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Virginia Quality

TCC is the Eastern Region lead for Virginia Quality

Quality learning experiences begin at home with parents as the first and most important teachers. Virginia Quality was created to improve access and help parents find high quality child care programs throughout Virginia.

Tidewater Community College is committed to identifying and improving quality in early care and education settings across the Eastern Region to prepare children for success in school and life.

Virginia Quality Logo

In partnership with municipality-led coalitions Children’s Harbor and Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater, TCC strives to:

  • Identify the high quality early child care and education programs that already exist
  • Improve the access and quality of early care available in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Region
  • Provide resources and support for childhood programs
  • Ensure excellence in teacher preparation, improve consumer awareness

Children’s Harbor and Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater work regionally to ensure access to quality early care. Within each municipality, early childhood work is carried out by city coalitions, connecting parents and children with resources, and assisting in the recruitment of early care programs to participate in Virginia Quality.

The coalitions are:Chesapeake R U Ready, Portsmouth Reads, Suffolk Early Childhood Development Commission, and Virginia Beach Grow Smart.

Virginia Quality helps parents define quality early childhood care for their family. Our standards and different levels set the stage for quality improvement.

Each level reached by a program certifies that the program is reaching beyond the requirements of the minimum licensing standards, demonstrating a commitment to provide high quality care and learning experiences for young children.

Early Childhood Professionals
Virginia Quality is a free and voluntary program. Early childhood professionals are vital to ensuring that young children are prepared for success. Whether you own or work at a child care center or family day home, Tidewater Community College and Virginia Quality can support you and your work with the community’s youngest citizens. Virginia Quality was created to help programs improve overall quality and communicate that commitment to families.  

Quality Levels
Programs will be able to advance through the five quality levels at their own pace. Early childhood programs will receive support, coaching, and training at every level. This includes assistance with environment, interactions between students and staff, and establishing developmentally appropriate practices within curriculum.

LEVEL 1: Basic Health & Safety
LEVEL 2: Education & Qualifications
LEVEL 3: Curriculum & Assessment
LEVELS 4 & 5: Environment & Interactions

At each level, programs will complete certain activities and meet established criteria to move forward within the process to engage in quality improvement. These criteria define the standards by which the program will be assessed and the required improvement activities help lay the foundation for future levels.

Click here for a detailed look at the new Virginia Quality framework, standards, criteria, and required activities.

Fast Track – Move directly to Level 3!
Virginia Quality now has a “Fast Track” option that will recognize programs whose quality is already being accredited by an organization that meets or exceeds Virginia Quality’s eligibility requirements. These organizations include: Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), Head Start (including Early Head Start), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and AdvanceEd. As long as these programs meet the basic eligibility requirements, they can join Virginia Quality and immediately advance to Level 3!

Training & Technical Assistance (TA)
Programs will have access to a variety of TA options and individuals with targeted expertise, so that quality improvement can be customized by program. Virginia Quality Technical Assistance Providers are trained and qualified early childhood professionals dedicated to working with programs on improving quality.

The Eastern Region provides multiple opportunities for training and technical assistance for early childhood professionals engaged in Quality Improvement, including:

  • A network of support and outreach from early childhood professionals
  • Scholarships
  • Training opportunities
  • Access to online training modules and certificates
  • Resources and materials
  • Competitive marketing advantages

Virginia Department of Social Services Provider Scholarship Program

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) Project Pathfinders Scholarship Program

  • Children’s Harbor – A nonprofit organization advocating for all children to have access to quality early-care and education.
  • Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater – A collaboration comprised of three localities: City of Franklin, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County focused on readying children for school and for life.
  •  Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore – A collaboration focusing on: Northampton and Accomack Counties on the Eastern Shore collaborating on readying children for school and for life.
  • Paul D Camp Community College – Serving Franklin, Suffolk & Smithfield with an Early Childhood curriculum designed to prepare students for the care, supervision, and education of young children.
  • Eastern Shore Community College – Serving Accomack and Northampton with an Early Childhood Education Program designed to prepare graduates to work in education and childcare settings.
  • Chesapeake R U Ready? – City initiative to connect families with the resources to help their children succeed in school.

How can you participate in improving the quality of care for children in our region?

  • As a parent, ask if your child’s care provider is participating. If not, encourage them to learn more about and enroll.
  • As a director of an early care program, contact TCC’s Eastern Region Coordinator.
  • As a community member, learn more about Virginia Quality and early childhood education.

Contact Us

Heather Kitsis
Virginia Quality Eastern Region Coordinator

On a state-level, Virginia Quality is a system administered jointly by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundations and the Office of Early Childhood Development as a voluntary quality assessment and improvement project for child care. Visit for more information.