Child Care Program Quality Improvement Funds

FY24 Applications and Information coming soon!

Based on available funding, Child Care Resource & Referral 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).

The Quality Improvement Funds are divided into three areas:
1.  Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS) Cohorts
2.  Training Stipends
3.  Accreditation Assistance

The following systems are currently approved for assistance:

  • COA—Council on Accreditation (School Age Credential)
  • NAC—National Association of Child Care Professionals (National Accreditation Commission)
  • NAFCC—National Association of Family Child Care
  • NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children

For information, or to apply, please download the application here:

Cohort Applications are due by and Training Stipends/Accreditation Applications are due by May 24, 2024

QI Funds FY23


Individual Professional Development Funds

Based on available funding, CCR&R is offering funds to support individual pursuit of professional development in early care and education and school-age care. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

Applications are due by May 24,2024.


Health & Safety Improvement Funds

Health & Safety Improvement grants are available to Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Licensed Exempt Child Care providers to fund materials and equipment needed to address health and safety needs. Priority will be given to Licensed Exempt providers whose requests are supported by a Health & Safety Monitoring visit. For the purpose of this document, “child care provider” includes family child care and child care centers. This grant is administered by the CCR&R and funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

Applications are due by May 24, 2024

LECC Grant app FY24


DHS is approving the use of the First Aid/CPR hybrid (on-line/in-person) course.  In order to qualify, there must be at least one in-person session to demonstrate the knowledge and ability to apply CPR correctly and safely.  If in-person classes are not offered at this time by an approved provider, it will need to be done when COVID is no longer a factor in those decisions.  Certification must be from one of the approved entities below (as of 6/4/2020):

  • American Heart Association
  • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI)
  • American Red Cross
  • American Trauma Event Management (ATEM)
  • Emergency Care and Safety Institute (ECSI)
  • Edward Atkinson/Emergency Response Health Network
  • Ellis & Associates, Inc.–Orlando FL
  • EMS Safety Services
  • National Safety Council
  • Pro-Trainings, LLC
  • R.H. Sanders & Associates

In partnership with CCR&R, IDHS is providing funds to assist child care practitioners to achieve First Aid (FA)/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification.  Please see the below application for more details.


For questions or additional information, please feel free to contact: Nancy Beal, Director of SDA5 815-741-1163 Ext. 267


College tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is available through the Illinois Gateways Scholarship Program. For information on Gateways tuitions assistance visit or call 866-697-8278

Applications can be submitted to:

Child Care Resource & Referral
Attention; Nancy Beal
801 N. Larkin Ave., Suite 202
Joliet, IL 60435

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Child Care Resource & Referral - Joliet & Kankakee, IL