The State of Illinois has set an ambitious education goal to increase the number of state residents with high quality, industry recognized degrees and credentials. Success starts at the beginning in quality early learning and development programs. With this in mind, Illinois has launched an new Quality and Improvement Rating System called ExceleRate Illinois. ExceleRate Illinois gives early learning and development programs the framework to make continuous quality improvements and gain recognition for their quality achievements. ExceleRate Illinois provides programs with the knowledge, best practices, benchmarks and resources that they need to support children effectively in quality settings.
ExceleRate Illinois is the NEW quality rating and improvement system that provides a process for pursuing quality efforts that will help you learn more, do better and improve developmental skills among the children you impact. ExceleRate Illinois also provides standards, guidelines, resources and supports to help you make sensible changes that lead to better quality outcomes. ExceleRate is a comprehensive system that will include, licensed child care centers, Preschool for All programs, Head Start programs, and licensed family child care homes (in 2015). ExceleRate Illinois is administered through INCCRRA under the joint direction of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois State Board of Education. To be eligible DCFS licensed child care programs will need to be licensed for one year and have attended an ExceleRate Illinois orientation (other eligibility may be required). Please check our training calendar for the next available ExceleRate orientation or view it online. Child Care Programs should visit ExceleRate Illinois’s website to learn more about this new, exciting system and opportunities to explore the Circles of Quality.
The Quality Rating System
The Quality Rating System (QRS) assists Illinois child care programs in providing quality care for children and their families. This initiative is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). This voluntary System is available to License-Exempt Family Child Care Providers, and Licensed Family/Group Home Child Care Providers. Providers do not need to be serving children eligible for the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in order to participate in QRS. The system offers progressive levels which providers can achieve depending on the type of care they provide. Specific quality criteria must be met to achieve a level. Once a child care provider has met the required criteria for a level, they will be recognized for their achievement and will receive a quality add-on rate to the CCAP standard daily reimbursement rate for any approved CCAP children they are caring for. Interested providers can attend a QRS Orientation offered by West Central Child Care Connection. Attendance at an Orientation is required for any provider who applies to QRS. Please check our training calendar for training dates, times, and locations. You may also contact our QRS specialist for more information or assistance with the process at firstname.lastname@example.org. The application process for QRS is administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). For more details and the application please contact INCCRRA at 1-800-649-1884 or access their website at www.ilqualitycounts.com.
Quality Improvement Funds
The Quality Improvement Funds grant program is provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to support continued quality improvement for child care programs. The Quality Improvement Funds are designed to assist child care programs in working towards/maintaining an ExceleRate IL Circle of Quality. All programs listed on the West Central Child Care Connection database are eligible to apply.
The dates for cohort funding have not yet been determined for this fiscal year. We will make information available as soon as it is received from IDHS. Please contact Robin for any further information.