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It's a given that affordable quality childcare affects parents, but it has a huge effect on the community as a whole too. Without readily accessible childcare, parents can't work, employers are left short-staffed, and the flow of everyday life for the community is disrupted.

Join us at Court Square on October 28 to see what a day without childcare really means for you and the rest of our community.



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 Finding quality care can be harder than you think. Highly trained child care providers, well-resourced programs, and developmentally appropriate curriculum and environments all play into the quality of care that is available to parents.

Low quality care limits the opportunities for young children to develop to their fullest potential. The first five years of a child's life set the stage for future success as learners. Access to high quality child care affects future dropout rates and costs to school systems. 


  • Learn about childcare programs in our community.

  • Look for licensed or Virginia Quality rated programs in your area.
  • Call preferred childcare programs to ask questions.
  • Talk to friend’s neighbors and others parents for referrals.
  • Visit your preferred programs with your child while other children are there.
  • Commit to choosing quality childcare.
  • Hear from the Regional Virginia Quality Director about the quality rating system in our area.


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When it comes to child care, there’s a cost to everyone. Parents in our area pay between $8-9,000 annually for infant care and over $7000 per year for preschoolers.  Child care providers earn among the lowest wages of any employed member of our community.

When no child care is available, there’s another cost.  Parents lose income when they have to stay home to watch their children.  Employers are short-staffed with lower productivity.  Community members lose access to services while paying more for consumable goods.

Limited access to high quality care also affects future costs. Increases in grade retention and student drop-out rates grow, increasing the cost to school systems and the communities that fund them.


  • Meet our regional Child Care Aware representative.
  • Talk with local child care providers about the costs of their programs.
  • Learn about the Return on Investment with high quality care.
  •  Ask about the impact of quality care on children’s development and learning.


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 Childcare Programs in Virginia (Click below for link to full map)

Childcare Programs in Virginia (Click below for link to full map)

Who receives care and who is left behind? The availability for high quality care is limited which means fewer spaces for children. Once programs are full, where can families go?


  • Meet Grace Reef, Early Learning Policy Group, LLC.
  • Talk with child care providers about the programs in our area.
  • Learn about local childcare centers availability.
  • Learn about options for childcare in your area.
  • Learn about access to quality in our community. 
  • Meet Sharon Shuttle, Harrisonburg City Schools’ Early Learning Services Coordinator, to learn about programs in our city’s schools.