Building a Unified Early Childhood System

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In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation directing the Board of Education (BOE) to establish a unified public-private system for early care and education, administered by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). This included the requirement that the VDOE complete the following actions by July 2021:

  1. Move oversight for all early childhood care and education programs to the VDOE,
  2. Establish a new Early Childhood Advisory Committee, and
  3. Create a Uniform Measurement and Improvement System.

Transition Oversight of Child Care and Family Day Homes

On July 1, 2021, the Board of Education became responsible for setting policy priorities for early childhood care and accountability, to be carried out by the VDOE. This creates a single point of accountability for school readiness in the Commonwealth.

The following historical resources provide more information about this transition:

Launch of a New Early Childhood Advisory Committee

The new Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) advises the Board of Education on all matters related to the unified early childhood system at the VDOE. By law, ECAC membership reflects the full range and diversity of ECCE providers, advocates, and child development experts in the Commonwealth.

The ECAC meets at least four times a year to review information related to the programs, systems, and regulations related to Virginia’s unified early childhood system. All meetings are open to the public. Refer to Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) for the meeting schedule, agendas, and minutes.

Creating a Uniform Measurement and Improvement System (VQB5)

VDOE is leading the implementation of a new quality measurement and improvement system, called VQB5, which focuses on the quality of all publicly-funded birth-five classrooms and supports families to choose quality programming across different program types. All publicly funded providers will be required to participate in the new unified VQB5 system by the 2023-2024 school year.