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.
Statewide professional development support system designed to provide guidance, encouragement, and recognition to individuals and programs serving children, youth, and families.
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.
Scholarships are available to assist students in early childhood programs of study.
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.
In addition to enabling parents to identify child care programs which best meet their needs, Quality Counts assists early childhood programs improve the quality of their services through assessment and the development of improvement plans.
Mini grants are awarded to child care providers annually through local child care resource and referral (CCRR's) agencies to support quality improvements.