Gateways to Opportunity Credentials

Gateways Credentials are symbols of professional achievement that validate knowledge and skills, experience, and contributions in early care and education, infants and toddlers, and/or administration.



Have questions about Gateways Credentials?

Join a Gateways Credential counselor and other ECE professionals for a one hour telnet to discuss and ask questions about Gateways Credentials. Telnets are scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month (January 7th, February 4th, March 4th, April 1st, May 6th, and June 3rd) from 1:002:00PM. Call (866) 951-1151 (Conference room #7455432) to join the discussion.

To request a presentation about Gateways Credentials, please complete the Gateways to Opportunity Credentials Presentation Request.


These credentials can be earned by:

  • completing an approved program at a college or university through the entitled route.


  • completing a portfolio that documents knowledge and skills, and experience through the direct route.


  • completing the Gateways ECE Credential Level 1 or School-Age and Youth Development Credential Level 1.

Gateways to Opportunity credentials were signed into law, effective July 1, 2009. Gateways credentials are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development.  Gateways offers a variety of credentials to professionals in the field of early care and education, school-age, and youth development:


Getting Started

Direct Route:

Download the Gateways Registry Membership Form and Direct Route Credentials Supplement Application for all Gateways to Opportunity credentials, or contact us with questions or to request an application.

Entitled Route:

There are only 2 steps to attain your Gateways Credential via the Entitled Route:

1. Download the Gateways Registry membership Form and Entitled Route Credentials Supplement Application, complete and submit to INCCRRA.

2. Send in a copy of your official transcript verifying attendance at an Entitled Institution and coursework completed.

Contact us if you have any questions or to request an application



Gateways to Opportunity is funded by public and private support including the McCormick Foundation, the Grand Victoria Foundation,    

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