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How to Become a Licensed Day Care Provider in Virginia

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The Virginia Department of Social Services provides licenses and inspections for day care centers. This includes home-based day care providers. In Virginia, a day care is defined as two or more children in a facility that are under the age of 13, or 13 or more children of any age in the same facility. In a home-based day care there may be up to 12 children, not counting the provider's own children and step-children. People wishing to become licensed in Virginia to be a day care provider must meet certain requirements.

Complete an orientation program on Virginia health and safety standards for care providers. This program is offered by the Department of Social Services. You will need to provide the certificate of completion with your application.

Submit an application for your license. Applications are complete when all fees and information required have been received by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Submit a valid certificate of occupancy for the building you plan to use as a day care facility. The Department of Social Services will then perform an inspection on site to determine approval of the building.

Make all staff and participants available to the Virginia Department of Social Services, at its request, for possible interviews.

Wait for your approval. The Department of Social Services will notify you of its decision concerning your license. This license will be valid for up to 3 years. You will be made aware of any required ongoing training that will be needed.


A.R. Darke is a freelance writer specializing in health and decorating. Darke has been a certified interior decorator since 2002 and became a licensed practical nurse in 2003. Currently she is a homeschooling stay-at-home mother.

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