Higher Education Programs


Becoming Entitled for the ECE Credential

ECE Credential Levels 2-6 are for early care and education professionals who have formal education, training and experience with children (ages 0-8). The ECE Credential lays the groundwork for a highly qualified childcare professional and is built on the following seven core Content Areas:

  • Human Growth and Development (HGD) 
  • Health, Safety, and Well-Being (HSW) 
  • Observation and Assessment (OA) 
  • Curriculum or Program Design (CPD) 
  • Interactions, Relationships, and Environments (IRE) 
  • Family and Community Relationships (FCR)
  • Personal and Professional Development (PPD)

ECE Credential


Student/Workforce Potential

The Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Registry contains administrative data on a total of 38,657 individuals working in 3,280 licensed childcare centers. According to the January 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2012 – 2022, careers in early childhood are expected to increase by 14%. Higher Education Institutions are critical partners to build a well-qualified workforce the demand for which is growing. The Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth: Early Childhood Education Workforce reports that 1,233 vacant early childhood educator positions – twice as many as there were five years ago. 
Whitehead, J. (2016). Characteristics of the Infant/Toddler Workforce in Illinois. Data Brief #2016-01, Bloomington, IL: INCCRRA

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.