Quality Improvement Funds

Based on available funding, YWCA Child Care Solutions is offering funds to support continued quality improvement for child care programs. Quality Improvement Funds are designed to assist child care programs to improve quality and achieve/advance an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality or a Gateways Training Tiers. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

FY ’22 Quality Improvement Funds Guidelines and Application

Quality Improvement Funds are divided into three areas:

ExceleRate Illinois Cohorts

A cohort is a group of individuals working towards a common goal – working to improve the quality of care, working towards/maintaining an ExceleRate® Illinois Circle of Quality. In addition, it provides an opportunity to develop relationships with peers. Upon completion of the requirements & expectations, programs may request funds to help achieve objectives noted on the program’s Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP).

Training Stipends

Licensed center based child care programs and licensed family child care homes working towards/maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality may apply for a training stipend. The stipend applies only to the required training within an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality and is available only to the staff required to attend the training.

Accreditation Assistance

Accreditation is a voluntary process that provides child care programs the opportunity to examine their services based on recognized standards of high quality. The Accreditation Assistance option is for child care programs that are applying for or maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Silver or Gold Circle of Quality (centers)/ Quality Rating System Star Level (family child care).


License Exempt Child Care Health & Safety Improvement Funds

Health and Safety Improvement grants are available to Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) License Exempt Child Care providers to fund materials and equipment needed to address health and safety needs. This grant is available to license exempt family child care homes and child care centers.  Priority will be given to License Exempt providers whose requests are supported by a Health and Safety monitoring visit.

FY22 License Exempt Grant Guidelines and Application