Community Education and Provider Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
703-324-8100 TTY 711
Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, 8th Floor
Fairfax, VA 22035
H. Jene Moore

Frequently Asked Questions for New Family Child Care Providers

banner community education and provider services adult interacting with children

What are the benefits of being a permitted family child care provider?

  • Becoming a permitted family child care provider allows you to earn a living while staying at home with your own children and care for young children of other working families.
  • Our staff will help you get your business started and provide access to early childhood professional development opportunities and business development resources that can help you establish a successful home-based child care business.
  • As a small business owner, you can receive tax benefits and will also be eligible to participate in the USDA Child and Adult Care Programs, the child care subsidy programs, and other valuable programs that can support your family child care program.
Child Care Permit
  • What type of documentation is acceptable for the background check requirement?
    One document from each category:
    • ONE: Picture identification
      • Passport, U.S. or Foreign
      • Passport card - U.S. only
      • State issued identification card
      • United States military identification card 
      • Work Visa with photo

    • TWO: Secondary identification
      • State issued identification card
      • United States military identification card
      • Social Security card
      • Bank statement
      • Utility bill
      • Credit card
      • Marriage Certificate
      • Vehicle registration
      • State government Issued Certificate of Birth
      • Passport, U.S. or Foreign
      • Federal Government Personal Identity Verification
      • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
      • Certificate of Naturalization
      • US Permanent Resident card with photograph
      • Temporary Resident Identification card

  • What is needed to get CPS forms notarized? (Central Registry Search)
    • Any of the following unexpired documents:
      • State issued driver’s license 
      • Passport, U.S. or foreign
      • Passport card - U.S. only
      • State issued identification card 
      • United States military identification card 
      • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
      • Certificate of Naturalization
      • U.S. Permanent Resident card with photograph

  • Do I have to have my CPR/FA certification, TB test results, children’s immunizations or my pet’s rabies vaccine record before I submit my application?
    You do not need to have your CPR/First Aid certification completed before you submit your permit application. You will need to complete an in-person class and submit the CPR/First Aid certificate to our office for verification before your family child care permit can be issued.  
    If you need information on where to find approved classes, please visit our website: Health Resources for Child Care Providers, Office for Children (
    In addition, CPR/First Aid certification, TB test results, children’s immunizations or pet’s rabies vaccine records must be submitted within 90 days of our office receiving the application.

  • What is the application fee?
    The permit application fee is $14.00.

  • What are the fees for the background checks?
    The fee for the fingerprint national background check is $27.00 per adult (18 years and over.)  The $27.00 fee may be paid by check, money order or cashier’s check, please make checks payable to “County of Fairfax, VA” and submit with your application. You will receive instructions on how to schedule your fingerprint appointment after you submit your completed permit application to our office.  Please note that when you schedule your appointment, there will be a separate service fee of $8.72 that you will pay online.

  • How soon can I start providing child care?
    You may start providing child care services as soon your permit is issued in our office. It takes a few days for your actual permit to arrive in the mail. Therefore, if you would like to start your child care service as soon as possible, please call our office at 703-324-8100 to see if your permit has been issued.
Home Visits
  • What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment or home visit with a child care specialist from the Office for Children?
    The Office for Children provides a Preparing for Your Home Visit checklist that will help you get ready with everything you need. If you have additional questions, please call our office at 703-324-8100.

  • How long will it take after the home visit from my child care specialist until I receive my permit?
    The time it takes to receive your permit depends upon how quickly all requirements are met. This includes a successful home health and safety visit and fire safety inspection, up-to-date CPR/first aid certification, TB screenings and successful background checks with associated fees. Once we have all the necessary documentation in our office, it typically takes less than one month after the child care specialist visit to receive your permit.

  • What happens during the Fire Safety Inspection visit?
    The fire safety visit will check your home to ensure all requirements of the Code Compliance Guidelines for home child care facility are met. Learn more about preparing for your fire inspector home visit.
Managing Your Child Care Business
  • Does the Office for Children send children for enrollment in my child care program?
    Having a valid family child care permit means that you are now a small business owner. It is up to you to build, market and grow your business. The Office for Children can provide you with resources to help you build your business, however it does not “send” children to your program. The Women’s Business Center in Springfield, Virginia can provide additional resources to help you develop your business.

  • How much should I charge for my child care services?
    The Office for Children conducts an annual survey that can be helpful when you are determining the rates you will charge per child. Child care rates across Fairfax County. How much you charge families for your child care services is a decision that you must make for your business.

  • Do I need to set up a contract with each family served by my business?
    Having a contract for each family is strongly encouraged. A contract is a way to ensure that you and the families served by your family child care program have a clear understanding of the services you provide and the compensation you expect for those services. It is a way to minimize any misunderstanding between you and the families of children you serve. You will receive a sample copy of a family child care business contract in the Provider Notebook you will be given during your initial home safety visit from your child care specialist. You may also call our office at 703-324-8100 to request a sample contract.

  • How do I market my business to attract customers? May I put up a sign in my front yard?
    Both the Office for Children and the Women’s Business Center offer training and resources to help you develop and market your business. In Fairfax County, the zoning ordinance does not allow signs to be placed in your yard to market your business.

  • Does every adult living in my home (including renters) have to have a background check and TB test?
    Yes, the county ordinance requires that any adult who lives in the home must complete a successful background check and provide documentation that they are free of active tuberculosis. This requirement applies to all adults in the residence, including any renters or tenants. (All residents 14 years and older are also required to complete the Central Registry Search – CPS.)
  • What type of training do I need to become a permitted family child care provider?
    Early care and education professionals need training in a variety of areas including health, safety and early childhood development, in addition to courses to help you run a successful small business. Your child care specialist can help you choose the professional development courses that would be most useful for you. You will be required to take 16 hours of training in order to remain a permitted Fairfax County family child care provider.

  • Do I have to pay for training?
    The Office for Children’s Institute for Early Learning offers free professional development workshops that will help you meet your yearly training goals. You can also take additional courses through other organizations who may charge a fee to participate in their workshops.

  • Is online training allowed?
    Online training in areas relevant to early care and education is usually permitted. To verify that an online course would qualify for professional development hours, please contact your child care specialist at 703-324-8100 for assistance.

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