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VCCA and Advocacy

VCCA and our members are committed to the delivery of high-quality early childhood education and care – that’s accessible for families in Virginia. To achieve this, we advocate for fair and reasonable rules and regulations related to licensing, safety and reimbursement policies that do not drive up costs, create burdensome policies, or inhibit providers’ ability to deliver exceptional quality and care for children and families.

VCCA works in tandem with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to ensure high-quality, safe, and dependable early care and education is provided in our state. We’ve built, and maintain, a strong relationship with the VDOE to provide professional feedback and shape policies and regulations where needed in the industry.

Through legislative, rules and policy change, VCCA’s goals are to:

  • Determine program quality through multiple pathways, not solely through a government-only endorsed rating system. Quality looks different in different programs – and the state should not be sole authority in determining quality.
  • Honor parent choice. VDOE should work to support all early education programs and ensure that families have the ultimate say on where they want to enroll their children.
  • Provide parents with objective education and information – so long as it does not steer parents to one program over another.
  • Ensure licensure is the gold standard. Licensure guarantees safety AND quality for children and families. Unlicensed programs offering “after school” programs should not use public-funded facilities.
  • Elevate professionalism and transparency in our industry. From collaboration and sharing information to scheduled appointments for centers undergoing a state licensing renewal, VCCA seeks policies that improve working relationships between centers, the VDOE and their inspectors.
  • Improve reimbursement policy. Timely and accurate market rate payments for care and services should be provided. VCCA supports an improved process for reconciling discrepancies with the state to guarantee payment to a provider who is owed for services rendered.

Advocacy in Action

VCCA works to pass, stop or change legislation and regulations through lobbying, grassroots advocacy, and engagement on state boards and commissions.

Matt Benedetti is VCCA’s lobbyist, meeting with legislators from both chambers during session and out of session to advocate on behalf of VCCA.

Benita Petrella (Board member) serves on the Commission on Early Childhood Care & Education. Clark Andrs (Board member) serves as vice chair of the Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) which makes recommendations to the State Board of Education on policies regarding early childhood education. Clark was previously appointed to the DOE work group rewriting Child Care State Licensing Regulations.

And, for grassroots advocacy, we DEPEND on YOU. Emails, letters and messages from childcare providers are often the most persuasive way to educate and inform lawmakers.

Virginia Child Care Association (VCCA) is a statewide, nonprofit membership organization of business leaders, directors, and teachers of privately owned and operated early education facilities.

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