Support Organizations

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

This comprehensive website is produced by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start and offers resources for Head Start programs and families.

Office of Head Start

The Office of Head Start is part of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and is a direct federal to local program serving low-income children. The program promotes comprehensive education, health, nutrition, dental, mental health, social services and parental involvement opportunities.

National Head Start Association

This nonprofit membership association (of which Virginia Head Start Association is a member) is dedicated to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families by providing support to its Head Start members.

Virginia Head Start Collaboration Office

The Virginia Head Start State Collaboration Office is part of the Department of Social Services and oversees the head start program and represents its interests on the state level.

Head Start Center for Inclusion

Part of the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, the Head Start Center for Inclusion is a great new resource on inclusion of children with disabilities. Its goal is to increase the competence, confidence and effectiveness of personnel in Head Start programs to include children with disabilities.

Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia

Training, Technical Assistance & Resources for Families, Caregivers and Providers of Children, Birth to Age Eight in Virginia

Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families

ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Our mission is to promote the health and development of infants and toddlers.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

CSEFEL is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. CSEFEL is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country.

US DOE Early Learning Initiative

The importance of the early years in a child’s life has been well documented. The Department of Education prioritizes improving the health, social, emotional, and educational outcomes for young children from birth through 3rd grade by their early learning initiative.

Early Learning Guidelines Implementation Toolkit (PDF)

Compiled by the National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative, the toolkit assists states and territories in engaging in a strategic planning process to support the implementation of Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers.

National Association for the Education of Young Children

NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 80,000 members, a national network of over 300 local, state, and regional Affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.

National Institute for Early Education Research

NIEERconducts and communicates research to support high quality, effective, early childhood education for all young children. Such education enhances their physical, cognitive, and social development, and subsequent success in school and later life.

Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education

VAECE is an organization of people interested in the education and welfare of young children and their families.

Smart Beginnings

Smart Beginnings website is sponsored by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, a public-private partnership founded in 2005 whose mission is to provide leadership to foster Smart Beginnings for all young children in Virginia and through them a vital future for the Commonwealth.

Smart Beginnings Virginia Star Quality Initiative
The Virginia Star Quality Initiative was created to provide a consistent way to distinguish the level of quality in early education programs, allowing parents to make more informed choices. Early learning providers who participate in this voluntary program are provided with a guide to continually improve the quality of their services. The initiative is administered in partnership by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the Office of Early Childhood Development.


The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Voices for Virginia’s Children Annual KIDS COUNT Data Book provides national and state-by-state data on key indicators of child well-being. Visit the Voices for Virginia’s Children page on the Kids Count Data Book.

Virginia Community Action Partnership

VACAP is the statewide membership association for Virginia’s 33 non-profit private and public community action agencies, who work together on a common vision to fight poverty and build self-sufficiency, for strong families and communities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Each agency focuses on its unique local needs.

Voices for Virginia’s Children

Voices for Virginia’s Children is a statewide, privately funded, non-partisan awareness and advocacy organization that builds support for practical public policies to improve the lives of children. A recognized leader in child advocacy, Voices mobilizes support for initiatives by conducting research, developing policies, building coalitions, and helping people articulate their support for children.


2-1-1 is an easy to remember phone number connecting people with free information on available community services. When you dial 2-1-1, a trained professional listens to your situation and suggests sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in Virginia. It also offers resources via the internet on their website.

Virginia Child Care Aware of Virginia

Child Care Aware® of Virginia is a community-based network of early care and education specialists whose purpose is to deliver services to families, child care professionals and communities to increase the accessibility, availability, and quality of child care in Virginia.

United Ways in Virginia


Drug Abuse hotline

Drug and Alcohol Centers in Virginia

According to the CDC, as of June 2020, 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use as a way of coping with stress or emotions related to COVID-19, and Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program shows that the early months of the pandemic brought an 18% increase nationwide in overdoses compared with the same period in 2019.
Thankfully, due to the increased availability of telemedicine for behavioral health concerns, it’s easier than ever for people to access life-saving care. Admitting there’s a problem is the first step in overcoming addiction to alcohol or drugs, but deciding to reach out for help is the necessary second step. Our online resources help people connect with mental health services, many of which offer free or low-cost options because no one should be denied care or hesitate to take the first step toward recovery due to financial constraints.