What is Gateways to Opportunity?
Gateways to Opportunity is the single statewide support network designed to support Illinois early care and education, school-age and youth development professionals like you. From credentialing to career guidance to education and training resources to peer networking and more, Gateways to Opportunity focuses on what matters most: helping you help children.
Gateways to Opportunity was designed to provide guidance, encouragement, and recognition to individuals and programs serving children, youth, and families. Resources and services provided by Gateways to Opportunity include Credentials, Professional Development Advisors, Great START, Gateways to Opportunity Registry, the Illinois Trainers Network and Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program.
For more information about Gateways to Opportunity, go to: www.ilgateways.com
Gateways to Opportunity provides a central resource to help you meet career development goals by providing services and unique benefits, including:
- Professional Development Advisors (PDAs)—Provide an opportunity to work with individuals who can help achieve professional development and credentialing goals. For early care and education, school-age, and youth development.
- Credentialing and Recognition Levels—Facilitate smooth transitions through the professional development network, enabling professionals to obtain meaningful credentials, degrees, and support for increased compensation.
- Career Employment Paths and Choices—Recruit, support, and retain professionals by identifying pathways for career advancement and movement between positions for early care and education, school-age, and youth development practitioners.
- Core Job Competencies and Requirements—Guarantee that early care and education professionals, policymakers, and advocates are familiar with the core knowledge and skills of those who care for young children and their families in Illinois.
- Education and Training Resources—Coordinate, improve, and increase access to education and training required for continued work or advancement in the field, both online and through qualified advisors.
- Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Opportunities—Pays a percentage of the cost of tuition, fees, and books for practitioners working in early care and education (ECE) and school-age child care.
- Great START Work Compensation—Rewards eligible ECE practitioners in DCFS licensed child care centers, family/group, and family child care providers for receiving higher education and for remaining at their current place of employment.
- Gateways Registry is a resource and tool to drive quality and accountability for early care and education, school-age, and youth development practitioners and programs. Registry Membership provides a system to track professional attainment and completion of training requirements by individual practitioners, from college coursework to community-based training. For Registry Members, the system will maintain a permanent record of these achievements (a Professional Development Record), which can be updated on a regular basis. The Registry also includes a trainer and training approval process that will recognize and validate trainers and trainings that meet the standards and criteria of the Registry. That approval process will strengthen the integrity of the professional development system in Illinois.
- Statewide Online training calendar lists professional development events (e.g. workshops, conferences, and training series) that practitioners need in order to meet licensing requirements, obtain credentials, and work toward the Quality Rating System (QRS).The Statewide Online Training Calendar lists trainings that have been Registry-approved as well as trainings offered through the states’ Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Agencies. You can search the calendar in many ways: by date, by county, or CCR&R Service Delivery Area (SDA), and by topic (CDA content area, Gateways content area, and keywords).
For more information contact: 1-866-697-8278 or www.ilgateways.com