Department of Family Services - Office for Children

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035

Betsi Closter,

Institute for Early Learning (IFEL)

banner office for children child smiling

Institute for Early Learning (IFEL)

The Institute for Early Learning offers professional learning opportunities for educators working with children. Courses, workshops and online sessions provide educational opportunities that support quality learning experiences and quality learning environments for children of all ages. These continuing education classes also help meet professional development requirements for permitting and licensing.


IFEL Classes

2018 July Institute for Early Learning Classes Cover
2018 July Classes *

2018 August Institute for Early Learning Classes Cover
2018 August Classes *

* Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3044 or TTY 711.

banner Introduction to Early Childhood Certficate
The Office for Children offers a 48-hour Introduction to Early Childhood Certificate Program. The four courses in this program explore developmentally appropriate approaches to early education and provide many opportunities for educators to integrate knowledge and strategies into their daily practice.


Registration Information

Registration for professional learning courses offered by the Office for Children Institute for Early Learning (IFEL) is available at 2 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month for courses that begin in the following month. This includes Institute for Early Learning courses and Family Child Care Business workshops.

If you are an educator in a center-based program in Fairfax County, you may enroll in six IFEL courses throughout the year (January – December). Up to five educators from the same center-based program may enroll in the same course. If more than five educators from the same center-based program wish to enroll in the same course, please contact us by email or call 703-324-3044.

If you are a family child care educator, you may enroll in six IFEL courses throughout the year (January – December) plus six Family Child Care Business Workshops for a total of 12 OFC courses.

NOTE: Please remember to cancel from a course, in advance of the start date, if you are unable to attend.

Registration is Available at 2 p.m. on the Second Wednesday of Each Month

Registration Start Date Month Courses Begin
June 13, 2018 July 2018
July 11, 2018 August 2018
August 8, 2018 September 2018
September 12, 2018 October 2018
October 10, 2018 November 2018
November 14, 2018 December 2018
December 12, 2018 January 2019
January 9, 2019 February 2019
February 13, 2019 March 2019
March 13, 2019 April 2019
April 10, 2019 May 2019
May 8, 2019 June 2019
June 12, 2019 July 2019


Register for Classes and Family Child Care Business Workshops

Online Registration

Automated Phone: 703-324-4018

Fax: 703-803-0116

Mail: Office for Children
12011 Government Center Parkway
Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035


Online Sessions and Webinars

The Institute for Early Learning offers professional development through online webinars. View information about each webinar and register for the webinars that are of interest to you.

For more information about online webinars, please call 703-324-3044.


Cancellation Policy

Classes may have to be cancelled due to circumstances that create unsafe conditions or for other unforeseen reasons.

When classes have to be cancelled, attempts are made to reschedule sessions, however, rescheduling is not always possible due to instructor schedules or the availability of the facility where the class is to be held.

When classes are cancelled, notification is provided in several ways, including:

  • Email: An email cancellation notice is sent to everyone enrolled in the class who has an email address in the OFC database. When email cancellation notices are sent, please respond to the email by clicking "reply" and sending a short response letting OFC know that you received the message and are aware of the cancellation.
  • Phone: For those who do not have an email address in the OFC database, class participants will be called. If someone does not answer the phone, a voice mail message will be left with details about the class cancellation.
  • Information Line: The greeting on the OFC information line 703-324-3044 is updated whenever a class is cancelled or rescheduled. Please listen to the entire message on this line if you call the office and no one is there to answer your call.

If you have any questions about the cancellation or rescheduling of a course, please send an email or call the OFC information line at 703-324-3044.


Frequently Asked Questions

For frequently asked questions about IFEL in general, registration or enrollment, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.


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