practical staff training and resources at no cost to your program?  The Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network promotes excellence in child day centers and family day homes by increasing the educational level and skills of those who work with infants and toddlers. Highly trained infant and toddler specialists provide on-site consultation and training throughout the state.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is a nationally recognized early childhood credential awarded to educators who are skilled primary caregivers for young children. To successfully complete the CDA assessment process, child care providers must participate in various forms of training and practical experiences. Contact: Council for Professional Recognition (800) 424-4310

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that provides reimbursement for healthful meals and snacks served to children and adults.  Because CACFP participants’ nutritional needs are supported on a daily basis, the program plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for families.

The Afterschool Alliance is working to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs. Afterschool programs are critical to children and families today, yet the need for programs is far from being met.

VPOST, the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School-Time, is a statewide  public-private partnership dedicated to developing and expanding academic, social, emotional, and physical supports and services to school-age children and youth across the Commonwealth of Virginia during the out-of-school time hours – before-school, after-school, vacations periods, and summer.

Virginia Quality is the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system.  Virginia’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) awards quality levels to child care and preschool programs based on four nationally recognized quality standards and best practices: the education and qualifications of the staff, the curriculum or intentional teaching approach the program uses to guide children’s learning, the learning environment, and teacher-child interactions.

Virginia Quality Transition PlanIn July 2020, Governor Northam signed legislation to create a Unified Measurement and Improvement System. Over the next three years, VDOE will work with a variety of stakeholders to develop and scale the new system. This document outlines the plan to phase in a ‘freeze’ of Virginia Quality ratings to support the overall transition to the new unified measurement and improvement system.

Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Child Care and Early Childhood Programs

Provides information and resources to help early childhood programs implement recommendations from CDC’s Guidance on Helping Child Care and Early Childhood Programs Respond to Influenza

MAT (Medication Administration Training)
Child care providers who work in licensed or regulated child day programs and who give prescription medications to children are required by the Code of Virginia to satisfactorily complete the MAT course. The MAT course is a competency-based course approved by the Board of Nursing (BON) and Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to train providers who work in child day programs to safely administer medication to children. The MAT course must be facilitated by an approved MAT Trainer. The courses offered can be taken partially online and in a classroom-based setting.

The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority’s Child Care Financing Program (CCFP) is a direct loan from the VSBFA to a child care center or a family home provider. Bank participation is not required, though often times the bank will provide financing for the center’s land and building and the VSBFA can provide a loan for the other necessary items the center needs such as cots, fencing, playground equipment, buses, etc.


The Virginia Child Care Association (VCCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and guidance for Virginia’s private, licensed Early Childhood Education community.  VCCA is here to help provide private, licensed Early Childhood Education owners, administrators and directors with up-to-date information and resources to help stay on top of the industry and prepare for future growth and success.

Better Kid Care Online Classes. This is free to anyone and you can get a certificate of completion.

Safe Sleep Practices for Caregivers: Reduce the Risk of SUID

This module focuses on defining SUID and identifying behaviors that affect and reduce the risk of sleep related SUID. Specifically, you’ll learn about the common beliefs and misconceptions about SUID, understand the behaviors that affect the risk of sleep related SUID, and learn to implement safe sleep practices for infants.

1) Access this lesson at:
2) Click on: “On Demand Web Lessons” button on the left menu bar
3) Create an account and sign in.
4) Select the title of the lesson: Safe Sleep Practices for Caregivers: Reduce the risk of SUID.

VDSS Safe Sleep Resources

Promoting Healthy Development: Wondering what to expect for your infant or toddler? Need to know where to go for a free developmental screening?

We Teach Teachers and Parents!  Square One provides professional development training to those who work with children ages 0-8 and their families.

Square One serves as a regional public-private partnership on school readiness in the southeastern region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Square One’s mission is to help all children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. The ultimate goal is to provide the region with a competitive workforce in the global economy.