Quality Improvement Funds (QI Funds) are available to licensed child care programs. These funds are designed to assist child care programs in improving quality and working towards an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality.
The QI Funds are divided into three areas:
- ExceleRate Illinois Cohort: The cohorts are a group of individuals working towards a common goal. It not only provides an opportunity to learn and work on achieving the goal, but also provides an opportunity to develop relationships with peers. CCRS will be offering cohort groups for programs working to improve the quality of care and working towards/maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Silver or Gold Circle of Quality. The child care program’s administrator is required to attend all cohort activities. Upon completion of the cohort requirements, including the program’s self-assessment, programs may request funds to help achieve objectives noted on the program’s Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP).
- ExceleRate Illinois Training Stipend: Licensed child care programs working towards/maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality may apply for a training stipend. The stipend applies only to the trainings required within the ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality that the program is working towards/maintaining and is available only to the minimum staff required to attend.
- Accreditation Assistance: This option is for child care programs that are applying for or maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Silver or Gold circle of Quality.
The national accreditation systems currently approved for support are:
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Accreditation Commission for Early Care & Education Programs (NAC)
- National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC)
- National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
- AdvancEd Accreditation – Early Learning
- American Montessori Society (AMS)
- Council on Accreditation (COA) – Early Childhood