Virginia childcare laws puts the onus on parents - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Virginia childcare laws puts the onus on parents

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BEDFORD COUNTY -

The Mowles are like a lot of families in southwest and central Virginia, in transition.

Lyn is starting a new job this week closer to her home in Moneta and that means finding a new daycare center for her four-year-old son Carson.

"It's been nerve racking for us," she said. "Worrying about him transitioning to a new place."

Lyn and her husband Seth say they've been looking at larger centers for educational opportunities.

"We actually like the education environment and like for him to have peers to interact with," Seth said.

Experts say when it comes to daycare it's critical parents are informed.

Daycare facilities are not required to be licensed in Virginia unless six or more kids are being taken care of.

That makes Virginia one of only eight states that doesn't require some kind of licensing for all childcare.

"You have to have so many hours of training before you can cut someone's hair. But you can walk in off the street if someone thinks you can take care of a child and that's not always the case," said Donna Foley, a local coordinator for Childcare Aware of Virginia.

The non-profit group provides childcare resources for parents in the Commonwealth.

While Foley believes some type of licensing should exist in all childcare facilities, she said ultimately it's up to the parents to pick the best environment.

"It's not a licensed or registered or unregulated thing," she said. "It's really that parents really have to do their due diligence."

That's advice that the Mowles said they will be taking to heart, as they continue their daycare search for Carson.

"It's one where we want to do what's best for Carson and for us," she said. "It's not just convenience."