COVID Update: Child Care

Licensed Child Programs Follow State Guidance

Based on the Governor’s directive and guidance issued from Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), child care programs may remain open at this time. They should, however, prioritize services for children of essential personnel, while asking all families to keep their children home if they can. Programs that remain open must comply with VDSS guidance on limiting group sizes to10 (including children and staff) and practice social distancing.


Will the County suspend family day care home and child care centers as a result of COVID-19?

Arlington Child Care Services will not suspend or mandate licensed programs to close in lieu of state-issued directives. Any decisions regarding child care program closures will be provided from the state level. Currently, child care programs have not been advised to closed. Programs are expected to remain open and to prioritize child care availability for essential personnel.

Our daycare provider is still requiring us to pay even though they are closed/my child is not attending. Am I still required to pay?

Child care contracts and payment arrangements are handled by the child care program directly and are not regulated by the licensing entity. Parents should be advised to review their contract and/or the program’s policies regarding child absences and payment options. Talk to your provider to explore options.

My child care program has more than 10 people and is not following the Governor’s guidelines. What can I do?

Child care programs shall be operating in accordance to the guidance issued by the Governor. If they are not in compliance, you may contact the Child Care Supervisor, Erika Gibson, at 703-228-1680 to file a complaint.

Is it safe to send my toddler/child to daycare during this time?

Child care programs may continue to operate; however, parents should monitor their child’s well-being and keep sick children home. Parents are encouraged to use their best judgement with regard to child care.

What are the requirements of in-home child care programs, regarding the number of people in the home while children are in care? Do household members count in the 10-person maximum capacity requirement?

Based on guidance from VDSS, each group must be limited to a maximum of 10 people, including children and staff. This is applicable specifically for areas where children are being cared for. Family members may be present in the home in areas that are separate from the children, in which case they will not be included in the 10-person capacity requirement.

How do you expect in-home programs to keep children 6 ft. apart from one another?

Programs will need to adjust their child care environments to adhere to social distancing of children. Some recommendations include:

  • Rearrange room(s) to promote individual play
  • Limit the group size (reducing the number of children in care)
  • Avoid mixing groups of children (separate by age)
  • Avoid group activities
  • Set up individual play stations/activities
  • Attempt to provide each child with their own toy and refrain from sharing
  • Discontinue activities that require close contact or touching

Can child care programs tell parents that they cannot come into the daycare?

Parents should be encouraged to drop their child at the door with a staff member and not enter the home or center to reduce the potential of spread of germs/communicable illnesses.

Are child care programs required to accept new families of essential personnel?

Child care programs should encourage families who are home to keep their children home with them and prioritize slots for essential personnel provided they can do so in compliance with group size, social distancing, and other requirements.

How can child care programs verify that a parent is considered essential personnel?

Enrollment documentation requires parents to document their place of employment. Also, programs can ask parents for employment verification documentation.