Virginia Unified Early Childhood System
To ensure that Virginia's most vulnerable children will thrive with equitable opportunities to develop the skills needed to be ready for school, Governor Northam signed legislation in July 2020 to establish the Virginia Unified Early Childhood System. The Virginia Department of Education is working to develop and implement this system over three years. The main goals of this new system are to unify quality standards, establish a unified measurement and improvement system, and realign funding to support children’s equitable opportunity for success. Family child care providers who participate in the Fairfax County's Early Head Start program, the Virginia Preschool Initiative, Virginia Quality and/or the child care subsidy program will be required to participate in this system by 2023. Providers who do not receive any public funds will have the option to participate.
In Fairfax County, the work towards supporting programs ready to participate in the Virginia Unified Early Childhood system is already underway. Courses and workshop sessions are being offered through the Institute for Early Learning (IFEL) on the implementation of curriculum and positive adult-child interactions, two nationally recognized indicators of quality.
The Office for Children will provide timely updates and information about the new system as they become available. For more information on the Unified Early Childhood System, visit doe.virginia.gov.