Quality Improvement Grant Opportunities

Quality Improvement Funds

Illinois is committed to assisting early care and education professionals in providing quality education and care for young children, birth to 12 years old. Quality Improvement Funds are available to support continued quality improvement for child care programs. These funds are designed to assist child care programs in improving program quality and achieve or advance an ExceleRate™ Illinois Circle of Quality. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). The Quality Improvements Funds are divided into three areas:


ExceleRate™ Illinois Cohorts        

Cohort groups, led by CCR&R staff, are offered for programs working towards or maintaining an ExceleRate™ Illinois Circle of Quality. The program administrator responsible for the on-site day to day operations of the child care program is required to attend the cohort. Upon completion of the cohort requirements and the program's self-assessment, programs may request funds to help achieve Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP) objectives. 


Training Stipend

Licensed child care programs working towards or maintaining an ExceleRate™ Illinois Circle of Quality may apply for a training stipend. The stipend is available for the ExceleRate™ Illinois Circle of Quality required training.

Child playing outside

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™ Illinois Silver or Gold Circle of Quality.


Individual Professional Development Funds (IPDF)

IPDF grants are for individuals. Directors, owners and administrators can have employees apply individually and send applications in to the CCR&R together. Individual child care practitioners working to continue their own professional development in early care and education may apply for the Individual Professional Development Funds. Funds can assist in covering costs related to registration, travel, and lodging fees associated with conferences or workshops not required by ExceleRate™ Illinois.  Registration for webinars or online training that is Gateways to Opportunity® Registry-approved is also eligible. Individual Professional Development Funds are available to individuals wanting to obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) Credential or Gateway to Opportunity® Credential. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

FY 2018 Quality Improvement Funds Instructions and Application

FY 2018 License-Exempt Provider Quality Improvement Funds Instructions and Application  

FY 2018 IPDF Grant Instructions and Application 

For more information on Professional Development and Training, please contact the Training Department at (800) 421-4371 or contact us.