- Arlington’s population of children age 5 and under totals about 13,437 and is growing faster than the population overall.
- Total childcare capacity in Arlington is sufficient to serve 56% of Arlington’s total children under 5.
- In 68% of Arlington families with children under 5, all parents in the home are employed.
- Private Centers make up 24% and Family Care Homes make up 10% of childcare capacity.
Demand for child care in Arlington is high and the County is working with business owners and families to meet the increasing needs. Preliminary steps also are under way to map out a comprehensive Child Care Initiative that establishes an action plan to advance the availability, accessibility, and quality of childcare in Arlington. Look for news on this effort in the new year.
Child care centers and family day care homes are licensed by the Office of Child Care Services, and require several other permits, licenses and inspections to open. Facilities with a capacity of six or more children require County Board approval of a special exception use permit before a certificate of occupancy can be issued.
The County has seen a recent spike in child care use permit approvals, including four new requests that were approved at the October 2017 County Board meeting — that could result in care for up to 86 children. Between January and September 2017, seven other facilities were approved and plan to open with space for up to 477* total children. Of the new facilities, roughly half are in-home daycares and half are daycare centers.
The County provides many services to help centers and home child care providers get up and running, and is always looking for ways to make the process better. And once open, the County continues to provide supports to enhance program quality, including a series of free trainings for providers.
Looking for Child Care?
If you are a parent who works during these early years, choosing good child care is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your child. All children—especially infants and toddlers—need a child care setting where they can thrive with caregivers who understand how to promote their healthy growth and development. The Child Care Licensing Office has tips to help you find the perfect child care option.
You can use our online directories to find child care centers and family child care providers in Arlington County. The directories show providers on a map and include phone numbers and website links.
Child Care Subsidies
Through a cooperative program with the state, Arlington also offers child care subsidies to qualifying households. The subsidies help lower-income families participating in an approved activity, such as working or attending school.
More Resource & Information
- Opening a Child Care Center: Steps, Regulations and Applications
- Arlington County Child Care Services Licenses
- Use Permit Process: Requirements, Process and Application
- Business Licenses
- Certificate of Occupancy Process
- Child Care Frequently Asked Questions
*This number is estimated at the time of use permit approval. The final number of children permitted must be approved by Inspection Services during a certificate of occupancy inspection.