From the moment each baby is born, they begin a complex and critical process to make sense of the world around them. Research in science and brain development shows that how a baby is engaged with from infancy through the first five years shapes their ability to be successful throughout their school years and throughout life.
To increase the number of high quality child care programs, as well as early childhood providers with high quality, industry recognized degrees and credentials, Illinois has implemented the Quality Recognition and Improvement System called ExceleRate Illinois.
ExceleRate Illinois is the Quality Recognition and Improvement System that gives early learning and development programs the framework to make continuous quality improvements and gain recognition for their quality achievements. It also provides standards, guidelines, best practices, benchmarks and resources that they need to support children effectively in quality settings.
To learn more about this program and opportunities within it, visit www.excelerateillinoisproviders.com.
The Quality Rating System
Funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Quality Rating System (QRS) assists Illinois child care programs in providing quality care for children and their families. This voluntary system is available to license-exempt family child care providers.
The QRS offers progressive levels which providers can achieve depending on the type of care they provide. Once a provider has met the required criteria for a level, they will receive a quality add-on rate to the CCAP standard daily reimbursement rate for any approved CCAP children they are caring for.
To read more about the system or to receive an application, please contact the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies at (800) 649-1884, or visit their website at www.ilqualitycounts.com.
Quality Improvement Funds
The Quality Improvement Funds grant program is offered through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to offer continued quality improvement for child care programs. Quality Improvement Funds are designed to assist child care programs to improve program quality and achieve or advance an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality.
FY21 Quality Improvements Funds Guidelines and Application can be found here: