Achieving a specialized early childhood credentials is one way to recognize a professional’s progressive levels of knowledge and skills. Gateways credentials are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development. They are required for varying Circles of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois and can be used as a prerequisite of employment in various early learning programs.
Excelerate Illinois standards set a program expectation that can only be met by the individual administrators and teachers attaining credentials.
The Southern Illinois Coalition for Children & Families wants to increase the number of highly qualified professionals working in programs throughout southern Illinois. Identifying and recognizing the achievement of specialized credentials is as a way to make that happen. To help achieve this goal, the Coalition has created a recognition and promotion system for early childhood professionals who achieve one or more Gateways credentials The first such initiative is “Class of 2015”, Over 80 regional professionals are being recognized for their additional efforts and special achievements.