Family day home care is the most common form of child care in this country, especially for younger children. Parents may choose family child care for its intimate, home-like setting, flexible hours, consistency of care-giver, and small group size.The Code of Virginia mandates the licensure of family day homes that provide care for six to twelve children (exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home).
‚Äč The care may be offered in the home of the provider or in the home of any of the children in care.During the (less than 24 hour) absence of a parent or guardian, the licensed family day home provider assumes responsibility for the supervision, protection, and well-being of a child under 13 years of age.Licensing standards, which are proposed by the State Board of Social Services and enforced by the Division of Licensing Programs, ensure that the activities, services, and facilities of the family day home are conducive to the welfare of the children in care.
(referenced from daycare.com)

unlicensed  In-Home Care



  • Can watch up to 4 unrelated (to provider) children, in addition to an unlimited number of children related (by blood) to the provider.
  • Never subjected to state unannounced visits
  • Not checked for working smoke detectors or an emergency plan.
  • No background check conducted
  • Sex offender registry is not check
  • No CPR, first aid or safe sleep training required
  • No child care education courses required

DO you know the differences in licensed vs unlicensed in-home daycares, in va?

licensed facility and in-home CHild Care



  • Can watch children, up to 16 "points", provider's children are counted in the point system.  Each age group of child is a different "point".  (Please see the tab, "How many kids can my provider watch?"
  • Adult to child ratios apply to facility daycares - they do not abide by a point system.
  • Subject to 2 unannounced, facility checks, yearly
  • Must have working smoke detectors and an emergency plan in place.
  • Subject to a name based background check
  • Sex offender registry is checked (Eff. 7/1/2015)
  • Must be CPR, first aid and safe sleep trained
  • Must complete 20 hours of child care education courses