ExceleRate Illinois

The Gold Circle of Quality

What is ExceleRate Illinois?


As an early learning and development program, we appreciate the importance of making quality a priority.  Research has confirmed that the way we engage with children from birth through kindergarten significantly impacts school readiness and success throughout their lives. 

ExceleRate™ Illinois gives us the framework we need to make continuous quality improvements in our programs, and to be recognized for our quality achievements.  ExceleRate™ Illinois is designed for early learning and development programs.


ExceleRate™ Illinois uses a consistent set of standards, organized into four domains:

  • Teaching and Learning

  • Family and Community Engagement

  • Leadership and Management

  • Qualifications and Continuing Education


Circle of Quality

Programs achieve a Circle of Quality based on standards under each of the four domains:


Licensed Circle of Quality    reflects compliance with licensing standards
Bronze Circle of Quality      reflects your efforts around training and education
Silver Circle of Quality        signals that you’ve completed a rigorous self-assessment process and made the improvements indicated
Gold Circle of Quality         acknowledges your improvement efforts as verified by an independent assessor


Scribbles is proud to receive the highest Circle of Quality:   














What is a credential?


Credentials are awarded to individuals who have successfully demonstrated their ability in areas identified as critical to the early care and education profession. Through a series of indicators including experience and education, credentials are awarded to practitioners who document their competence in nurturing and educating young children.


Gateways credentials are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development. They are required for varying Circles of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois and can be used as a prerequisite of employment in early learning programs.




Credential Levels


Levels can be earned by:

  •  completing an approved program at an entitled college or university

  •  completing a portfolio that documents education and experience


The levels include:


ECE Credentials
        Level 1-5


Infant Toddler Credential (IT)

         Level 1-5

Illinois Director Credential (IDC)

         Level 1-3


School-Age and Youth Development Credential (SAYD)
         Level 1-5



You can see what level each of our staff members has received by reading their bios. Go to our homepage or


To find out more about Credentials

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