Credentials

West Central Child Care Connection is able to reimburse a portion of your cost for accreditation or credential through funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services.  These credentials are available through the Illinois Professional Development System and the Gateways to Opportunity training tier offered by INCCRRA, the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.

 

Listed below are the Credentials available to you- please contact Barb at barb@wcccc.com if you have any questions.

Illinois Early Care and Education Credential

The ECE Credential is a voluntary credential that defines what a person working with children birth to age 8 should know and be able to demonstrate at various levels of training, education, and experience within the early care and education field. The ECE Credential, awarded through Gateways to Opportunity, is recognized by the State of Illinois.

A person applying for an ECE Credential will need to show competency in four areas:

  1. General Education
  2. Education in Early Care and Education
  3. Work and Practical Experience in Early Care and Education
  4. Professional Contributions

The ECE Credential has six levels and is earned through validation of accomplishments in the four competency areas (please view the ECE_Framework for more details).

The Level 1 ECE Credential is based on a defined program and 48-clock hours of training. The ECE Credential Levels 2–4 typically include coursework taken at the community college level. The ECE Credential Level 5 requires higher level coursework as related to a bachelor or graduate degree. An ECE Level 6 credential is currently under development and will require graduate degree coursework.

To obtain more information about the Early Care and Education Credential or to receive an application, please access the INCCRRA website, www.ilgateways.com or call toll free (866) 697-8278.

Illinois Infant Toddler Credential

The Infant Toddler Credential (ITC) is a voluntary credential for practitioners who work with children up to age 3. It validates the specialized knowledge, skills, and experience needed to work with infants and toddlers. The credential is recognized by the State of Illinois. .

The ITC was developed to:

  • Recognize the specialized knowledge of those working with children birth to age 3.
  • Enhance the quality of services.
  • Increase positive outcomes for infants and toddlers.
  • Acknowledge the dedication of those who pursue the credential.
  • Advance the availability of infant toddler coursework and training.

The Infant Toddler Credential (ITC) has six levels and is earned through validation of accomplishments in two competency components (please view the ITC_Framework for more details). Component 1 encompasses education and training in infants and toddlers and Component 2 focuses on work and practical experience with infants and toddlers.

To obtain more information about the Infant Toddler Credential or to receive an application, please access the INCCRRA website, www.ilgateways.com or call toll free (866) 697-8278.

Illinois Director Credential

The Illinois Director Credential (IDC) is a voluntary professional credential for directors. It is an opportunity for a center-based or group home director to validate their knowledge, skills and experience as a director in the field of early childhood.

Who is eligible? Individuals who hold a degree or are interested in obtaining a degree in Early Childhood and have director experience or are willing to acquire necessary experience.

How can I earn the IDC? The direct route is best for those who currently hold a degree and have completed early childhood coursework. Applicants may apply to work with a professional growth advisor and compile a professional portfolio. The portfolio will document general and specialized education, experience and professional contributions. The entitled route applicant would apply directly to an institution that has been awarded the Illinois Director Credential. The student will complete requirements for the IDC while completing their degree.

How is the IDC earned? It is earned through validation of accomplishments in five areas. The five areas include:

  • General Education
  • Early Childhood/School-Age Knowledge and Skills
  • Management Knowledge and Skills
  • Teaching and Management Experience
  • Professional Contributions Awarded at three levels, the individual must have attained:
    • Associate Degree for Level I
    • Baccalaureate Degree for Level II
    • Master’s or other advanced degree for Level III

How can the Illinois Director Credential benefit me?

  • Personal and professional recognition
  • Validation of specialized skills
  • Improved management skills
  • Possible Great START bonus or salary increase

To obtain more information about the Illinois Director Credential or to receive an application, please access the INCCRRA website, www.ilgateways.com or call toll free (866) 697-8278.

Child Development Associate

The Child Development Associate (CDA) program represents a national effort to credential qualified caregivers who work with children from birth to age five. Focusing on the skills of child care providers, the program is designed to provide performance-based training, assessment and credentialing of child care staff, home visitors and family child care providers.


What is a CDA?
A CDA is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA assessment and who has been awarded the CDA credential. These individuals have demonstrated their ability to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth in a child development framework.

Credential Eligibility

  • 18 years of age or older
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 480 hours of experience working with children within the past 5 years
  • 120 hours of formal child care education /training within the past 5 years

Credential Endorsements
Candidates who apply for the CDA credential can select one of the following endorsements:
1. Center-based Preschool
2. Center-based Infant/Toddler
3. Family Child Care
4. Home Visitor

Credentialing Options

  1. Direct Assessment: This approach is designed for candidates who already have child care work experience in combination with some training in early childhood education.
  2. CDA Professional Preparation Program: This approach is a one-year training program that offers candidates child development coursework and field experiences in child care settings to enable them to build the necessary skills needed.

For more information about CDA, contact The Council for Professional Recognition at 1-800-424-4310 or access the website at www.cdacouncil.org.

Child Care Professional

The National Child Care Association (NCCA) awards the Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) Early Childhood Education Specialist credential. This national credential is awarded to professionals who have exhibited standards of excellence in the child care or early education field.

Who is eligible? Individuals with:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 18 years of age or older
  • 720 hours child care experience within the past five years in a licensed facility serving children between birth and six years of age
  1. Combine your past and present experience and training.
  2. Gain more training as needed in the 15 areas of professionalism to total 180 clock hours.
  3. Coordinate training and experience into a portfolio.

To obtain more information contact NCCA at 1-800-543-7161 or you can view the website at www.nccanet.org