Child Care Options


The Office for Children offers information about hundreds of child care providers and hundreds of child care centers in Fairfax County. To find out which of these are available near you, go to our child care search page. The information below describes different types of child care arrangements you might consider when deciding what's best for you and your child.

Child Care Center
Cares for groups of 12 or more children in a non-residential setting. Usually children are grouped according to age (infant, toddler, preschool or school-age). The Virginia Department of Social Services licenses these programs.

Family Child Care
Home-based child care provided in the caregiver’s home. Family child care is usually managed independently by each provider who has a county permit or state license. Providers who participate in the USDA Food Program serve nutritious meals and snacks.

Family Child Care System
A network of individual family child care homes. Providers are screened, trained, and monitored by a state licensed system. In Fairfax County, Infant/Toddler Family Day Care of Northern Virginia provides this form of child care. They can be reached at 703-352-3449 or at www.infanttoddler.com Their providers are included in the on-line search information, listing the main office phone number.

Infant/Toddler Family Day Care also provides child care resource and referral services to the cities of Alexandria, Manassas, and Manassas Park as well as Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. Military families may also contact Infant/Toddler Family Day Care to find out more about applying for the subsidy available from the Department of Defense. For more information, call 571-321-0997 or 877-321-0997 or e-mail sskerman@infanttoddler.com.

Preschool or Nursery School
A partial day program serving young children, generally between the ages of 2½ and 5.

School Age Child Care
Care for school-age children before and after the regular school day. Some SACC centers also operate during school vacation breaks.

In-Home Child Care
Provided in a child’s own home by relatives or by a family employee, such as a nanny.


Next Steps

Find out how the following Office for Children programs can help you find child care:

Attend the next Choosing Child Care Seminar to learn more about these child care options.


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