The City of Richmond’s Office of Children and Families (OCF) was established in 2021 and aims to ensure that Richmond is the very best place to grow up and raise a family.
The OCF's main priority areas are as follows:
- Maternal and Infant Well-Being
- Early Childhood Care and Education
- Positive Youth Development
- Out-of-School Time
- Post Secondary Success
Universal Preschool Frequently Asked Questions
What is universal preschool?
“Universal preschool” will mean that every 3- and 4-year-old child who needs it will be able to enroll in a quality preschool program at no or low cost to their families. Right now, only families who make under a certain income benefit from subsidized preschool programs; over half of incoming RPS kindergarteners do not benefit from these programs.
In Richmond, we want to make sure EVERY incoming kindergartener can benefit from quality early learning experiences. We will support a coordinated network of licensed community providers alongside Richmond Public Schools to ensure every 3- and 4-year old has access to to high-quality, full-day and affordable preschool program that meets the unique needs of their family.
Will I have to pay for my 3- or 4-year old to attend preschool?
Our goal is to universalize free and affordable preschool programs, with the intent of offering every single family, regardless of income, subsidy.
Will my child have to attend a preschool in a public school setting?
No. We aim to build a robust system that will offer families the flexibility to choose where they enroll their preschool-aged children. We look forward to a thriving, diverse network of child care centers, family day homes and public school classrooms, working together to ensure our littlest learners enter kindergarten ready to excel.
As a provider, will I have to follow new regulations/standards to be a part of universal preschool?
No. If you are a fully licensed provider that participates in VQB5, you will be eligible to participate in the program. No additional licenses or credentials will be required.
When will universal preschool be available?
We’re in the early planning stages of this initiative. We’re currently conducting a cost modeling study to identify the true cost of child care and preschool in the Richmond region. More information on the surveys below.
Child Care Provider Surveys
These surveys will gather the information the City needs to identify enough local revenue to close funding gaps to universal preschool, while prioritizing a well-paid workforce and the sustainability of small business and nonprofit providers.