Professional Development & Training

Professional Development & Training

The goals of the professional development support programs are to increase the education, compensation, retention, and recognition of early care and education professionals in the field. These programs may assist with individual higher education, training, and credentialing costs. The professional development support programs also assist in providing career goals and growth in the field of early care and education.

Professional Development Training

The training calendars include workshops, conferences, and health & safety topics.

Professional Development Funds

Based on available funding, YWCA Child Care Solutions offers funds for professional development. Eligible applicants include individuals employed by center based programs and family home programs, including child care center directors, early childhood teachers/assistant teachers, school-age teachers/assistant teachers, family home providers and their assistants, who currently provide care as defined by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) and are listed on the YWCA Child Care Solutions database.

Download the FY23 Individual Professional Development Fund Application (PDF).

CPR/First Aid Reimbursement

Download the FY23 CPR Application (PDF).

License-Exempt Health & Safety Application

Download the FY23 License Exempt Child Care Grant Application (PDF).

Quality Improvement Funds Application (Cohort, Training Stipend, Accreditation Assistance)

Download the FY23 Quality Improvement Funds Application (PDF). Note: Tuition requests are to be submitted to the Illinois Gateways Scholarship Program. Review guidelines carefully.

Gateways Scholarship Program

The Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program is an individual-based scholarship opportunity for practitioners working in the field of Early Care and Education (ECE). Learn more about this program administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) at IL Gateways to Opportunity website.

Great Start Wage Supplement Program

Great Start supports the professional preparation and stability of the early childhood workforce through wage supplements awarded every six months. Wage supplements are paid to eligible early care and education professionals who have education above minimum DCFS licensing requirements and who retain employment in their current child care program. Learn more about the Great Start Wage Supplement Program administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

Questions? Contact the Training Coordinator at 815-484-9442 ext 211

Family Child Care Associations

Family child care providers are independent business owners out of their homes. Operating independently can result in feelings of isolation and frustration. By joining an association, providers find that they can work together on issues of concern and provide support for one another. Associations are often defined by location, and can be very structured or quite informal.

Professional Child Care Providers Network

Aldergate United Methodist Church
4055 N. Rockton Ave.
Rockford, IL 61103

Monthly, 2nd Tuesday
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Lisa: 815-713-1916
Pat: 815-874-5666

Early Childhood Providers

Coaches Bar and Grill
621 West Lena St.
Lena, IL 60148

Monthly, Tuesday (varies)
6:00pm – 8:00pm