As part of the 5-year Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant, Illinois invested heavily in strategies that supports programs in all settings to move from “good to great” within the ExceleRate® Illinois framework.   The Awards of Excellence, supported and recognized exceptional practice in the domains of: inclusion; linguistic and culturally appropriate practice; family and community engagement; preschool instructional excellence, and; infant toddler services. 


A total of eighty-seven awards were achieved, while over 500 programs engaged in robust supportive services, including cohort-based training and coaching.  The full list of awardees can be found here (530 KB) .   Congratulations to the schools and centers who are leading the way towards equitable access to truly excellent early learning and development opportunities for children who most need them!


While the Awards of Excellence are currently on hiatus, many resources are available to support programs in their Continuous Quality Improvement journey:

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