School Readiness

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
703-324-8100 TTY 711
Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035
Flor Philips

For Early Care and Education Professionals

banner school readiness child playing with blocks

Early care and education professionals work in partnership with families to support young children's school readiness. Providing a high quality program supports children's success in kindergarten and beyond. There are resources available to help you, including:

The Virginia Infant-Toddler Specialist Network - a statewide, comprehensive network of specialists, who work to improve the quality of care and education infants and toddlers receive while in an early care and education program. Highly qualified specialists provide on-site training in family child care and center-based programs, assistance and referrals to other resources, and professional development opportunities. For additional information, please contact the Virginia Infant-Toddler Specialist Network to find a specialist.

The Fairfax County Office for Children provides an array of school readiness resources for early care and education professionals. Current and prospective family child care providers should contact OFC's Community Education and Provider Services program (CEPS) to obtain a child care permit and learn other useful information needed to launch and sustain a child care business.

Virginia Quality - Early care and education programs may voluntarily participate in Virginia Quality, formerly known as the Virginia Quality Rating and Improvement System (VQRIS). Programs participating in Virginia Quality have levels of quality indicated by Virginia's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Quality is determined by basic health and safety; staff education levels and qualifications; curriculum and assessment; and enrollment and interactions. Programs can use a rating as a tangible way to convey to parents the strengths of their program and the benefit to the children in their care.


Professional development improves the knowledge, skills and attitudes of early childhood educators. Highly competent professionals assure that young children receive high-quality early childhood programs. Many opportunities for early childhood professionals to increase their abilities are available through:

Institute for Early Learning (IFEL)

The Office for Children's Institute for Early Learning offers professional development opportunities to early childhood professionals in Fairfax County. Workshop sessions and webinars support quality early childhood programs. These continuing education opportunities also help meet the professional development requirements early childhood professionals need to maintain their license or permit.

Northern Virginia Community College

The Early Childhood Development Program offers a variety of opportunities for professional development for those working with or preparing to work with young children. The college offers two Associate in Applied Science degrees, an Associate in Science degree and certificates for infant and school age care and paraprofessional teacher assistant.

George Mason University

Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS) Early Childhood Education Studies Concentration offers students holding a Northern Virginia Community College associate's degree in applied science in early childhood development the opportunity to obtain a BIS in early childhood education studies and a minor in business.

Virginia Department of Social Services

The Virginia Department of Social Services provides guidance, resources and online professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals.


The following resources provide the latest research in early childhood education, best practices in supporting young children's school readiness and opportunities for professional development.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Northern Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children (NVAEYC)
NAEYC is a professional organization which promotes excellence in early childhood education.

ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) is a national, nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development.

The Fairfax County Public Library offers many programs and resources for children starting at birth that can help to foster a love of reading.

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) is a website providing school readiness information for families and the early learning community.

 Virginia Milestones for Child Development *
* 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, contact Office of Early Childhood Development, Virginia Department of Social Services, 801 E. Main St., Richmond, Virginia 23219-2901.

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