Day cares for the elderly and for adults with impairments have become important facilities for communities throughout the nation. There are more than 4,500 adult day cares serving 150,000 adults each day in the United States, according to the website of the National Adult Day Services Association. In Virginia, the Department of Social Services Division of Licensing regulates these care centers. You will need a Virginia license to operate an adult day care if you will be providing care for at least four elderly people or adults with disabilities in that state.

Things You Will Need
  • Pre-licensure training

  • CPR/first aid certification

  • Criminal background check

  • Building inspection

  • Fire and sanitation inspections

Contact your local Virginia Division of Licensing office to schedule pre-licensure training. This training covers the local and state requirements for licensure as well as the health and safety standards your adult day care facility must meet. You can find contact information for your local licensing office by visiting the Virginia Department of Social Services (see Resources section).

Complete certification in CPR and first aid. You and your direct-care staff must be certified in these medical procedures to receive and maintain licensure. The Virginia Department of Social Services approves CPR and first-aid certification for adult day cares from the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the National Safety Council. If you are a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse, you are exempt from this training requirement.

Request application materials from your local licensing office. Completing the application process can be time-consuming, so it is essential to start it as early as possible before you plan to open your facility. The Virginia Division of Licensing recommends that you complete and submit your application to your local licensing office at least 60 days before the expected opening date.

Complete a criminal background check from the Virginia State Police. As a provider of adult day care, you are required to submit this documentation as part of the licensure process. You can download and print the criminal history request form (see Resources section). Mail this form and the background check fee to:

Virginia Department of State Police CCRE--Attention New Form P.O. Box 85076 Richmond, VA 23261

Submit floor plans for your adult day care to the Division of Licensing. The licensing staff will review the plans to ensure that they are appropriate for an adult day care. It will issue a preliminary approval statement that will allow you to move forward with your building or renovating plans. Once your plans are finished, you will need to have a local building inspector verify that your facility meets building codes. You can download a building inspection request form from the Virginia Department of Social Services website.

Schedule on-site fire and sanitation inspections of your adult day care. Contact your local fire authority to set up a fire safety inspection. Schedule a health and sanitation inspection of your facility through your local health department. Submit these inspection reports to your local licensing office.

Complete the on-site Virginia Department of Social Services inspection of your adult day care. A licensing professional will examine your facility to ensure that all licensure regulations are met and that any remaining application requirements have been resolved.

The inspection can include an examination of your facility's records. The licensing professional may interview members of your staff and participants in your adult day care program. If your facility passes this inspection, you will be granted a Virginia adult day care license.