Gateways to Opportunity is specifically designed to meet the needs of early care and education, school-age, and youth development professionals in Illinois who work in:

Early care and education (in family child care; center-based care; and relative, friend, and neighbor care)
Early childhood special education
Early intervention
Public education
Family support
Head Start/Early Head Start
Higher education
Home visiting
Pre-kindergarten and Preschool for All
Child Care Resource & Referral
Other early childhood programs and settings
Before and after-school programs
Youth programs and services
Other school-age and youth development programs

All early care and education, school-age, and youth development professionals are welcome to be a part of Gateways to Opportunity. Gateways is administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

Gateways provides a wealth of information and resources about state and local training opportunities, the higher education institution directory, financial aid, Statewide Online Training Calendar, Gateways Registry membership, and other professional resources. It provides Professional Development Advisors (PDAs) to mentor and coach practitioners toward early care and education and school-age care career goals. Additionally, Gateways to Opportunity connects eligible practitioners to programs such as Great START Wage supplement and Gateways Scholarship, and offers professional recognition through credentials.

Gateways to Opportunity provides a list of early care and education, school-age, and youth development careers, illustrating the wide scope of the profession. The job board lists openings at all levels throughout Illinois. Connect with a Professional Development Advisor (PDA) to develop or enhance an early care and education and/or school-age care career plan.

Gateways to Opportunity provides information about professional development in one location from a comprehensive list of higher education institutions, through our Higher Education Institution Directory, that offer coursework in early childhood, in addition to links on training opportunities around the state. Qualified practitioners can find out how to obtain state-recognized credentials or how to pay for college coursework that leads to a wage supplement.

Call toll-free: (866) 697-8278 or use the contact us for answers to your questions.

Visit the Credential pages on this website.

Visit the Great START pages on this website.

Visit the Scholarship pages on this website.

An Official Transcript is an official document that is a record of a student’s academic work. To be official the transcript must be in a sealed envelope from the accredited college or university. Official transcripts can be sent electronically from your college or university to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or they can be mailed to 1226 Towanda Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701.  

If INCCRRA already has official transcripts on file you do not need to resend. 

Foreign evaluated transcripts and coursework will only be accepted from entities listed as a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member https://www.naces.org/members.

Excelerate Program

ExceleRate Illinois helps you prepare children for success in school and in life.

It also provides standards, guidelines, resources and supports to help you make sensible changes that lead to better quality outcomes for children.