Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition assistance is provided to families on a needs basis. Income is the most common reason for acceptance, however, other family circumstances, including special education needs, may make you eligible. 

This is not a Head Start program. Head Start is a federally funded program that is administered by the public school system. VAELP models the program after the traditional public school preschool program.

Virginia Early Learning Partners is a 501c3, non-profit that is part of the Henrico Education Foundation (HEF). The organization is not operated by the state. VAELP partners with the Virginia Department of Education to ensure that the public/private partners provide equivalent programs for their students. 

No. At this time VAELP and HCPS use a quality matrix in combination with an area needs assessment to bring childcare programs on. We currently utilize more than 20 sites and look to expand the programs annually. 

Virginia has developed a quality rating and improvement system that all VAELP programs must participate.

Selecting and monitoring a childcare provider is the right and responsibility of the parent or guardian. Providers listed with VAELP are regulated by the Virginia Department of Education. Providers have been screened, evaluated, and receive ongoing training through VAELP, however, VAELP neither guarantees nor endorses specific providers.

Virginia Early Learning Partners utilizes state and federal grants to provide a portion of the spaces that are funded each year. Additional slots are available through a partnership with Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) that allows for Virginia Preschool Initiative dollars to pay for tuition at select private childcare centers.

Yes! We encourage families to utilize VAELP to cover the portion of the day that is designated as school hours, (Following the HCPS school calendar) and obtaining childcare subsidy through DSS for the additional hours and days that care is needed. The combination of funding allows for parents to choose a high quality center for full days and a full year program.

All pre-K students are expected to attend regularly and consistently. If a child has a pattern of being chronically late, leaving school early or being absent, the assigned program staff will contact parents and guardians to schedule meetings, provide support and set goals.

Visit our Preschool Years page for complete information on the application process. 

Contact Information:
For the fastest response to any questions regarding VAELP programs, email You may also call our office at (804) 877-9413. Please be aware that because of the large volume of calls we receive, email is the most efficient way to communicate.