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. View the Gateways credential orientation below for an overview of the Gateways credentials and process.




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 (October 1st, November 5th and December 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, experience, and contributions 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

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.



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

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