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For Providers 

Increasing the quality of early childhood programs is a top priority in Illinois. Below you will find information on various scholarship programs, professional development opportunities as well as other resources to support quality enhancements.

Early Learning Challenge

The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge is a joint initiative of the federal Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services aimed at driving the quality of early childhood systems by enhancing cross system collaboration and targeting support to high need children.

Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System

Statewide professional development support system designed to provide guidance, encouragement, and recognition to individuals and programs serving children, youth, and families.

Gateways to Opportunity Registry

The Gateways to Opportunity Registry is a web based tool for early learning and other youth practitioners and programs to drive quality and accountability by allowing for easy monitoring of individual professional attainments and trainings.

Gateways Scholarship Program

Scholarships are available to assist students in early childhood programs of study.

Professional Development Advisory Council (PDAC)

PDAC is an advisory body which makes recommendations on improving the stability of the early care and education workforce through increased professional development and improved opportunities for career advancement.

ExceleRate Illinois

This Quality Rating and Improvement System provides a process for pursuing quality efforts that will help providers and improve developmental skills among the children they serve.  

2014 ExceleRate Awards of Excellence available here.

Curriculum Crosswalk

Application for Recognition in ExceleRate Illinois

Template for Crosswalk with Proposed Curriculum

Template for Crosswalk with Proposed Curriculum (b)

Quality Counts Child Care Grant

Mini grants are awarded to child care providers annually through local child care resource and referral (CCRR's) agencies to support quality improvements.

For Providers

Licensing

Become a licensed child care provider

Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers

Licensing Standards for Day Care Homes

DCFS Day Care Information Hotline: 877-746-0829

CCAP Billing

IDHS Child Care Telephone Billing System for Providers: The IDHS Child Care Telephone Billing system is an alternative to mailing the Child Care certificate to the local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency at the end of the each month.

The Telephone Billing system will help you get your payments quicker.

Child Care Payment Inquiries: Call (800) 804-3833

For Teachers

Gateways to Opportunities Scholarship

INCCRRA Statewide Programs through local CCR&Rs

Early Childhood Block Grant Profession Development

For Providers

Toolkit to prepare to become a Preschool For All Program

Apply to be a Preschool for All Program

Additional Resources from the Illinois State Board of Education