Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program

The Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program is an individual-based scholarship opportunity for eligible practitioners working in Early Care and Education (ECE) or school-age care programs. The Gateways Scholarship Program will pay a percentage of tuition and fees dependent upon availability of funding. Goals of the program include:

  • Enabling practitioners to continue education in ECE and to earn degrees, certificates, endorsements, or credentials.
  • Promoting increased earning ability through increased education.
  • Improving the quality and consistency of care received by children in licensed child care or school-age care settings.

The Gateways Scholarship Program is administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) and funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).


Due to significant participation in the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program, funding for the Gateways Scholarship Program has been expended through June 30, 2017.

INCCRRA will continue to receive and process all Gateways Scholarship program applications for the remainder of the Spring term, however continued authorization of coursework is not definite.  Should additional funding become available prior to June 30, 2017, applicants will be notified immediately.  If your employment status or personal information such as address, phone number, or email address changes, please contact your Counselor immediately, so that we may update your information and keep you informed.

You may apply for other financial aid opportunities through your local community college or university.  Additional information concerning financial aid can be obtained at   

Funding for Gateways Scholarships that support Professional Educator Licensure, ESL Bilingual endorsement, and Student Teaching is unavailable until further notice. INCCRRA will not be accepting applications for these scholarship options until further notice.

Scholarship applications for associate, bachelor’s, master’s degree or courses in Early Childhood or Child Development will continue to be accepted.





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

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