Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 Education Reimbursement Initiative

Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 Education Reimbursement Initiative funding has been depleted. No additional applications for this program are being accepted at this time. Please check back often for updates regarding upcoming funding opportunities. 

This is your chance to apply for funds to support continuing your education and working toward your next credential or degree during 2020. If you have attended, or currently attend, an accredited Illinois college or university, you can apply for a maximum of $375 to repay existing debt, or to be reimbursed for payments made directly to your higher education institution. 

Priority will be given to those working in the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) CCAP Group 2 counties. You can find the IDHS CCAP groups here

Have questions about the Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 Education Reimbursement Initiative? Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email us with your questions.
To apply for Registry membership or ensure that your information is up to date, please click here.


Frequently Ask Questions

What is the Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 Education Reimbursement Initiative?
This initiative is an opportunity for early educators to continue their education and overcome barriers or obstacles to earning their degree or credential. Educators can apply for a maximum of $375 to pay an outstanding balance due to, or can be reimbursed for payment(s) made directly to, an accredited Illinois college or university. Debt owed or payments made to student loans or to collection agencies are not eligible for reimbursement.

Who is eligible?
Any educator working in an Illinois early childhood program is eligible to apply. Priority will be given to those working in Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Group 2 counties. You can find the IDHS CCAP groups here.

What happens if the application I submit is incomplete?
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed or returned. Those who submit an incomplete application will be notified. Educators may resubmit their application for reimbursement with any previously missing or incomplete information. 

Where do I send my completed application?
Scan and email your completed application and required documentation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Due to COVID-19, applications will not be accepted via mail or drop off. 

If I have previously received funds through the Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 Education Reimbursement Initiative, can I apply again?
No. Funding will not be issued to anyone who has already received reimbursement through this initiative.

How will I be notified that my application has been received?
Notifications for this program will be sent via email. Due to this, please ensure that your email address is updated in your Gateways to Opportunity Registry account.

If I am not currently working because my site is closed due to COVID-19, can I still apply?
Yes, though you may need to submit documentation other than pay stubs to prove employment. If you work for a child care center that is currently closed due to COVID-19, you must submit a letter from your Director on company letterhead noting the following:

  • Hire Date
  • Position
  • Years of Service

The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0001-01-00, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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