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