Arlington County Child Care Services Office offers licensure for any entity providing the care, education, protection, supervision, or guidance for two or more children under the age of 12 that Is not the residence of the provider or any of the children in care, or a facility with 13 or more children. This definition includes but is not limited to full- and part-time care, preschool, parents-day-out, and cooperative preschool programs.
Recommendation: Read this report from Arlington Economic Development on the need for child centers in Arlington business corridors.
Note that all Child Care Centers will also need to be licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. For additional information, see the Virginia Department of Social Services Website.
The Licensing Process
Prior to beginning the licensing process, review the information provided on our website for potential child care centers, to include Arlington County Code Chapter 52.
If you have questions or concerns related to the licensing process, contact the Child Care Services Office via email at email@example.com
Step 1: Consultation Request
Thank you for your interest in Arlington County Child Care Services. Once a preliminary location(s) are found, prospective child care centers should complete the Consultation Request Form.
Please return completed Consultation Request Form to the Child Care Services Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arlington County Child Care Services Office
Attn: Child Care Supervisor
2100 Washington Blvd, 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22204
Within 2-4 weeks of receipt of the form, the applicant will be contacted by a Child Care Licensing Specialist to schedule a consultation visit to the proposed child care location.
The consultation visit involves an environmental inspection of the site to determine if there are any potential issues and ensure that the location and/or building is properly equipped for operations. A planner from CPHD will also be in attendance to briefly review any preliminary land use issues associated with the site.
Step 2: Licensing Orientation
Please contact the Child Care Services office to register for an in-person Licensing Orientation AFTER the consultation visit has been completed.
The Licensing Orientation will provide information on:
- Health and Safety requirements
- Child care licensing process, rules, and all requirements
The Licensing Orientation is held at Arlington County Child Care Services on 2100 Washington Blvd, 3rd Floor, Arlington, VA 22204. The orientation is typically scheduled quarterly on the third Wednesday of the month. Children are not permitted at the licensing orientation. You will not be able to attend if you bring your children.
*Completion of the in-person Licensing Orientation is required prior to applying for a child care license. A copy of your certificate must be submitted with your application. Certificates will only be given to those individuals who complete the session.
Step 3: Initial Application
Only upon successful completion of Step 1, will an applicant be provided with an application. You must submit the following documents when seeking licensure:
- Child Care Center Application.
- Copy of Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
- Copy of fire and health inspection
- Floor plans and a site plan or sketch
- Asbestos Statement (if applicable)
- Written confirmation of program director qualifications
- Staff Roster and New Staff forms
- Evidence of required insurance coverage
- Organization Structure Documents (if applicable)
*Note this is not a comprehensive list of all application requirements.
Step 4: Required Trainings
The following trainings are required prior to licensure:
- Virginia Pre-Service Training for Child Care Staff
- Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect (For Educators).
- First Aid and CPR certification.
- Daily Health Observation (DHO) training.
- If center is administering medication, Medication Administration Training (MAT) .
Step 5: Required License/Permits
You must apply for the following license/permits:
- Business License
- Certification of Occupancy (CO)
- Special exception use-permit
You must contact Virginia Department of Social Services for licensure information.
Step 6: Validation Inspection
Prior to license validation the child care center should have developmentally appropriate materials and equipment, and cots/cribs. The child care center must have adequate supplies for the number of children enrolled.
A Child Care Licensing Specialist will contact you to schedule an appointment to conduct a home inspection to determine compliance with Arlington County Code Chapter 52: Child Care Centers. After the inspection is completed, you will receive an inspection report that will identify compliance or non-compliance with licensing regulations.
The following documentation should be available onsite at the facility during the validation visit:
- Staff Background Checks
- Children’s Records
- Staff Records
- Health Inspection
- Samples forms
Step 7: License Issuance
When all the licensure requirements have been met, a child care center license* will be issued.
The hours of operation, age range, and the number of children you can care for will be included on the license. Your child care center license must be renewed every two years. You must have a valid license before you can take care of children or you shall be subject to civil penalties for an illegal operation of child care.
*A Conditional License will be issued to NEW APPLICANTS for a period of six months to allow time for all requirements to be met. If at the end of the six month conditional period, the licensee is in full compliance with Chapter 52: Child Care Centers, a regular license will be issued.
**Please allow 3-6 months to complete the licensure process.**
- Sworn Statement or Affirmation for Child Day Programs
- Request for Search of the Child Protective Services (CPS) Central Registry
- Out-of-State CPS Central Registry Check