Policy Agenda

In Brief: Child Care Aware of Virginia is committed to promoting quality child care for children throughout the Commonwealth, ages birth through twelve. Children should be safe, and parents should have choices among quality settings that promote their children’s healthy development.

Our recommendations for the General Assembly promote both safe settings for children and quality choices for families.

Download the full Public Policy Agenda in Brief here.

Issue in Brief: Virginia child care programs continue to face unprecedented staffing shortages. In addition, the hiring process is often delayed due to a slow state background check process that exceeds what federal law requires. Programs can’t fill child care vacancies in a timely manner, exacerbating the staffing crisis, and making it difficult for families to secure needed care.

Child Care Aware of Virginia’s Recommendation: Enable prospective staff to work in a supervised manner as long as the FBI or VSP fingerprint check has cleared (as allowed under federal law).

Download the full document Fixing the Child Care Background Check System: Promoting Efficiency and Safety here.

In Brief: Babies spend a large amount of their early lives asleep – it’s crucial to ensure that they are sleeping safely. In Virginia, over 200 voluntary registered family child care homes operate with no requirement for safe sleep practices (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics). Safe sleep practices save lives.

Child Care Aware of Virginia Recommends: Require voluntarily registered providers to complete basic training and follow American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep guidance.

Download the full document Safe Sleep in Voluntarily Registered Homes here.

In Brief: School-age child care is an important support for working parents. Parents who work need a reliable and safe environment for their elementary school-aged children. School-age child care provides a supportive and secure environment that encourages healthy development, including academic support when necessary.

Child Care Aware of Virginia Recommends: Expand Child Care Subsidy Assistance for families who need help affording child care.

  • Extend current law that allows families with children under age 5 to qualify for subsidy with household income up to 85% of state median income. This provision expires on June 30, 2024.
  • Expand income eligibility to support families with school-age children (5-12) up to 85% of state median income.

Download the full document School-Age Child Care for Working Families here.

Find additional policy tools at Child Care Aware of Virginia’s Virginia Education and Action Center