RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Richmond is in the early planning stages of a program that would make preschool low-cost or free for families.
The city’s Office of Children and Families said over half of Richmond Public School kindergarteners don’t benefit from current subsidized preschool programs. The office said that only families who make under a certain income can have access to preschool programs where the government helps pay for it, and the city wants to change that.
Daycare providers are being asked to fill out a survey that is going to help the city have a better understanding of exactly how much childcare and preschool is in the Richmond region.
The universal preschool program would apply to any family with a 3-year-old or 4-year-old child who needs full-day and affordable care, regardless of income. The city said a child would not have to go to a public preschool to receive financial help.
Three months ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a record-high number of 104,000 Americans who missed work because of childcare problems.
The city said daycare providers would not need any additional licenses or credentials to be part of the program, as long as they are fully licensed and part of the Unified Virginia Quality Birth to Five System (VQB5).
Daycare centers, also known as child day centers, will need their tax returns and payroll to fill out the survey, located online here. At-home daycare providers, also known as family day homes, can fill out the survey online here.