Pritzker Administration Launches Pilot Program to Support Quality Improvements for Child Care Providers in Rural Illinois Communities

The Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) today announced a new pilot program to address obstacles faced by rural child care providers in meeting the state’s quality of care standards. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), GOECD is providing thirty-five (35) centers in rural counties with $3.8 million in funding per year to hire additional staff or increase the salaries of existing staff. The pilot program, made possible by both federal and state funding, is expected to run for three years, and builds on the Pritzker administration’s ongoing commitment to improving equity and accessibility to quality child care for all Illinois families. Unlike other programs which reward child care providers already meeting quality of care standards, this pilot program facilitates grants to child care centers in need of additional support to increase quality of care. Participating centers will be reviewed using ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s quality and rating improvement system for child care providers. Pilot funding is allocated per classroom and is provided to centers up-front for salary and staffing improvements centers need to meet standards beyond the basic licensing requirements. Pilot participants are working towards implementation of ExceleRate Illinois’ standards for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). The following centers are participating in the pilotBright Start Child and Family

Education Center, Mount Vernon

Bumblebee Child Care Center & Pre-K, Mt. Vernon

Malone’s Early Learning Center, Inc., Carterville

  • Robin’s Nest, Carterville
  • Robin’s Nest, Marion

Among others



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