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Arlington will not make daycare cuts to close budget gap

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – In an effort to close Arlington County’s $25-50 million budget gap for fiscal year 2014, the county manager wanted to get rid of the Office of Child Care. But after a public outcry, Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada says that’s not an option and that the cuts will happen elsewhere.

The Child Care Office inspects childcare facilities and trains daycare providers, and would have had to shut down due to the budget cuts. If it did, then the county would have had to rely on state standards, as other communities do.

Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria are the only communities in Virginia that regulate small home daycare facilities, which have five kids or less. But the Board Chairman says inspections, training and background checks will continue.

Parents might be breathing a sigh of relief. However, a national child care advocacy group has given the state a failing grade of an “F” for its standards of home daycare facilities.

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