Funding & Grants

Child Care Restoration Extension Round 5 Grant & Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grants (SGCC)

Child Care Restoration Extension Round 5 Grant
is available for all licensed programs, including licensed exempt centers. To be eligible for Round 5 Grant (programs must have participated, completed, and accepted monthly reporting for all previous grant-funded months to be found eligible for CCRG Extension Round 5 funding).  Programs can apply for either the 2022 CCRG Extension or the SGCC grant below, but not both.
If your program did not participate in ALL previous grant-funded CCRG months, your only option is to apply for the SGCC grant.  More information about the Child Care Restoration Extension Grant (CCRG) can be found here.


The Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grants (SGCC) is available to all programs who:

  • Are licensed as a child care center, child care home, or group child care home. 
  • Current Gateways Registry Membership
  • Access to the Gateways Directors Portal
  • Were in operation as of March 2021 and continue to care for children today. 
  • Operate full-day and full-year, defined as an open program and offering at least eight consecutive hours of care per day, five days per week. 
  • Enrolled 10% or more of the program’s licensed capacity with children in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) during any month in 2020 or 2021 and currently participate in CCAP.   
  • Receive no more than 50% of total early childhood program/site revenue from Early Childhood Block Grant funding (including Preschool for All (PFA) and/or Prevention Initiative (PI)) or Head Start/Early Head Start. 
  • Do not accept a 2022 Child Care Restoration Extension Grant award (programs can apply for either 2022 CCRG Extension or SGCC, but not both) 


SGCC Grant applications will be available on January 3, 2022. The application deadline has been extended and will close on February 4, 2022. This application is available via the Gateways Directors Portal. Programs can email for portal access and technical assistance. 

The available tip sheet and FAQ will assist in determining which grant is best for your program. Keeping in mind, the Child Care Restoration Extension Grant is only available to programs that participated previously. 

The Illinois Department of Human Services will administer this program in partnership with the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). More information on the program can be found on the SGCC webpage here. For questions, please email or call 1.855.939.4858.

  • Click here to read the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant Frequently Asked Questions in English.
  • Click here to read the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant Frequently Asked Questions in Spanish.
  • Click here to read the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant Tipsheet in English.
  • Click here to read the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant Tipsheet in Spanish.

Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship: Details and Application Coming Soon!

Members of the early childhood education workforce who are seeking credentials and/or a degree in early childhood education may be eligible for the new Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program, launching this fall. Program information, eligibility details, and an online application will be available soon via the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Click here for more information! 
If you’d like to be considered, you do not need to wait for the ECACE Scholarship Application to be available to get started.  In addition to the ECACE Scholarship Application, applicants will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), or FAFSA at for the same academic year that they are applying for the scholarship, so you can get started now.  
If you haven’t filed an online FAFSA before, you will need to: 
1.    Create an FSA ID at to use as your electronic signature.   
2.    Once you access the online FAFSA and log in, you will be asked to choose the school year for which you will be completing the FAFSA.  This will need to be the same year as the ECACE application you are submitting.  For example, if you are applying to receive the ECACE Scholarship during this year (the 2021-22 academic year), you must also select the 2021-22 FAFSA when given the option after logging in. 

For Child Care Providers: FY22 CPR/FA Reimbursement Application

FY22 CPR/FA Reimbursement Application - July 1, 2021 - June 1, 2022. Funds are available for providers to take CPR/FA and submit for reimbursement. 

FY22 CPR/FA Reimbursement Application English Application | Spanish Application
W-9 English | W-9 Spanish

Child Care Restoration Grants

The Child Care Restoration Grants (CCRG) 2021 are designed to be meaningful financial supports to help the early childhood infrastructure weather the storm brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate you and the work you have done – for many of you uninterrupted – over the last 18 months. The CCRG program is funded through federal COVID-19 stabilization dollars, and as those federal funding packages have changed since the start of the pandemic, we have modified and adjusted the grant program and reporting requirements as needed. Illinois continues to lead the nation in the direct supports provided to the child care workforce and we are proud of the investments we have made during the pandemic.

Throughout 2021 we have closely monitored enrollment numbers across child care. Moving into 2022 the state will shift its resources away from a stabilization grant and into a new strategy to build back better. We encourage programs to use the next 6 months of restoration grants to stabilize and focus on increasing enrollment, so your child care program is on solid and stable ground at the end of the calendar year. More details will be announced in the coming months about 2022 strategies to support the child care infrastructure and truly build back better for a stronger future.

Child Care Restoration Grants Overview & Application

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched the availability of the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, which provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income consumers. Eligible households can enroll through an approved broadband service provider or by visiting the site. Eligible households can receive: 

  • Up to a $50-per-month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount are allowed per household. Program rules acknowledge that there may be more than one eligible household member residing at the same address. 

Help in applying for the program is available from the Emergency Broadband Support Center by emailing or calling (833) 511-0311. 
The EBB Program will end when funds are exhausted or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health emergency, whichever is sooner.

From IDHS: Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Technical Assistance

The Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) was created to provide consistent processes for State grants that comply with federal reporting and auditing standards.

To support more grassroots organizations that serve hard-to-reach communities, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) GATA Technical Assistance Learning Management System (LMS) was developed to provide guidance on the grant application process.

Go directly to the GATA Training Course Learning Management System sign-in page. For questions and assistance with the system, send a brief message to You can also learn more about GATA on the IDHS website.

New Initiative Supporting ECE Leaders: Quality Facilities for All!

IFF is excited and honored to offer early childhood education leaders in high-need communities across Illinois an opportunity to receive up to $50,000 in facilities-focused grants, leadership and professional development opportunities, and technical assistance through the Quality Facilities for All (QFA) Initiative. 

QFA is committed to expanding and improving access to infant and toddler care across Illinois by addressing facility quality concerns related to indoor air quality, temperature, ventilation, noise, lighting, classroom furnishing, and outdoor play areas. These factors contribute to high-quality learning environments, which are proven to positively impact the learning, development, and well-being of infants and toddlers. QFA is a statewide program that will focus on high-need communities identified by IFF research, with a current focus on Englewood, Roseland, and South Lawndale. View two Quality Facilities for All pilot projects in Chicago by clicking here

Applications for Quality Facilities for All will be available June 1st. 

For additional information and eligibility criteria, please visit IFF's website.

Erikson Institute Offers Scholarships for Their Online I/ECMH Certificate Program 

Erikson Institute’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program is a post-graduate academic program designed to support experienced professionals working with infants, young children, and families. Students learn to support the mental, emotional, and social needs of infants, young children, and their families. Students in the Infant Mental Health Program come from a variety of backgrounds including social work, psychology, child development, early childhood education, early intervention, and other fields working with infants and young children.

The program is fully online with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous classes for a total of 18-credit hours completed over two academic years. Ideal candidates for this program are experienced professionals who are interested in enhancing their professional capacities with an infant and early childhood mental health lens. A bachelor’s degree with 3-5 years of experience is required for admission.

Applications are currently being accepted by the Erikson Institute for the 2021-2022 school year. All applicants will be considered for scholarship funding. For more information and to complete the on-line application, please visit Erikson’s website.

You may also contact Sarah Martinez, Co-Director of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program at Erikson, for further information at: 312-893-7235 or

IDHS Grant Technical Assistance Tools

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has launched a new tool to help organizations across Illinois successfully comply with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA).

The IDHS Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Technical Assistance (TA) Learning Management System (LMS) was developed to provide technical assistance and navigation of the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act and the grant application process.

The system is available for self-paced, online learning, with an instructor in a physical classroom or in a virtual classroom online. It includes six modules and the estimated time to complete all modules is approximately 24 hours.

The weblink for self-paced, online learning is available at no cost on the IDHS website under the "Providers" tab, in the "Provider Information" section.

Coronavirus Resources for Child Care Providers

During this time as the nation continues to face challenges related to COVID-19, the Committee for Economic Development (CED) has compiled a clearinghouse of resources in an effort to help child care providers (child care homes and centers) access federal sources for support. Resources will be added to the Coronavirus Resources for Child Care Providers webpage as they become available.

The following documents may be of particular interest given the recently passed FY2021 Consolidated Appropriations & COVID Relief Act (P.L. 116-260):

Early Childhood Funding Commission Town Hall Meetings

Governor Pritzker’s Early Childhood Funding Commission—an appointed group of child care and early education leaders charged with making recommendations that will result in big, meaningful changes that will give parents better child care and early education options hosted two town hall meetings.

The Commission hosted a series of community Town Hall meetings on their draft recommendations. Click on the links below to view the recordings of the Town Hall meetings.

During the town hall meetings, participants had the opportunity to connect directly with members of the Commission to ask questions about their emerging recommendations, that are to:

  • Make it easier to manage and communicate about the quality and availability of child care options by pulling all the programs into one new structure;
  • Make it easier to get public funding for child care to local child care providers; and
  • Urge the state to invest billions more in early childhood so that more providers can provide excellent care to all families who want it, in all parts of the State.

IL GOECD Supporting Gateways to Opportunity Credential Fee Waivers 

Since June of 2020, over 3,000 individuals have taken advantage of this credential fee waiver opportunity, and you can, too! Please share this information with your colleagues, child care programs, family child care providers, and family workers, as there is still time to apply! Next steps: Apply directly online in your Registry (or email your application if you prefer) and send official transcripts to INCCRRA if they are not already on file.

That's it! Two simple steps to apply for your Gateways to Opportunity ECE, Infant Toddler, Illinois Director, Family Specialist, Technical Assistance, or Family Child Care Credential. Apply today!


 Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

The City of Chicago's Neighborhood Opportunity Fund will open for grant applications from entrepreneurs and nonprofit groups on the South, West, and Southwest sides. A map of eligible areas can be found on the program's website here.

IRS Home Office Deduction 

As many small business have transitioned to working from home, they might be eligible to claim some of their expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, insurance, utilities and more. To see if you qualify, visit for more information.

Call for Applications: Lena Start Launch Funds

LENA is a national nonprofit on a mission to help communities accelerate language development in children birth to age three in order to improve their cognitive, social, and emotional health and to close opportunity gaps. Due to COVID-19, communities across the country are looking for new ways to ensure every child has enriching early language experiences. LENA’s launch grants for LENA Start provide funding for family engagement and early language development. These grants can help school districts, libraries, Head Starts, and early childhood education centers offer their families an evidence-based group model program that is helping to create stronger families and increase school readiness.

Click here for more information and to apply for funding.