Early Childhood Care & Education

Share & Bookmark, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Quality early learning experiences are an essential element to preparing children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. The Virginia Department of Education helps prepare all children for kindergarten by supporting birth to five programming, including but not limited to the following:

Watch the videos below to learn more.

VDOE Early Childhood State of the State Updates for Summer 2023

Jenna Conway, Deputy Superintendent of Early Childhood Care and Education delivers a comprehensive presentation in which she shares key updates for early childhood in Virginia.

Early Childhood Education: Key Ingredients

Every child deserves the chance to learn and grow early on so they can succeed later in life. Quality education begins with high-quality early learning.

Inclusion: What it takes to Educate ALL Children Together

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act both require early childhood programs to make reasonable accommodations and provisions for the inclusion of young children with disabilities.

Virginia's Focus on School Readiness

The years before a child enters school directly impact a child’s ability to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. School Readiness means preparing all children for kindergarten by supporting birth-to-five programming by:

  • Using high-quality curriculum and assessment strategies
  • Encouraging teacher-child interactions
  • Providing individualized professional development
  • Creating programming that supports family engagement

On July 1, 2021, the Virginia Department of Education became responsible for child care licensing and the child care subsidy program. This shift is part of Virginia's broader effort to unify and strengthen the birth-to-five landscape in Virginia. Visit Building a Unified Early Childhood System for information and resources related to this transition.

Parents with smiling infant

For Families

For parents and caregivers of children birth to age five

Find information and resources for children from birth to age five here, including the following:

  • Developmental standards and guidelines
  • Preschool programs
  • Special education information
  • Early childhood supports including health and social services

Includes information about Virginia's child care options, including how to become a licensed or registered child care provider, and how families can get help paying for child care.

Student faces in a group


Preschool programs for four-year-olds

Early childhood programs in Virginia public schools provide a foundation for learning and academic success. In addition to information on Preschool Programs and services, this section includes professional development resources for teachers and grant management tools for administrators.

Child playing game

Early Childhood Special Education

Special education services for children birth to age five

Virginia's public school system offers early childhood services as part of their special education programs. These Early Childhood Special Education services provide children with disabilities the services needed to attain skills that are comparable to their typically developing peers.

COVID-19 Information

The Virginia Department of Education has been working closely with state agencies to ensure our schools and communities have the most up-to-date information and resources regarding COVID-19. The health and safety of our children and staff is our top priority. More information specific to Early Learning & Child Care is provided below.


Frequently Asked Questions