Child Care Consultants & Specialists

YWCA Child Care Solutions provides consultants trained to assist you in addressing the individual needs and challenges of the children in your care. Consultants are available to assist child care centers and family child care homes

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant

The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant program was established in response to the growing need for additional support services in the area of social, emotional, and behavioral needs of children. To address this concern, Caregiver Connections, Youth Services Network, and YWCA Child Care Solutions established a partnership. The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant works with child care providers to provide the following services:

  • Establish and maintain ongoing supportive relationships with child care providers.
  • Provide ongoing support for child care staff to enhance interactions with the children and parents they serve.
  • Assist child care providers in designing setting based intervention strategies to enhance children’s social-emotional development and mitigate behavioral disruptions.
  • Provide mental health consultation regarding particular children with mild social-emotional challenges.
  • Facilitate referrals for children and families with more intensive needs to the most appropriate available mental health (or other supportive) provider.

Call the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant if you have questions or concerns regarding a child in your care. Mary Kelley, LCPC, 815-289-2605 or 815-986-1947.


Infant-Toddler Specialist

The Infant Toddler Specialist is an experienced child care professional who provides curriculum consultations, current infant toddler practice trainings, site evaluations, information and resources for meeting State guidelines and information about Gateway Infant Toddler Credentials to providers of child care in centers and home day care. The Infant Toddler Specialist provides the following services to Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, and Jo Daviess counties:

Education on current Infant Toddler practices for child care providers

  • On-site assessments of Infant Toddler programs
  • On-site technical assistance based on assessments of the Infant Toddler Program
  • Trainings on Infant Toddler topics and needs based on community needs
  • Child care provider visits
  • Infant Toddler resources for child care providers
  • Assistance implementing child care improvement plans
  • Information about the Gateways Infant Toddler Credential

Infant-Toddler Educational Sessions

Educational sessions are now available to all Child Care Centers and Family Day Care Homes free of charge. The Infant Toddler Specialist will come to your site to provide the session. After completion of the session you will receive a 1-hour certificate that is accepted by DCFS for training hours. Available topics include:

  • Benefits of Infant/Toddler Open-ended Art
  • Boosting communication with Infant Toddlers
  • Sessions can be arranged for subjects not listed that interest your program

Questions for the Infant Toddler Specialist may be directed to Heather Gordon at (815) 484-9442, ext. 228.


ExceleRate/Quality Rating Specialists

Quality Specialists are available to assist providers through the ExceleRate process. The Specialists provide support, training, and consultation in understanding the ExceleRate process including:

  • Offering required trainings
  • Assistance in understanding and using the Environment Rating Scales (ERS), Program Administration Scale (PAS), and Business Administration Scale (BAS)
  • Onsite consultations, observations, and assessments
  • Assistance with the application process to ExceleRate
  • Development of program improvement plans
  • Referral to additional resources including the Infant Toddler Specialist, Mental Health Consultant, and Nurse Consultant

Call 815-484-9442 to speak with our Quality Specialist.

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