Children’s Health & Mental Health
VAAEYC supports continued implementation of STEP-VA, the plan for improving statewide community-based mental health services for all ages, regardless of insurance status. The General Assembly signaled its commitment to STEP-VA by partially funding same-day access to mental health services during the 2017 session.
Virginia Quality Rating Improvement System
VAAEYC supports continuation and expansion of the Virginia Quality Rating Improvement System. It provides parents with a tool for selecting high-quality early childhood care and education programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and raises the quality of participating early childhood programs.
Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)
VAAEYC supports the adoption of research-based income criteria for VPI eligibility that allows for some local flexibility in eligibility decisions. We also encourage incentives for local school divisions to make use of VPI funding that is already in place. VAAEYC supports a per pupil rate to reflect true cost of quality.
Child Care Assistance
VAAEYC supports additional funding to make child care affordable and accessible to all low income working families. Additional funding will increase the number of children served and move the state toward fair market reimbursement rates to providers.
Public Private Partnerships
VAAEYC endorses public/private partnerships in child care and early education settings that demonstrate quality via a high level of attainment in the “Virginia Quality” system or NAEYC accreditation.
Standards of Care
VAAEYC supports continued efforts to improve the safety of child care including national fingerprint background checks and enhanced penalties for non-compliance with regulations. Vaaeyc supports the continued steps by VDSS to improve licensing standards.
Home Visiting and Early Intervention
Home visiting services for eligible pregnant women and families with infants currently meet only 8 per cent of the state-wide need. VAAEYC supports the efforts of the new Home Visiting Consortium to expand highly effective home visiting programs that help parents become their child’s first teacher and that help communities build infrastructure and target local needs.
VAAEYC supports adequate funding of Early Intervention (Part C) to promote the healthy development of babies and toddlers so that young children with developmental delays reach their full potential
Scholarships and Training for Early Learning Professionals
?We encourage an increased emphasis on training in developmentally appropriate practices for all professionals educating children from birth through age eight. We also support VDSS continued efforts to improve child care professional training. VAAEYC supports continued and increased funding of scholarships for students in early childhood training to assist individuals in obtaining appropriate credentials.