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Illinois Policy Scan

The Illinois policy scan links to sites for policies, practices, and programs in Illinois identified for their potential to help create an aligned learning continuum in the state. These sites are grouped in the following categories: governance, standards, certification, professional development, conditions, and incentives.



An Illinois P-20 Task Force provides a framework for a continuum of quality education from preschool through graduate school. Legislation creating the task force requires membership of the Chairperson of the Illinois Early Learning Council or his or her designee.

Agency web sites


Illinois has state learning standards in place to articulate what students should know and be able to do, as well as program standards to help guide educators responsible for teaching and learning. As well, professional standards are in place for school leaders. Links to each of the related learning and school leadership standards are included below:

  • Illinois Birth to Three Program Standards
  • Illinois Birth to Three Benchmarks
  • Illinois Three to Four Year Old Standards
  • Illinois Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten
  • Illinois Learning Standards
  • Illinois Snapshots of Early Literacy
  • Illinois Professional School Leader Standards
  • Illinois Social and Emotional Standards


The Type 75 certificate is required for any administrator who has the responsibility for evaluating teachers. The Illinois Board of Education and Illinois Board of Higher Education have been working collaboratively to strengthen the pathway to the principalship (through mechanisms such as the Illinois Teacher Leadership Endorsement), as well as the preparation of principals (following recommendations made by the School Leader Task Force). A web site documenting the state's work to strengthen the principalship, as well as to the Illinois Teacher Leadership Endorsement is included below.

In Illinois, a childcare director is only required to be 21 years old, have two years of college, and 18 semester hours in child development or equivalent experience. In addition to leadership certification, Illinois has an Early Childhood teaching certificate (Type 04) which is valid for teaching children birth to grade three. The Illinois Director Credential is a voluntary program that validates skills necessary to administer high-quality early care and education programs. The credential is awarded at three levels, based on achievement of skills, experience, knowledge, and leadership demonstrated in the early care and education profession.

Professional Development

  • The Type 75 certificate is valid for five years and may be renewed by completing Illinois Administrator Academy courses. A web site hosted by the Illinois State Board of Education includes a list of professional development activities for K-12 administrators for Illinois Adminstrator Academy (IAA) credit.
  • The Center offered a one-day workshop on Early Childhood: What Principals Should Know and Be Able To Do for Illinois Administrators Academy credit. The workshop was offered on the following dates:
    -- Friday, November 14 –Fairview Heights (TBA)
    8:30 am – 3:00 pm
    Donna Nylander
    -- Friday, January 30* - Arlington Heights (The DoubleTree)
    8:30 am – 3:00 pm
    Donna Nylander
  • Public Act 094-1039 requires all new principals to complete a one-year mentoring program.

  • Public Act 094-1039 also created a voluntary Illinois Distinguished Principal Leadership Institute.

  • Gateways to Opportunity is a support network designed to provide guidance and recognition to early childhood teachers and staff that includes 95 providers. 
  • The Illinois Resource Center provides assistance to teachers and administrators serving linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Data and Assessment

ISBE Data Analysis and Progress Reporting lists all of the data collection and reporting done by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Quality Counts: Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary system to assist Illinois child care programs in providing quality care for children and their families. While many states use QRS as a rating system for early childhood centers (private, public, and home-based), Illinois also uses as an incentive a quality add-on rate to the CCAP standard daily reimbursement rate for centers that achieve a certain level.


Working conditions have tremendous impact on both teacher and administrator attrition, and ultimately, student achievement. Illinois has piloted a working condition survey that will provide feedback to local and state officials to improve student and learning in K-12 schools.

The Program Administration Scale (PAS), developed by Teri Talan and Paula Jorde Bloom, is a tool for early childhood program administrators, researchers, monitoring personnel, and quality enhancement facilitators to measure the overall quality of administrative practices of early care and education programs.


Incentives provide motivation for changes in policy and practice and in Illinois this occurs often in grant funding. Illinois’ Preschool for All program requires  grantees to develop continuity and transitioning to kindergarten, as well as to monitor child’s development in early elementary years

Illinois State University
McCormick Foundation


Center for the Study of Education Policy
320 DeGarmo Hall, Campus Box 5900, Normal, Il 61790-5900
Phone: (309) 438-3034

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