Child Care Crisis: More Families Depending on In-Home Providers

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More than 5,000 Washington, D.C.-area child care centers remain closed, some of which will never reopen, according to a review of state records by the News4 I-Team.

The industry is suffering a growing economic crisis fueled by COVID-19 safety restrictions, capacity reductions, uncertainty over schools reopening and mass layoffs of parents who typically require child care.

Many families will be left scrambling to find child care once they are expected to return to work, and home child care centers may be the answer.

Experts say it’s important to do your homework and make sure the home provider you choose is properly licensed or registered with the state.

Home child care providers in D.C. and Maryland are required to be licensed. However, Maryland has waived licensing for new home child care providers during the pandemic. The state is also offering grants of up to $1,000 for new providers to become licensed once the state of emergency has ended.

In Virginia, home child care providers must be licensed if they have 5 or more children in their care. Providers in Alexandria, Arlington County and Fairfax County have additional requirements.

Here are some resources to help you find a provider:


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Maryland: Find a child care provider

Virginia: Find a child care provider

D.C.: Find a licensed child care facility

Fairfax County: Find a child care provider

Arlington County: Find a child care provider

Alexandria: Find a child care provider

National Association of Family Child Care

Becoming a Home Child Care Provider

If you are interested in starting your own home child care business, you need to know the rules and regulations where you live. Check out these resources to learn more about becoming a family child care provider:

Maryland: How to become a family child care provider

Maryland: Grant information

Virginia: How to become a family child care provider

D.C.: How to become a home child care provider

Fairfax County: How to become a family child care provider

Arlington County: How to open a home child care center

Alexandria: Requirements and standards for family child care homes

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