Illinois Race to the Top- Highlights for Child Care Providers

December 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm


December 2011

 What is the Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge Grant?

It is a Federal grant opportunity to support significant changes in States’ early care and education services.  The purpose of the Grant is:

1.)  provide more children birth to age 5 from families  of low income and high need with access to high quality early learning and development programs

2.)  support work that dramatically improves the quality of programs serving children of high need.


What has Illinois requested and what will be accomplished?

The Illinois Grant Request is for $70 million over 4 years (2012-2015).  If awarded, grant funds would support a number of activities including:

1.) a variety of additional supports to assist child care providers to:

            – achieve Quality Counts quality rating system levels

            – attain Gateways Credentials

2.) a Quality Counts public education campaign

3.) easier to use on-line forms and tools for child care providers


When will States be notified of grant funding?

Notification will be provided to State Administrators no later than December 31, 2011.


Will there be changes in Illinois regardless of whether we receive grant funding or not?

Yes, Illinois has committed to making changes including:

1.)  As of July 1, 2012, Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) will become a 5 star system.

2.)  State funded Preschool For All (PFA) and Head Start/Early Head Start programs will be equivalent to child care programs with national Accreditations currently accepted in Quality Counts.  These programs will be at Star 4 in the new system.

3.)  There will be changes to the criteria and requirements for the current Quality Counts QRS.  These changes are still being developed.

 When will more information be available?

New Quality Counts Orientation trainings are in development and will be available

on-line and at face to face sessions by July 2012.  Child care providers will receive notifications from IDCFS and local CCR&Rs as more information becomes available.

Providers can also check the Quality Counts website for updates (

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

CCR&R IS MOVING Increased Child Care Rates:Effective January 2012


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