Overall Policy Lever Score


The child care licensing standards require center directors to have a minimum of an associate degree with 21 semester hours of early childhood college credit. Illinois provides program directors the option of earning a competency-based director credential (IDC). This credential is offered at three degree levels, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate. The IDC is embedded within licensing standards, ExceleRate Illinois QRIS, and Preschool For All, the state-funded pre-K program. Principal licensure in Illinois is pre-K -12. There are six leadership academies offered throughout the state and four graduate degree programs in early childhood leadership.


The interactive map at the right shows the density of child care directors by county (2012 Workforce Dataset: A Review of Workforce Trends, National Workforce Registry Alliance).


Interesting Facts: Illinois

  • The Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Registry meets the National Workforce Registry Alliance Partnership Eligibility Review (PER) guidelines.

  • Illinois is the first state to require pre-K content and field experiences in higher education principal preparation programs.

  • The Illinois Director Credential has a whole leadership frame; ten content areas distributed among pedagogical leadership, administrative leadership, and essential leadership domains.