This is an exciting time for Illinois children and families! Illinois was one of only 13 states to win the federal Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grant. Illinois will receive $34.8 million over the next 4 years. Part of this grant opportunity called for Illinois to create a quality rating & improvement system inclusive of all early learning and development programs. Effective July 1, 2013, the State is implementing ExceleRate Illinois for licensed child care, Head Start and Preschool for All programs. Visit for more information.

You can view the entire grant Illinois submitted here on the Office of Early Childhood Development web site.

Important Notes:

  • Quality Counts QRS will continue to accept applications for licensed family/ group child care homes and license-exempt child care providers.
  • Licensed family/group child care homes will transition into the new ExceleRate System in 2015.  More information about this transition will be shared in the future.