4. Qualifications and Continuing Education

4A. Director Qualifications

Brief Overview of Standard: High-quality programs are directed by administrators who have the formal education and professional preparedness to manage the program and lead all staff in providing the most up-to-date practices for educational development.

Notice regarding ExceleRate Standards 4A and 4B for licensed child care centers and licensed family child care providers:
Congratulations to the programs that have met the ExceleRate Credential requirements already and to those who continue working towards achieving ECE, ITC, FCC and IDC Credentials.  ExceleRate system administrators recognize that achieving the required Credentials in some cases is a major leap in an environment where programs are struggling to maintain DCFS qualified teachers, managing staff turnover, and more.  For this reason, we have continued to delay the enforcement of Standards 4A and 4B. Programs will be asked to continue completing a Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP) including concrete, achievable goals and action steps the program is making towards meeting the Credential requirements.  Programs will also need to describe their progress within the program’s annual report.   ExceleRate system administrators have been gathering feedback from Program Directors, CCR&R system staff, early childhood stakeholders, state agency partners and others specific to Credentials.  Over the next few weeks, resources will be shared to assist teachers and directors in navigating the Credential process.  Please continue to reach out to INCCRRA staff to assist in the process as needed.  They can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 866-697-8278.

Informational Resources

The Director’s Toolbox—A Management Series for Early Childhood Administrators
www.newhorizonsbooks.net
Written in a concise format, each book provides a theoretical overview on a focused topic, numerous examples from the day-to-day world of early childhood administration, exercises, checklists, and suggested resources. Perfect as a self-paced guide for the busy director eager to learn practical suggestions for improving administrative effectiveness or as a training tool for workshop presenters. For purchase.

Taking Charge of Change
http://mccormickcenter.nl.edu/event/taking-charge-of-change-course/
Training Opportunity for Illinois Early Childhood Administrators, sponsored by IDHS, is a 10-month leadership development program on the change process. Learn how to promote peak performance, enhance shared decision making, and build a healthy organizational climate.
 

Gateways to Opportunity Illinois Director Credential
http://www.ilgateways.com/index.php/credentials/illinois-director-credential 
The Illinois Director Credential (IDC), awarded through Gateways to Opportunity, validates the education, knowledge, and experience of early childhood/school-age education administrators. The IDC is recognized by the State of Illinois and is also recognized as the statewide standard of management and leadership capabilities by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). By achieving the IDC, the administrator is enhancing his or her commitment to positive social, emotional, cognitive, and physical outcomes for children.

Gateways Illinois Director Credential Levels I-III meet the following ExceleRate Illinois training requirements (across all circles of quality):

  • Finding a Curriculum that Works for You
  • Introduction to Developmental Screening Tools
  • Fundamentals of Child Assessment
  • Welcoming Each & Every Child
  • Family and Community: Partners in Learning
  • An Introduction to Transitions
  • Understanding and Planning for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Basics of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Practice
  • Creating Individual Professional Development Plans

4. Qualifications and Continuing Education

4B. Staff Qualifications

Brief Overview of Standard: Staff that work with children are also expected to have appropriate education and professional training (in their assigned age groups) to engage with children and families.

Notice regarding ExceleRate Standards 4A and 4B for licensed child care centers and licensed family child care providers:
Congratulations to the programs that have met the ExceleRate Credential requirements already and to those who continue working towards achieving ECE, ITC, FCC and IDC Credentials.  ExceleRate system administrators recognize that achieving the required Credentials in some cases is a major leap in an environment where programs are struggling to maintain DCFS qualified teachers, managing staff turnover, and more.  For this reason, we have continued to delay the enforcement of Standards 4A and 4B. Programs will be asked to continue completing a Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP) including concrete, achievable goals and action steps the program is making towards meeting the Credential requirements.  Programs will also need to describe their progress within the program’s annual report.   ExceleRate system administrators have been gathering feedback from Program Directors, CCR&R system staff, early childhood stakeholders, state agency partners and others specific to Credentials.  Over the next few weeks, resources will be shared to assist teachers and directors in navigating the Credential process.  Please continue to reach out to INCCRRA staff to assist in the process as needed.  They can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 866-697-8278.

Informational Resources

ExceleRate Illinois and Gateways to Opportunity Credentials Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (477 KB)
ExceleRate Illinois has set standards for staff and director qualifications at each Circle of Quality that require staff
to have Gateways to Opportunity Credentials. Use this FAQ to navigate and understand the use of Gateways
Credentials throughout ExceleRate.

Gateways to Opportunity ECE Credential
http://www.ilgateways.com/index.php/ece-credential-levels-2-6
The ECE Credential, awarded through Gateways to Opportunity and recognized by the State of Illinois, defines what a practitioner working with children birth to age 8 should know and be able to demonstrate at various levels of training, education, and experience.

Gateways to Opportunity Infant Toddler Credential
http://www.ilgateways.com/index.php/credentials/infant-toddler-credential
The Infant Toddler Credential (ITC), awarded through Gateways to Opportunity and recognized by the state of Illinois, validates the specialized knowledge, skills, and experience needed to work with children birth to age 3. Practitioners applying for the ITC must also meet the requirements to attain the Gateways ECE Credential.

ExceleRate Illinois Training Bundles for Credential Credit (314 KB)
There are a variety of trainings that Administrators and teaching staff are required to complete for ExceleRate Illinois. This flyer includes the related and required trainings that have been bundled together to count towards designated Gateways Credentials. When the outlined combination of trainings is completed, points (as noted) may be applied toward an applicant’s Gateways Credential. Most of these trainings are available at http://courses.inccrra.org/

Credential Applicant Flowchart
http://www.ilgateways.com/index.php/additional-information-and-forms
This document outlines the Gateways Credential process, from figuring out which credential to apply for to receiving your credential. 

Director's Credential Toolkit
http://www.ilgateways.com/index.php/additional-information-and-forms
This document helps directors and applicants answer questions that are sure to arise during the credential process. From support through the Gateways Credential process to motivating others, this resource has information for anyone going through or helping others through the Credential process.

Gateways ECE Credential levels 3-5, Infant Toddler Credential levels 3-5, Illinois Director Credential I-III, and the Family Child Care Credential levels 4-5 meet the following ExceleRate Illinois training requirements (across all circles of quality):

  • Finding a Curriculum that Works for You
  • Introduction to Developmental Screening Tools
  • Fundamentals of Child Assessment
  • Welcoming Each & Every Child
  • Family and Community: Partners in Learning
  • An Introduction to Transitions
  • Understanding and Planning for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Basics of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Practice
  • Creating Individual Professional Development Plans

Gateways Family Child Care Credential level 3 meets the following ExceleRate Illinois training requirements (across all circles of quality):

  • Finding a Curriculum that Works for You

 

4. Qualifications and Continuing Education

4C. Staff Development

Brief Overview of Standard: Staff development, or professional development, for early education and child development professionals refers to ongoing education and training. Professional development provides a foundation that can be used to provide the highest quality of care for young children and their families.


Specific Tools

College Coursework
College coursework in Early Childhood Education/ Child Development completed within the last 12 months with a grade of “C” or better may be accepted in lieu of annual training hours. Official college transcript must be provided and completion of coursework at an accredited college or university will be verified by INCCRRA.

Individualized Professional Development Plan
An Individualized Professional Development Plan is required to have the following items:
•    Identification of a goal
•    Identification of step(s) needed to complete the goal
•    An estimated time for achieving the goal

Gateways Professional Development Plan
Professional Development Plan (164 KB)
The purpose of the Professional Development Plan is to assess a practitioner’s current standing in early care and education or school-age care. From that assessment the form can be used to identify short term goals (e.g. attending a training) and long term goals (e.g. completing a degree), as well as professional goals and barriers. This form can be completed independently or request the free assistance of a Professional Development Advisor (PDA) to help complete it.

Inventory of Practices for Promoting Children’s Social Emotional Competence
http://www.pakeys.org/uploadedContent/Docs/Early%20Learning%20Programs/CQI/Inventory%20of%20Practices.pdf
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning.  The Inventory of Practices for Promoting Social Emotional Competence is designed to be used by individuals and/or teams to identify training needs and plan a course of action to address those needs related to four general areas: (a) building positive relationships, (b) creating supportive environments, (c) social emotional teaching strategies, and (d) individualized intensive interventions.  The Inventory encourages self-reflection, opportunities for teaming between classroom teachers, mentor coaches, site directors, supervisors and other administrators, and promotes effective practices for direct service staff.   

The Early Care and Education English Language Learners (ELL) Toolkit
http://www.pakeys.org/pa-early-learning-initiatives/dual-language-learner-dll-english-language-learner-ell-toolkit/
A variety of useful tools for providers and programs teaching English language learners.  

 

Informational Resources

Mind in the Making
http://www.familiesandwork.org/mind-in-the-making-experiments-in-childrens-learning/
The purpose of Mind in the Making is to bring research on child development to early learning programs in a very accessible manner. The modules complement existing ECE curricula by focusing on what research says about early learning and demonstrates how to use this information in every day practice.  Participants learn about the importance of establishing learning communities and are motivated to create positive relationships within their programs between staff and children, with parents and among staff members.  Directors learn to support their staff in unique ways so they are better prepared to support children and families. As a result, practitioners become more intentional teachers who recognize that social, emotional and intellectual learning are inextricably linked.

Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Professional Development 
http://www.nclr.org/index.php/publications/preparing_young_latino_children_for_school_sucess_best_practices_in_professional_development

Effective professional development is a key component of successful early learning programs, especially as the population of Latinos and English language learners (ELLs) continues to grow. Early childhood education (ECE) educators need the knowledge and skills to work with culturally and linguistically diverse children and families—a knowledge set that is often not provided in traditional training courses and certification processes. This policy brief examines the importance of professional development as it applies to high-quality instruction for young Latino and ELL students and how it can be provided within the context of current workforce constraints.

National Center for Quality in Teaching and Learning
http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/center
This nationwide effort brings early education research and practical knowledge together to identify the research-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment tools that raise child outcomes and promote school readiness. NCQTL also supports application of new instructional techniques and curriculum through coaching, feedback, and other professional development approaches.

New Voices Nuevas Voces: Guide to Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood
http://products.brookespublishing.com/The-New-Voices-Nuevas-Voces-Guide-to-Cultural-and-Linguistic-Diversity-in-Early-Childhood-P114.aspx
This resource includes five training modules and a facilitator’s guide and is designed to help early childhood professionals create culturally diverse settings for children. For purchase.

Preparing Teachers to Use Critical Literacy in PreK-4 Classrooms (PPT presentation)
http://www.pakeys.org/uploadedContent/Docs/Higher%20Ed/2010%20Docs/Norris%20Lucas%20Prudhoe%20Critical%20Literacy.pdf
Overview created by experts from West Chester University (Pennsylvania). Explores how to build critical thinking skills through reading, unpacking literature, and preparing children to value and respect children of other, non-majority cultures. Includes examples of texts that allow all children to see themselves in positive roles (slide 7) and a list of sensitive topics that can be explored in picture books (slide 9).

Gateways to Opportunity Statewide Online Training Calendar
https://registry.ilgateways.com/component/trainingcalendar/
This comprehensive, Statewide Online Training Calendar lists professional development events (e.g., workshops, conferences, and training series) that practitioners may utilize in order to meet licensing requirements, obtain credentials, and work toward the quality rating and improvement system.  
The Statewide Online Training Calendar lists trainings that have been Registry-approved as well as trainings offered through the states’ Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Agencies. Search the calendar by: date, county, CCR&R Service Delivery Area (SDA), or topic (e.g., CDA content area, Gateways content area, keywords, etc.). Query the calendar to see which trainings may apply toward earning a Gateways credential.  

Starnet

http://www.starnet.org/ 
Illinois STARNET provides a variety of opportunities for personal and professional growth for those who touch the lives of young children, ages birth through eight, with an emphasis on children with special needs. STARNET supports family-centered, researched and effective practices in early childhood education and care.

 

 

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