Serving Families

Family Support

You are your child’s first and most important teacher. The time you spend with your child and the healthy environment you create will ensure their success in school and in life.

  • A safe environment at home and school and good health and nutrition support early learning.
  • Talk, sing, read and play with your child. Your child learns by hearing sounds and words from birth. The more you talk, the more they learn.
  • When children play games or use their imagination, they are learning important skills.
  • Spark curiosity and creativity. Ask your child questions that can’t be answered by just “yes” or “no.” Instead of just asking “Do you see that pretty bird?” add “What other things fly?”


Is your child’s center participating in VQB5?

Check out our local area’s list. If you are moving, or have a family member or friend in another region in Virginia, you can see all of Virginia’s participating centers here.

Q Tips: What to Look For in Quality

Q Tip 1:

What to Look for in Quality Interactions

Children who are busily involved with activities AND teachers who are engaging them as they work and play. Look to see whether teachers engage children during mealtimes and routines as well.

Q Tip 2:

What to Look for in Quality Interactions

Teachers who seem patient and understanding as they interact with children. Look for teachers who are asking the children questions and listening carefully to their answers before responding.

Q Tip 3:

What to Look for in Quality Interactions

If possible, observe the start of the children’s day. In high quality programs, teachers welcome children warmly and enthusiastically. You may want to ask about the program’s policies for introducing new children to a classroom or home, or how they handle children who have a hard time saying goodbye in the morning.

Q Tip 4:

What to Look for in Quality Interactions

If you are able to observe for a few hours, look for opportunities for children to make choices throughout their play and learning. Do children get to choose where they sit, what materials they use, which peers to play with? If you are not able to see this for yourself, you might ask the program about the children’s day to find out more.

Q Tip 5:

What to Look for in Quality Interactions

If you are looking for care for your infant or young toddler, ask about whether children are cared for on individual schedules and how the teachers navigate that with multiple children in their care. If you can ,observe a diaper change and take note of whether teachers use this caregiving routine as an opportunity for conversation or other interaction.

Q Tip 6:

What to Look for in Quality Spaces

Look for low, open shelves with toys and learning materials that are easily accessible to young children. When materials are stored at a child’s level, it invites children to be more actively involved in their learning and play.

Q Tip 7:

What to Look for in Quality Spaces

Look for a classroom or home that’s arranged into several different learning or activity centers. For example, look for a dedcated are for blocks or dramatic play, and a cozy area for relaxing and reading books.

Q Tip 8:

What to Look for in Quality Spaces

Look for outdoor areas that are sage and stimulating. Playing outside is an excellent way to practice problem-solving, build motor skills and coordination, and help children learn about and navigate social relationships.

Q Tip 9:

What to Look for in Quality Spaces

Look for (or ask about) a wide variety of interesting children’s books in the classroom or home. It is important that books are age-appropriate and available for children to look at on their own. Also ask if there are daily opportunities for children and teachers to enjoy books together.

Q Tip 10:

What to Look for in Quality Spaces

Look for “messy” or “loud” activities like music, art and sensory play (such as sand and water). High quality programs are busy, productive places.

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