Gateways ECE Credential Levels 2–5

The ECE Credential, awarded through Gateways to Opportunity and recognized by the State of Illinois, defines what a practitioner working with children birth to age 8 should know and be able to demonstrate at various levels of training, education, and experience. The ECE Credential was developed from the seven Gateways Content Areas.

The seven Gateways Content Areas are:

  1. Human Growth and Development
  2. Health, Safety, and Well-Being
  3. Observation and Assessment
  4. Curriculum or Program Design
  5. Interactions, Relationships, and Environments
  6. Family and Community Relationships
  7. Personal and Professional Development

Three areas are woven throughout the seven content areas listed above: (1) Children with Special Needs, (2) Culture and Diversity, and (3) Individual and Group Guidance.

The ECE Credential Levels 2–5 are awarded to practitioners who successfully demonstrate competency in four component areas, as stated in the framework:

  1. General Education
  2. Education and Training in Early Care and Education
  3. Work and Practical Experience in Early Care and Education
  4. Professional Contributions in Early Care and Education

Additional credential information and resources:


If you would like to renew or level advance, please click here.

New ECE Credential Levels 2–5 Recipients.     

Please contact us for additional information.



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

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