YWCA Metropolitan Chicago believes that all children deserve quality care. High-quality early education programs improve children’s developmental outcomes. Recently the spotlight has been on the importance of the early years and the public is demanding more from early childhood professionals and their programs.

The Quality & Training team is committed to partnering with early childhood professionals like you that have dedicated themselves to helping children learn, grow, and develop to their full potential and to help parents, families, and communities build strong educational programs. We offer a variety of services specifically designed to support early childhood professionals and help them provide the highest quality of care for children in our communities.

Important Payments Update (6/13/2022)

Starting with payments issued in late May, SOME providers that have been receiving child care payments as paper checks may suddenly find their payments were issued to the Illinois Child Care Debit Master Card. DHS recently sent a report to The Office of the Comptroller to add new providers that had recently signed up for the card; however, that list erroneously included providers who had been previously been paid by debit card in the past but had not requested to return to debit card payment. Providers affected have recently been paid through paper check.

If a providers payment was/will be issued as a debit card payment, and you did not recently sign up for the card, you need to do the following:

  • If you still has their card, and it’s not expired, the payment(s) should be on that card.
  • If you no longer has the card, or if the card has expired, you will need to call the debit card company and request a new card.
  • The debit card company is available 24/7. Their Customer Service number is 1-866-338-2944. The automated system will ask callers for the card number. If you know the card number, do not put it in. Next, the message will go through some options. The caller should always choose Option 4, which is for lost/stolen/damage cards. Next, you will be asked for your Social Security Number, Zip Code, and PIN Number. Callers should only enter their Social Security Number and Zip Code. At that point, a Customer Service Representative should come on the line to assist. You then tell the representative that you were just paid on the card, and need a new card. The representative will have a new card mailed. The card should arrive in 5-7 business days. A card can be expedited in 2-3 days for a $15.00 charge.

Future payments will also go to the card. If you want to shut off the debit card option, and return to paper checks, you need to complete Section 2 of The Illinois Debit Master Card Payment Option Form. The forms are available on  the Illinois Department of Human Services website or you can call your CCR&R, or DHS Child Care. For additional questions, call (217) 558-6182.

Continued Education

A diverse selection of training covering topics such as child development, positive guidance, curriculum planning, ExceleRate IL, cultural sensitivity, special needs, and business practices.

Current Training Calendar (print version)
Training Policies
How to Print Membership Card
IDHS CCAP Training Requirements
Where to Find Trainings
Health & Safety Notice
Entrenamientos de Salud, Seguridad y Del Desarrollo del Niño
Women's Health Exchange

Quality Child Care Consultant Services

Specialized staff available to provide training, consultation, and FREE site visits.

ExceleRate Illinois (For licensed centers and homes)

Professional Development Grant Opportunities

Illinois supports the continuing professional development of child care practitioners.  In partnership with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the IL Department of Human Services (IDHS) is providing funds to assist an individual in pursuit of professional development in early care and education and school-age care. Funding is limited and is done on a reimbursement basis.

FY23 PDF Grant Application
W-9 Form

Becas Para Desarrollo Profesional Están Disponibles Para FY'23!

La YWCA Metropolitan Chicago está ofreciendo fondos para asistir a los individuos en la búsqueda de su desarrollo profesional en el cuidado y la educación temprana, y cuidado de edad escolar. Los fondos son proveídos por el Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Illinois (IDHS).

FY23 Fondos de Desarrollo Profesional Individual
Solicitud y Certificación del Número de Identificación del Contribuyente

Quality Improvement Grant Opportunities

The Quality Improvement Funds have been developed and are offered through the child care resource and referral agencies to assist and support programs that are choosing to work towards/maintain an ExceleRate™ IL Circle of Quality. There are three areas to the QI Funds: ExceleRate™ IL cohort, ExceleRate™ IL training stipend, and accreditation assistance. Please read the overview and the guidelines to determine which area(s) best meets your needs. Requests may be made in multiple areas.

The QI Funds are based on available funding. The QI Funds program is administered by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Funds are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Applications and other required documentation can be submitted by:

FY23 Quality Improvement Grant Application (English)
W-9 Form

Están Disponibles las Becas de Mejoras en la Calidad

Los Fondos QI han sido desarrollados y son ofrecidos a través de la agencias Child Care Resource and Referral para asistir y apoyar a los programas que eligen trabajar hacia / mantener un Círculo de Calidad ExceleRate™ IL. Hay tres áreas de los Fondos QI: ExceleRate™ IL cohorte, ExceleRate™ IL estipendio de entrenamientos y asistencia con la acreditación. Por favor, lea la descripción general y las instrucciones para determinar cuál área satisface mejor sus necesidades. Las solicitudes pueden hacerse en múltiples áreas.

Los Fondos QI están basados en fondos disponibles. El programa de Fondos QI es administrado por la YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Los fondos son proveídos por el Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Illinois.

Solicitudes y documentación requerida pueden ser sometidas por:

Fondos de Mejoramiento de la Calidad (FY23)
Solicitud y Certificación del Número de Identificación del Contribuyente

CPR/First Aid Funds

In partnership with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the Illinois Department of Human Services is providing funds to assist child care practitioners to achieve First Aid (FA)/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification. Funding is limited and is done on a reimbursement basis. Applications and other required documentation can be submitted by:

Specifics on each component are noted in the grant packet here: CPR/First Aid Certification Funds Application (Programa de Reembolso de Primeros Auxilios/RCP).

Licensed-Exempt Provider Health & Safety Improvement Funds

Illinois is committed to assisting License Exempt Providers providing safe quality care for children. One way to do that is with the Licensed Exempt Providers Health and Safety Improvement Funds. The Health and Safety Improvement Funds are based on available funding. The Funds program is administered by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Applications and other required documentation can be submitted by:

Specifics on each component are noted in the grant packet. Recipients of this grant receive:

  • Up to $500 for Licensed Exempt Childcare Centers (LECC)
  • Up to $300 for Licensed Exempt Family Child Care (LEFCC) providers providing care in their own home
  • Up to $150 for LEFCC providers providing care in child's home

Funds can be used for items related to LEFCC Health & Safety Self-Assessment Checklist such as First Aid Kits, fire extinguishers, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, safety gates, electrical safety plugs, cribs that meet standards, safety locked cabinets, safety locks, lead-free paint.

License Exempt Child Care Grant Application
Año Fiscal 22 Cuidado infantil exento de licencia Guía y solicitud de la subvención

Child Care Payment Updates

Providers can check on the status of specific payments by calling IDHS’ Provider Assistance line at 800.804.3833 one working day after the payment was entered or two working days after the payment was approved.

  • IDHS now has a phone number that provides additional payment updates and information: 217.524.9041
  • Providers who enter payments via the IDHS IVR system can call 800.787.9316
  • Providers can also see if a payment has been issued by using the Illinois State Comptroller website.
    • Enter SS# or FEIN (click OK)
    • For the next two pages click on gray boxes at the bottom (Payments and Find Warrants)
    • The most recent payment will be listed at top of the page.

Visit the Illinois State Comptroller Website

Note: Paper checks are mailed the working day after being issued. Direct deposit and debit card payments are usually in accounts two working days after being issued. Weekends and holidays are not working days.

Contact the IDHS Direct Deposit System – 217.557.0930

  • Receive an authorization form from the Comptroller’s Electronic Commerce Division
  • Payees already enrolled in Direct Deposit can make account changes

Additional Resources

Other website and links for early care & education professionals:

Exelerate Illinois Providers
Myrtle’s Club
Statewide Training Calendar
Online Mandated Reporter Training (Login)
Informacion para Programas de Cuidado de Ninos en el Hogar
Provider Update (Complete)
Policies and Procedures
How to Print CCAP Report
Where to Send Documentation


YWCA Patterson and McDaniel Family Center

Who’s Eligible

All early childhood professionals in DuPage, Kane, and Lake counties.


Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm
Professional Development training offered weeknights and on Saturdays.


Both free and low-cost training sessions are offered. Please see the current training calendar for more information.


Please contact us 630.790.6600 or childcare@ywcachicago.org. When calling, please follow prompts and select Early Childhood Services (Option 4). There will be additional prompts. Paperwork can be faxed to 630-629-7801.