Child Care Program Quality Improvement Funds

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 and submit it by December 15, 2020: (Deadline is December 15, 2020)

FY21 QI Funds Guidelines & Applications – Deadline is December 15, 2020

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)

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).


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 classess 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 Institue (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.  As all in-person trainings have been suspended through at least the end of September, we will be offering funding on a reimbursement basis.  Please see the below application for more details.

FY 2021 First Aid/CPR Application

For information, or to apply, please download the application here: (Deadline June 15, 2020)
FY20 License Exempt Grant Application

For questions or additional information, please feel free to contact: Valerie Varju, CCR&R Director 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 ilgateways.comor call 866-697-8278

Applications can be submitted to:

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

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Child Care Resource & Referral - Joliet & Kankakee, IL