There are many opportunities for funding related to early care and education in the state of Illinois. Below are programs and organizations that might be of interest.
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Services
Quality Improvement Funds
Quality Improvement (QI) Funds are available through the local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency. The QI Funds have been developed and are offered through the child care resource and referral agencies to assist and support programs that are choosing to work towards / maintain an ExceleRate™ IL Circle of Quality. There are three areas to the QI Funds: ExceleRate™ IL cohort, ExceleRate™ IL training stipend and accreditation assistance. The QI Funds are awarded based on available funding. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
ExceleRate Illinois Cohort - The Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency will offer cohort groups for programs working to improve the quality of care, working towards or maintaining an ExceleRate™ IL Circle of Quality. Upon completion of the cohort requirements/expectations and the program’s self- assessment, as applicable programs may request funds to help achieve objectives noted on the program’s Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP).
ExceleRate Illinois Training Stipend - The stipend applies only to the required training within the ExceleRate™ IL Circle of Quality that the program is working towards/maintaining and is available only to the minimum staff required to attend the training. The stipend is designed to assist with staff costs while staff are taking the required ExceleRate™ IL training.
Accreditation Assistance - Accreditation is a voluntary process that provides child care programs the opportunity to examine their services based on recognized standards of high quality. The Accreditation Assistance option is for child care programs that are applying for or maintaining an ExceleRate™ IL Silver or Gold Circle of Quality.
Individual Professional Development Funds
Individual Professional Development Funds (IPDF) are offered by local CCR&R agencies to support individuals and programs in their professional development, credentialing. IPDFs are available to child care center directors, early childhood teachers/assistant teachers, school-age teachers/assistant teachers, family home providers and assistants, and child care center support staff (e.g., cook, driver, janitor, etc.) when appropriate. The funds may be applied toward costs associated with conferences or workshops and fees associated with approved credentialing processes.