4. Qualifications and Continuing Education

4A. Director Qualifications

Brief Overview of Standard: High-quality programs are directed by administrators who have the formal education and professional preparedness to manage the program and lead all staff in providing the most up-to-date practices for educational development.

Notice regarding ExceleRate Standards 4A and 4B for licensed child care centers and licensed family child care providers:
Many programs have made progress in complying with the ECE Credential requirements and are ready for the July 2018 inclusion of ITC and IDC. However, the ExceleRate system administrators are aware that some programs might not be ready. Currently, the enforcement of Standards 4A and 4B is delayed while we analyze programs’ CQIP plans and progress. Programs not in full compliance are required to include concrete, achievable goals and action steps in their CQIP and also to describe their progress in the annual report. Please make every effort to support your staff and your own efforts to attain the required credentials as quickly as possible. Further information will be announced when the analysis of CQIP plans is complete.

Informational Resources

The Director’s Toolbox—A Management Series for Early Childhood Administrators
Written in a concise format, each book provides a theoretical overview on a focused topic, numerous examples from the day-to-day world of early childhood administration, exercises, checklists, and suggested resources. Perfect as a self-paced guide for the busy director eager to learn practical suggestions for improving administrative effectiveness or as a training tool for workshop presenters. For purchase.

Taking Charge of Change
Training Opportunity for Illinois Early Childhood Administrators, sponsored by IDHS, is a 10-month leadership development program on the change process. Learn how to promote peak performance, enhance shared decision making, and build a healthy organizational climate.

Gateways to Opportunity Illinois Director Credential
The Illinois Director Credential (IDC), awarded through Gateways to Opportunity, validates the education, knowledge, and experience of early childhood/school-age education administrators. The IDC is recognized by the State of Illinois and is also recognized as the statewide standard of management and leadership capabilities by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). By achieving the IDC, the administrator is enhancing his or her commitment to positive social, emotional, cognitive, and physical outcomes for children.

Gateways Illinois Director Credential Levels I-III meet the following ExceleRate Illinois training requirements (across all circles of quality):

  • Finding a Curriculum that Works for You
  • Introduction to Developmental Screening Tools
  • Fundamentals of Child Assessment
  • Welcoming Each & Every Child
  • Family and Community: Partners in Learning
  • An Introduction to Transitions
  • Understanding and Planning for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Basics of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Practice
  • Creating Individual Professional Development Plans