If you’re a Home or Center Childcare Provider or would like to be, The Planning Council can assist you in a variety of ways, from getting licensed and quality-rated to practicing appropriate safety and wellness.

One of our most important programs can help you feed healthy and nutritious meals and snacks to children under your care. 

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Planning Council sponsors the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and much of Virginia.  The Food Program, as it is often called, provides reimbursements, free training, professional development, and technical assistance to licensed childcare providers. Learn more about participating in the program and how The Planning Council can help you succeed by watching this video.


  • Reimbursements for qualified food purchases
  • Access to free training and professional development
  • Online menu planning tools
  • Technical assistance to insure full and timely reimbursements
  • Online resources, including exercise and activities, container gardening, special diets, etc.
  • Serves as a marketing tool for families looking for quality family childcare options


Don’t miss out on this important program that provides both financial and technical assistance.  Remember, habits start early so healthy eating should too.  Here’s how you can apply.  You must be a licensed or certified provider to participate in the CACFP.

Not licensed or certified yet?

See the links below to get started.

Family Childcare Provider Licensing & Registration

Depending on your location, there are different requirements for licensing and registration as a Family Childcare Provider.



In Virginia, licensing by the state is not required for all family childcare providers. However, in order to access resources, including the Food Program, quality ratings, and other programs, you must be licensed.



In Maryland, all family childcare providers must be registered and licensed. If you’re not yet licensed, contact the MD State Department of Education’s Office of Child Care Division.

Washington DC

Washington DC

In DC, all family childcare providers must be registered and licensed. If you’re not yet licensed, contact the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.


Take Your Business to the Next Level

If you’re already registered, then take your family childcare to the next level—get licensed!  In Virginia, if you want to provide care for 5 or more children in a home, you must be licensed.  Beginning July 1, 2016, you’ll need a license to care for 4 or more children, other than your own.

Becoming a licensed provider unlocks a world of resources to help you provide the highest quality childcare.  Here are some of the benefits of becoming licensed:

  • Access to free training and professional development
  • Technical assistance
  • Participation in Virginia Quality, the state’s voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System, and all of the training, learning, and coaching necessary to deliver high-quality services
  • Marketing leverage in being fully licensed
  • Participation in the USDA’s Food Program (CACFP)

Contact the Office of Child Care Health and Safety Virginia Department of Education or click the button below for more information.