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EIU Child Care Resource and Referral

Quality Improvement 

ExceleRate Illinois

The Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS)

ExceleRate Illinois is the quality recognition and improvement system that gives early learning and development programs the framework to make continuous quality improvements and gain recognition for their quality achievements. It also provides standards, guidelines, best practices, benchmarks and resources that they need to support children effectively in quality settings.

ExceleRate is a comprehensive system that includes licensed childcare centers, Preschool for All programs, Head Start programs, and licensed family child care homes. It is administered through Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies 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.

To learn more about this program and opportunities within it, visit the ExceleRate Illinois website.

 ExceleRate Illinois

The Quality Specialist is available to assist providers in this process. This may include specialized training, technical assistance in using the assessment tools, as well as other services as requested by the provider.

The Quality Specialist works closely with the consultant team which includes the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant and the Infant-Toddler Child Care Specialist.

Quality Improvement Funds

Based on available funding, EIU CCR&R is offering funds to support continued quality improvement for child care programs. Quality Improvement Funds are designed to assist child care programs to improve program quality and achieve/advance an ExceleRate™ Illinois Circle of Quality. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

QI Funds can assist child care programs with:

  • Achieving a Bronze, Silver or Gold Circle of Quality
  • Achieving National Accreditation
  • Advancing to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Circle of Quality
  • Maintaining a Silver or Gold Circle of Quality

Quality Improvement Funds Application ( updated 08-12-2021)

Helpful Resources:


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Contact Information


3018 Ninth Street Hall
Fax: 217-581-7084


Monday - Friday: 8:00 -4:30pm

Summer Hours

Monday-Thursday 7:45am-4:00pm
Mon.-Thurs.: 4-4:30pm By Appt. Only
Friday: 7:30am-12:00pm

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