Illinois Develops Online Portal to Support Family Child Care Professionals
Town Square connects FCC professionals to more than 75 resources to help them provide high quality care and encourages peer-to-peer sharing through a member-only area. Resources are provided in a variety of formats.
There are 10,000 licensed family child care (FCC) providers in Illinois and many more who are license-exempt. Recognizing that these professionals are often isolated and have unique challenges, Illinois developed a new online portal for FCC providers. Town Square connects FCC professionals to more than 75 resources to help them provide high quality care and encourages peer-to-peer sharing through a member-only area. Resources are provided in a variety of formats (videos, modules, webinars, reports, blog articles, activity sheets, and handouts) and focus on topics such as child development, best practices in FCC, running a small business, and wellness. The website also includes new professional development materials that meet requirements for Illinois’ FCC credential and QRIS in the environment management and technology use content areas. Illinois contracted with the Erikson Institute to develop the website. It was funded through the state’s Early Learning Challenge grant. Over 50 providers registered for the site in the first two weeks after it launched in January.
In December, 2013, Michigan became one of the six newest states to receive a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant.
In 2012, Nebraska released a Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles Online Training program, which provides information and resources that all home visitors can use.
The IdahoSTARS Project is a voluntary program that provides training in child development, education, health, and safety and assessment of child care facilities based on national quality standards.