SERVING CLAY, CRAWFORD, EDWARDS, EFFINGHAM, FAYETTE, JASPER, JEFFERSON, LAWRENCE, MARION, RICHLAND, WABASH & WAYNE COUNTY
Project CHILD - Caring How Illinois Lives Develop

Contact Us

Mail
Project CHILD
PO Box 827
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

Phone
(800)362-7257
(618)244-2210

FAX
(618)244-5209

E-mail
[email protected]

Visit
Monday thru Thursday
8 am – 4:30 pm

Friday
8 am - 4 pm

327 Potomac Blvd.
Suite C.
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

trainingCal

OnlineReferrals
ONLINE REFERRALS

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 ProviderIntro

Training Opportunities

The field of early childhood offers many opportunities to improve your skills for working with children, families and to advance your career. You may want to learn more about developmentally appropriate practices, program curriculum or caring for children with special needs.  Project CHILD can help you create the best learning environment for children through our trainings and workshops.  Use the Project CHILD training calendar to discover your path to success.

Download a registration form here:

TRAINING REGISTRATION FORM

To view the current Training Calendar use the link below:

TRAINING CALENDAR JAN TO JUNE 2018

 

 Professional Development Funds

 

Based on available funding, Project CHILD is offering funds to support individual pursuit of professional development in early care and education and school-age care. Funds are provided through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

 

Who Can Apply?

  • Individual practitioners currently employed by center based programs and family home programs that provide care as defined by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Individual practitioners include child care center directors, early childhood teachers/assistant teachers, school age teachers/assistant teachers, family home providers and assistants. In addition, child care center support staff (e.g., cook, driver) when appropriate. 
  • Applicant must be current a member of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry. Registry membership is free. Practitioners may sign up for the registry at  Gateways to Opportunity
  • The child care program/provider must be listed on the Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) referral database and must currently be providing care in one of the following counties: Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Richland, Wabash and Wayne.
  • The child care program/provider must have no unpaid financial obligation to the CCR&R agency or the IDHS Bureau of Child Care and Development.

What Can Funding Be Requested For?

  • Registration fees associated with conferences/workshops not required by ExceleRate Illinois.
  • The conference/workshop must be off-site from your place of employment and must be related to early care and education, school-age care or child care administration/management.
  • Fees associated with webinars/online training that is Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Registry-approved.
  • Travel/Transportation cost.
  • Lodging cost.
  • Costs associated with the following credentials:
    • Child Development Associate (CDA) www.cdacouncil.org 1-800-424-4310
    • Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) ww.necpa.net 1-800-458-2644
    • Gateways Credentials (IDC, ECE, ITC) www.ilgateways.com 1-866-697-8278

What Can't Funds Be Requested For?

  • College tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is available through the Illinois Gateways Scholarship Program. For information on the Gateways tuitions assistance visit www.ilgateways.com or call 866-697-8278.
  • Workshops required under the ExceleRate Bronze, Silver or Gold Circle of Quality. Visit www.excelerateillinois.com for a complete listing.
  • Conference/workshops in which Project CHILD is the fiscal agent (i.e., registration fees are paid to the CCR&R).
  • Special events during a conference (e.g., concert, recognition event, reception, etc.).
  • The cost of meals (unless included in basic registration fee).
  • Out of state conferences/workshops beyond 50 miles from any Illinois border.
  • Conferences/workshops in which the primary focus in political advocacy and/or sectarian (religious) instruction.
  • Advisors, Consultants or Mentors.
  • Substitute care.
  • Membership fee to a professional organization

What Are Funding Maximums? 

  • The minimum request is $15.
  • The maximum funding amount per event/credential is 80% of the actual cost, as funding allows; and
  • The maximum funding amount available per person is $700 per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  • Additional information is on the application, Step 2.

Where Are Applications Submitted?

  • Project CHILD, 327 Potomac Blvd., Suite C, PO Box 827, Mt. Vernon, IL  62864

        FAX 618-244-5209 or e-mail 

For more information on Professional Development Funds download a copy of the

Guidelines, Requirements & Application pdfHERE

  

 

The Gateways Scholarship Program

The Gateways Scholarship Program is an individual-based scholarship opportunity for practitioners working in Early Care and Education (ECE).  Beginning with the Fall 2008 term, the Gateways Scholarship program will replace the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Program.  Practitioners working in Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) licensed centers and homes can apply for a Gateways Scholarship.  Goals of the program include:

  • Enabling practitioners to continue education in ECE and to earn degrees and/or credentials
  • Promoting increased earning ability through increased education
  • Improving the quality and consistency of care received by children in licensed child care settings

The Gateways Scholarship Program will pay a percentage of the cost of tuition, fees and books based on an eligible participant’s child care position income.  The program also provides bonuses based on an eligible participant’s grade point average and completion of work commitment in ECE.  Great START rewards practitioners working in IDCFS licensed programs who have attained education above licensing requirements and who remain employed at the same child care program.

The Gateways Scholarship and Great START Programs are administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

To join The Gateway Registry please click the link below or call toll free, (800)863-0499.

   

The Great START Program

Great START (Strategy to Attract and Retain Teachers) can provide you with extra money on top of what you’re already making. Great START is a wage supplement program that rewards eligible early care and education practitioners in DCFS licensed childcare centers, family/group family child care providers for receiving higher education and for remaining at their current place of employment.

 

Program Specifics:

  • Great START rewards child care practitioners by supplementing their income based on education they have already attained above DCFS licensing standards.
  • Great START wage supplements are paid directly to the eligible practitioner on a six-month schedule based on his/her continued employment at the same program.
  • Great START helps an agency maintain employees, therefore increasing quality and consistent care to the children, without raising parent fees.
  • Great START builds on and complements the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program. The Gateways Scholarship Program assists child care practitioners with attaining more education, Great START rewards those who have already attained education and remain employed at the same child care program.
  • Great START's wage supplement scale determines practitioners eligibility based on educational attainment and eligible position.

To obtain more information about the Great START program or receive an application, please visit the INCCRRA website or call toll free, (866) MYSTART

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 Accreditation

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary process that provides family child care homes, centers, and school-age programs the opportunity to examine their services based on recognized standards of high quality.  The purpose of accreditation is to offer professional recognition and consumer distinction to providers who meet high standards of quality child care through their consistency and dedication.  The process involves a self-study completed by the practitioners, a validation visit from the professional organization and a final decision made by a commission that reviews the information from applicants and validators.

For additional information or support during the accreditation process, contact Tranae Brockhouse at 800-362-7257 x-103 or at .

Accreditation Assistance Funds

Based on available funding, Project CHILD is offering funds to support child care programs in the pursuit of Accreditation. Funds are provided through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

 

Who Can Apply?

  • individual practitioners currently employed by cente  
  • The child care program must be listed on the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) referral database and must currently provide services in one of  the following Illinois counties:  Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Richland, Wabash and Wayne counties.   
  • Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements of the accrediting body.  For the eligibility requirements please refer to the appropriate website.

What Can Funding Be Requested For?

Fees associated with the accreditation process as outlined in Step 2 of the application.

 

Download the Accreditation Assistance Funds

 Guidelines, Requirements & Application HERE

 

Individual Accreditation Systems are detailed below: 

NAFCC National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation

What is NAFCC Accreditation? An accreditation system that has been designed to help family child care providers set and reach quality improvement goals and to help parents and policymakers identify high quality care in a home setting. 
NAFCC Eligibility

·        Offer care to children in your home 
·        Primary caregiver (children are not left with a substitute more than 20% of the  time) 
·        21 years of age or older 
·        High school diploma or equivalent 
·        18 months experience as a family child care provider 
·        90 hours of documented training

The Accreditation Process:

1.     Self-Study Process- NAFCC will send a self-study packet (includes provider self-study workbook and standards guidebook). This packet should be used for assessment of the program in order to make quality improvements where needed.

2.     Observation Visit- After all quality improvements have been made, NAFCC will arrange for an on-site observation visit. 

For more information about NAFCC (515) 282-8192 or visit www.nafcc.org

NAEYC National Association for the Education of Young Children

The purpose of the National Academy of Early Childhood (division of NAEYC) is to improve the quality of care and education provided for young children in all types of preschools, kindergartens, child care centers and school-age child care programs.

NAEYC Eligibility

·        Serve a minimum of 10 children within the age group birth to five in part or full day group programs and/or school-age children served before and/or after school with at least two adults present.

·        In operation at least 1 year prior to accreditation.

·        Licensed by appropriate state/local licensing agency. If license-exempt, demonstrate compliance with its own state standards for early childhood programs.

·        Include the entire program that comes under the eligibility criteria in the self-study and validation process.

The Accreditation Process:

1.     Self-Study Process- The program personnel and parents conduct a self-study to determine how well the program meets the criteria and make needed improvements.

2.     Validation Visit- Trained validators make an on-site visit to verify the accuracy of the program description.

3.     Accreditation Decision- A three-person commission considers the validated program description and makes a final accreditation decision.
For more information about NAEYC 1-800-424-2460, ext. 360 or visitwww.naeyc.org

NAC National Accreditation Commission

The National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs (NAC) is a national accreditation program that was developed for early care and education programs used to promote professionalism and quality in child care.

The NAC Process

The process includes three parts.

1.     A self-study component

2.     A validation visit

3.     A review by the NAC commission for the final accreditation decision.

      For more information about NAC 1-800-537-1118 or visit www.naccp.org

 

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 Credential

What Are Credentials?

Credentials are awarded to individuals who have successfully demonstrated their ability in areas identified as critical to the early care and education profession.  Through a series of indicators including experience and education, credentials are awarded to practitioners who document their competence in nurturing and educating young children.

Listed below are the Credentials available.  For more information and support in the credentialing process, contact Paula Burris at 800-362-7257 x-111 or at .

CDA  Child Development Associate

The Child Development Associate (CDA) program represents a national effort to credential qualified caregivers who work with children from birth to age five. Focusing on the skills of child care providers, the program is designed to provide performance-based training, assessment and credentialing of child care staff, home visitors and family child care providers.

What is a CDA? A CDA is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA assessment and who has been awarded the CDA credential. These individuals have demonstrated their ability to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth in a child development framework.

Credential Eligibility

·        18 years of age or older

·        High school diploma or equivalent

·        480 hours of experience working with children within the past 5 years

·        120 hours of formal child care education /training within the past 5 years

Credential Endorsements
Candidates who apply for the CDA credential can select one of the following endorsements:

1.      Center-based Preschool

2.     Center-based Infant/Toddler

3.     Family Child Care

4.     Home Visitor

Credentialing Options

1.     Direct Assessment: This approach is designed for candidates who already have child care work experience in combination with some training in early childhood education.

2.     CDA Professional Preparation Program: This approach is a one-year training program that offers candidates child development coursework and field experiences in child care settings to enable them to build the necessary skills needed. 
For more information about CDA, contact The Council for Professional Recognition at 1-800-424-4310 or access the website at www.cdacouncil.org

CCP Child Care Professional

The NECPA Commission, Inc awards the Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) Early Childhood Education Specialist credential. This national credential is awarded to professionals who have exhibited standards of excellence in the child care or early education field.

Credential Eligibility

 Individuals with:

·        High school diploma or equivalent

·        18 years of age or older

·        720 hours child care experience within the past five years in a licensed facility serving children between birth and six years of age

To obtain more information contact NECPA:

 

The NECPA Commission, Inc.

887 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.

Suite 212

Mt. Pleasant, SC  29464

1-800-505-9878

www.necpa.net

ITC Infant Toddler Credential 

 

Gateways Infant Toddler Credential (ITC) Levels 2 to 5 are for child care professionals working with children birth to age 3 who have specific levels of training, education and experience.  To earn an ITC Level 2 to 5, you must also meet the requirements for a Gateways ECE Credential.  You will need to decide whether to apply via the Direct Route or the Entitled Route.

  • Direct Route:  you will compile existing information that documents your Education and Training and Work and Practical Experience in early care and education. 
  •  Entitled Route:  you will have attended an Entitled Institution and completed the required courses.  An Entitled Institution is a college or university who has aligned their coursework with credential requirements.

 

The Gateways ECE Credential is built on Content Areas and uses a Framework to show what is required at each level.

 

For more information, visit this website:  http://www.ilgateways.com/en/infant-toddler-credential-2-5

 

ECE Early Childhood Education

 

The Gateways Early Childhood Education (ECE) Credentials Levels 2 to 5 are for child care professionals working with children birth to age 8 who have specific levels of training, education and experience.  To earn an ECE Credential Level 2 to 5, you will need to decide whether to apply via the Direct Route or the Entitled Route.

  • Direct Route:  you will compile existing information that documents your Education and Training and Work and Practical Experience in early care and education. 
  • Entitled Route:  you will have attended an Entitled Institution and completed the required courses.  An Entitled Institution is a college or university who has aligned their coursework with credential requirements.

 

The Gateways ECE Credential is built on Content Areas and uses a Framework to show what is required at each level.

 

For more information, visit this website:  http://www.ilgateways.com/en/ece-credential-level-2-5

 

IDC Illinois Director Credential

The Illinois Director Credential (IDC) is a voluntary professional credential for directors. It is an opportunity for a center-based or group home director to validate their knowledge, skills and experience as a director in the field of early childhood.

Credential Eligibility

Individuals who:

·        Hold a degree or are interested in obtaining a degree in Early Childhood

·        Have director experience or are willing to acquire necessary experience

 

How is the IDC earned?

It is earned through validation of accomplishments in five areas. The five areas include:

·        General Education

·        Early Childhood/School-Age Knowledge and Skills

·        Management Knowledge and Skills

·        Teaching and Management Experience

·        Professional Contributions Awarded at three levels, the individual must have attained:

o                   Associate Degree for Level I

o                   Baccalaureate Degree for Level II

o                   Master’s or other advanced degree for Level III

How can I earn the IDC?

1.     The direct route is best for those who currently hold a degree and have completed early childhood coursework. Applicants may apply to work with a professional growth advisor and compile a professional portfolio. The portfolio will document general and specialized education, experience and professional contributions.

2.     The entitled route applicant would apply directly to an institution that has been awarded the Illinois Director Credential. The student will complete requirements for the IDC while completing their degree.

How can the Illinois Director Credential benefit me?

·        Personal and professional recognition

·        Validation of specialized skills

·        Improved management skills

·        Possible Great START bonus or salary increase

To obtain more information about the Illinois Director Credential or to receive an application, please access the INCCRRA website, www.inccrra.org or call toll free (800) 649-1884.

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Quality Improvement Funds

 

Quality Improvement Funds are designed to assist child care programs to achieve/maintain/advance an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality.  Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

 

Child care programs are eligible to apply for Quality Improvement Funds if they meet the following criteria:

  •  Program must be listed on Project CHILD’s provider Database
  •  Programs must be currently providing care in Project CHILD’s 12 county area
  •  Programs must have no unpaid financial obligation to Project CHILD or IDHS Bureau of Child Care and Development

 

The Quality Improvement Funds are divided into three areas:  ExceleRate Illinois Cohorts, Training Stipends, and Accreditation Assistance.

 

  • ExceleRate Illinois Cohorts – a cohort is a group of individuals working toward a common goal.  It provides an opportunity to learn, work on the goal and develop relationships.  Project CHILD will offer cohort groups for programs working towards/maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality (with the exception of maintaining licensing).
  •  Training Stipend – To assist the child care program with costs associated with staff participating in required ExceleRate Illinois training.
  • Accreditation Assistance – funds are available for child care programs that are applying for or maintaining an ExceleRate Illinois Silver or Gold Circle of Quality.

  Download an application form here:

pdf2018 QUALITY IMPROVEMENT FUNDS APPLICATION

For more information about the Quality Improvement Funds please contact Paula Burris at 800-362-7257 x-111 or email at .

 

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ExceleRate Illinois 

 

ExceleRate Illinois helps child care programs prepare children for success in school and in life.  This quality rating and improvement system gives you a process for pursuing quality efforts that will help you learn more, do better and improve developmental skills among the children in your care.  ExceleRate Illinois also provides standards, guidelines, resources and supports to help you make sensible changes that lead to better quality outcomes.

 

ExceleRate Illinois is a comprehensive system that includes:

·         Licensed Child Care Centers

·         Licensed Family/Group Child Care Homes

·         Preschool for all and Center-based Prevention Initiative Programs

·         Head Start/Early Head Start Programs

 

Programs achieve a Circle of Quality, based on meeting standards under each of the four domains; 1) Teaching and Learning; 2) Family and Community Engagement; 3) Leadership and Management; and 4) Qualifications and Continuing Education.

  •         Licensed Circle of Quality is the foundational circle of quality, and recognizes compliance  with the licensing standards of the State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
  •        Bronze Circle of Quality recognizes staff qualifications and professional development, with completion of a series of trainings for teachers and program administrators.  Bronze Circle trainings are aligned with the standards of ExceleRate Illinois, and prepare programs for success as they progress through the Circles of Quality.
  •        Silver Circle of Quality recognizes completion of a self-assessment and implementation of a continuous quality improvement process, as verified by an independent assessor.  Silver Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment and instructional quality, along with selected program administrative standards; staff qualifications; and professional development.
  •           Gold Circle of Quality recognizes programs which have demonstrated quality on all fifteen standards, as validated by an independent assessor.  Gold Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality, and all program administrative standards; group size and staff/child ratios; staff qualifications; and professional development.

 

For more information on ExceleRate Illinois, please contact a member of our Quality Consultant Team at 800-362-7257

 

Paula Burris, ext. 111

Jamie Nichols, ext. 120

Jacquelyn Anselment, ext. 112.

 

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 Mental Health Consultant

Project CHILD’s Early Childhood Mental Health program is a unique support program aimed at helping child care providers recognize, understand and respond to the social emotional needs of the children, birth through age five, in their care.  The Child Care Mental Health Consultant has a background in social work and mental health expertise, and is able to support child care providers in their work with children by:

·        Identifying and strengthening providers skills in supporting a child’s healthy social emotional development

·        Offering support in the development of partnerships between providers and parents

·        Training

·        Referral to other services when needed

CHILDREN’S ISSUES

Behaviors of children, birth through age five, including:

·        Difficulty listening and cooperating

·        Problems with biting or hitting

·        Eating or sleeping problems

·        Over-activity

·        Shyness, inability to play with others

·        Anxiety

·        Tantrums or excessive crying

·        Aggression

·        Delays in development

PROVIDER SUPPORT

Training topics incude:

·        How Can an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Help Me?

·        Relationship Building:  A Key to a Peaceful Environment

·        The Balancing Act:  Taking Time to Care for Ourselves, While Caring for Others

·        No Biting

·        Behavioral Issues and Aggressive Behaviors

·        Treading Thin Ice (How to Speak with Parents About Sensitive Issues)

·        Alphabet Soup (A discussion of Common Mental Health Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms)

·        Bye-Bye to Battles (A Discussion of Behavioral Issues and Interventions)

·        The Fingerprint of Childhood Trauma and Abuse)

·        Social Emotional Teaching Strategies

You can contact the mental health consultant by calling 618-839-2114 by email at.

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Lending Library

Who can use the Lending Library?

Resource Library membership is available to child care providers of any type, parents, and community members who have an interest in child care.  Included in the library are child care books, videos, curriculum items for all age groups, large motor equipment and infant toddler equipment.  Contact the Project CHILD office at 800-362-7257 for a CD catalog listing of all resources available. 

To become a member of the Resource Library, contact Project CHILD for a loan agreement or download the loan agreement below and return to Project CHILD with the annual Resource Library membership fee of $5.00.

Lending Library Loan Agreement

  Some of the information on our site may require Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view.

You can obtain this free of charge by clicking here

 

Self Study Modules

Project CHILD is committed to offering training opportunities that support safe and nurturing environments for young children.  Self study modules are a unique professional development opportunity available to early childhood professionals.  Anyone with a basic library membership may utilize these resources.  New self-study modules are being developed to meet training needs.

Self-study modules (units) include a video, questions and activities to complete. Participants must submit a refundable $5.00 deposit, may check out one module at a time, and have two weeks to complete and return the materials for review. Upon successful completion of the module, individuals will receive a certificate verifying receipt of up to three in-service hours. For details about how to check out a self-study video module, click on contact Project CHILD at 800-362-7257 ext. 111 or email

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  Starting A Childcare Business

Project CHILD has lots of information for anyone interested in starting a Child Care Business. Whether you are interested in starting a Family Child Care Business out of your home, opening a Child Care Center, or if you are providing child care without a license and would like to learn more about our resources, Project CHILD can help you.

Family Child Care Business

Being a family child care provider can be a satisfying career. You can make a concrete difference in the lives of the children and parents you serve. It is also a chance to own and run your own business. Many family child care providers start their business while they still have young children of their own, and continue providing family child care long after their own children are grown. Becoming a licensed child care provider is a big decision.  Project CHILD can help.

Project CHILD offers:

  • Orientation meetings about how to start a family child care business
  • An informative packet about how to start a family child care business
  • Ongoing support and technical assistance on parent / provider relationships, business topics, child development and much more
  • Opportunities for education, training and professional development
  • Free listing on provider database for parent referral service
  • A child care resource library
  • And so much more…..

One of the first places to start is DCFS Licensing. You may request a copy of the Family Child Care Licensing Standards. These standards will answer many of your questions regarding health and safety standards, capacity and qualifications. Call the regional office at 618-993-7100 to request a copy of the standards or review them online at http://www.state.il.us/dcfs

 

For more information on starting your own family child care business or attending an orientation meeting, call Project CHILD at (618) 244-2210 or (800) 362-7257, Ext. 112 or email us at prochild

 

Child Care Center Business 

Running a child care center is first and foremost running a very busy small business. But it's much more than that -- it's making a commitment to be a vital part of the holistic development of other families' children. The successful child care manager wears many hats: early childhood educator, business manager, fiscal administrator, safety and health officer, and building architect, among others. We understand that you'll have your hands full with each of these big jobs. Project CHILD can help.

Project CHILD offers:

 

·        An informative packet about opening a Child Care Center

·        Information to communities, churches, schools, employers and individuals about starting a Child Care Center

·        Statistics to give you an outlook of the child care picture in your county

·        Opportunities for education, training and professional development

·        Free listing on provider database for parent referral service

·        A child care resource library

·        And so much more….

 One of the first places to start is DCFS Licensing. You may request a copy of the Center Licensing Standards. These standards will answer many of your questions regarding space, child ratios and staff qualifications. Call the regional office at 618-993-7100 to request a copy of the standards or review them online at http://www.state.il.us/dcfs.

For more information on opening a Child Care Center, call Project CHILD at (618) 244-2210 or (800) 362-7257, Ext. 112 or email us at prochild

 

 

License Exempt Child Care

 If you are a licensed exempt provider you too may be on the provider database once you have completed the required license exempt forms.

Project CHILD offers:

 

·        Free listing on provider database for parent referral service – once required license exempt forms are completed

·        Ongoing support and technical assistance

·        Opportunities for education, training and professional development

·        A child care resource library

·        And so much more….

 

For more information on providing licensed exempt child care, please contact Project CHILD at (618) 244-2210 or 1-800-362-7257, ext 112 or email us at prochild 

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