Falls Church is the smallest independent city in Virginia but has one of the highest population growth rates, as more people are moving in than out. Falls Church is home to more than 14,000 residents with a median household income of $115,000. It has the lowest level of poverty of all independent cities and counties in the nation. There are 224 regulated child care facilities in Falls Church that support the fast-growing population, including state-licensed and county-permitted home daycares as well as child care centers. Full-time infant care costs an average of $12,480 annually in Falls Church. To find out the average cost of daycare in your zip code, click here to use our daycare cost calculator
Falls Church maintains historic buildings, cultural centers, gorgeous parks, and trails. The city offers year-round recreational and cultural events for all ages. Furthermore, the proximity to Washington DC allows an easy commute to work. Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia regulate child care programs in Falls Church. A child care provider serving two or more families in the same location is required to secure a Fairfax County permit or State license. County permits allow facilities to care for a maximum of 4 non-resident children and a State license is mandatory for facilities with more than 4 non-resident children. Operating a child care facility outside of these regulations is unlawful. Providers should notify parents in writing if the child care facility is not licensed or permitted.
Regulated child care facilities provide a healthy, safe, and caring environment for children. Child care directors and staff offer developmentally appropriate activities to help children achieve academic excellence and develop to their fullest potentials. All staff members pass comprehensive background checks, a health screening, and get the required training for the job. Regulated facilities also meet legal requirements for building and functional design as well as undergo a fire inspection. Child Care centers and center-based preschools are typically larger than home-based programs. They maintain a maximum number of children according to the size of the facility to give ample space for play and learning activities for each child. Licensing specialists conduct on-site inspections to monitor the implementation of standards and to investigate any complaints against providers.
Falls Church is home to 31 state-licensed child care centers
and 193 home daycares
(including 130 homes with a Fairfax County permit and 63 state-licensed child care homes). Infant care costs an average of $240 per week in home-based daycares and $210 per week in centers (though data is limited for centers and may be inaccurate). The cost of child care for older children is typically lower, around $210 per week for 4-year old preschoolers in home-based facilities. Fairfax County has an Early Head Start program for infants and toddlers as well as a traditional Head Start program for older children. They have been developed to ensure that children from low-income families have access to quality early childhood education. It is important to note that the program's spots are issued based on family needs. However, low-income families who are unable to enroll their children in such programs are eligible for financial assistance. Falls Church is home to 28 early childhood education programs that accept government subsidy vouchers.
Choosing a child care and preschool
program is an important decision which involves many different factors such as budget, work schedule, language, and other special needs. There are 13 faith-based child care facilities in Falls Church that include religious teaching through stories, songs, dance, drama, and arts. The city has 5 facilities with a bilingual or language immersion program where children get the opportunity to learn not only a foreign language but also understand another culture. Children with disabilities are welcome in any of the 11 all-inclusive facilities that are designed to welcome children with special needs. There are 16 facilities in Falls Church offering before and after school care, and 16 peanut-free daycares to care for children with allergies.