You could receive a Gateways Scholarship to help pay for your college coursework if you...
- Care for children in an Illinois DCFS licensed program or ISBE funded Preschool for All program.
Employed by an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) licensed full-day/full-year child care program in one of the following positions: center director, assistant director, teacher, assistant teacher, school-age teacher, school-age assistant, family child care provider, family child care assistant, group home provider, or group home assistant.
Employed by an IDCFS licensed school-age care program, within an early childhood setting, operating nine months per year in one of the following positions: director, assistant director, teacher, or assistant teacher.
Employed by an ISBE funded Preschool for All program that operates a minimum of nine months per year, as a teacher, or teacher's aide.
Please note: The Gateways Scholarship Program will continue to authorize coursework for recipients working towards early childhood/child development degrees/ certificates/ coursework not specified in the previous sentence.
- Have been employed at your current program for at least one year.
(90 days if employed at an ExceleRate Bronze, Silver or Gold Circle of Quality program.)
- Work a minimum average of 15 hours per week.
- Meet wage requirements.
Your wage determines the amount the Gateways Scholarship will pay for tuition.
% of tuition Gateways Scholarship Program Would Pay Applicant responsibility to college or university. Hourly Wage 100 0 up to $4.25 over Illinois State Minimum Wage 90 10 $4.26 to $7.00 over Illinois State Minimum Wage 80 20 $7.01 to $10.00 over Illinois State Minimum Wage 70 30 $10.01 to $13.00 over Illinois State Minimum Wage 60 40 $13.01 to $16.00 over Illinois State Minimum Wage
- Are a citizen of the United States or a legal resident.
- Commit to future work in early care and education or school-age care depending on scholarship type.
Work commitment periods follow:
- Six months for completion of a coursework contract
- One year for degree completion
- One year for certificate, approval, or endorsement completion
The work commitment must be completed in one of the following early care and education or school-age care programs:
- IDCFS licensed full-day, full-year family/group child care home or center
- IDCFS licensed school-age program operating a minimum of nine months a year
- ISBE funded Preschool for All program
The commitment period begins at the completion of the contract period. All scholarship contracts end on June 30.