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What does this program do?

Our state's voluntary quality rating and improvement system allows parents to know a program's level before enrolling their child, and helps programs continually improve their quality. 

Smart Beginnings is a partner in our state's voluntary rating and improvement system. These systems exist in most states across the country and are a proven strategy to improve the quality of child care and early learning programs.



Quality Rating Standards

Participating programs receive a rating (Level 1–5), as well as a specialist to train teachers and guide administrators so they can work toward the next quality level.

Virginia Quality for Parents


How does Virginia Quality help you as a parent?

Now you can make a more informed decision when looking for a child care center, preschool or family child care home. Any program that is a Virginia Quality participant, no matter their level, has already demonstrated an important commitment to quality. It means you are placing your child with a provider that:

1) Has volunteered to be closely regulated

2) Receives mentoring and resources to continue improving its quality 


Virginia Quality means families can select programs according to their values and priorities. Programs are rated from Level 1 to Level 5. Research shows that quality child care and early learning programs positively impact children’s development, resulting in more success in school and life. Young children’s brains are built from the bottom up, with early experiences setting the stage for all later development.

Virginia Quality for Providers


How does Virginia Quality help you as a provider?

By voluntarily joining Virginia Quality, early learning programs show their staff, families, and community that they are committed to quality for young children. There is no fee to participate in Virginia Quality.

Virginia Quality events are for teachers who wish to improve their quality of teaching. Due to Virginia Quality bylaws, events are restricted from anyone who isn't authorized by officials. If you want access to Virginia Quality events or wish to be apart of Virginia Quality, email:

Virginia Quality sets standards for quality and provides a path for continuous quality improvement.

 The Virginia Quality Levels are a framework for program quality improvement. Each level builds on the one before it, and prepares programs for the level that comes next. Programs progress through the levels at their own pace, based on their current level of quality, and which aspects of quality they are ready to demonstrate next.

Be recognized and receive support for continuous quality improvement.

Early learning programs engaged in Virginia Quality:

  • Learn about and incorporate best practices in early education and care.

  • Receive recognition for existing quality work with children and families.

  • Develop practical goals and strategies to guide program improvement.

  • Access professional development, technical assistance, and grants linked to achieving and maintaining quality.

  • Communicate to families the good work you do every day and your work to continually improve quality


Are you ready to apply to be a Virginia Quality program?

1. Review the Standards
2. Check the Eligibility Requirements
3. Complete the New Provider Request
4. A Virginia Quality Coordinator will contact you with additional information

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