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JTHS Infant Childcare Center Receives ExceleRate Illinois Gold Circle of Quality Designation

The Joliet Township Infant Childcare Center has received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the state's quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers.  The award provides increased funding through the state childcare assistance program and was accomplished through satisfying rigorous standards for environmental quality, adult/child interactions, administrative practices, and professional growth.

The Gold Circle of Quality designation is the highest level that can be attained by early learning development providers, and to achieve this designation, JTHS Infant Childcare Center professionals maintained rigorous professional development and demonstration of continuous quality improvement in their classroom practices. The Gold Circle of Quality recognizes programs which have demonstrated quality on all fifteen standards, as validated by a state approved 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.  In addition, the program must be IDCFS licensed.

“Our early childhood professionals work tirelessly to provide the best care, support, and education for the families and children we serve.  The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of our practices and solidified our commitment to eliminating obstacles to education for our teen parents," said Debrah Clark, Childcare Director of the Joliet Township Infant Childcare Center. “I am proud to work among the professional staff including Luvenia Betts, Emma Lopez, Carrie Waitkus, Treasa Howard-Collins, Marilyn Pierce, and April Melka. I am equally proud of the parents who, with obstacles in their way, allow us to walk alongside them during their high school experience."

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through the Illinois Network of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies under joint direction of the Governor's office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois State Board of Education.  Achieving this designation demonstrates the JTHS Infant Childcare Center’s commitment to providing quality care to Joliet’s children.  ExceleRate Illinois unifies the state’s early learning programs under a common set of standards across multiple delivery settings and supports programs that integrate and sustain best practices.  "Every early learning and development provider who participates in ExceleRate Illinois makes quality a priority," said Cynthia L. Tate Ph.D., Executive Director, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development. "The higher the designation, the higher the program's demonstrated quality and comprehensiveness in meeting children's early learning needs," she said.

The mission of the JTHS infant Childcare Center is to engage, support and maintain attendance of young parents during high school completion, strengthen their parenting skills and knowledge of resources, support the healthy development and exploration of young children in a safe environment, and be a passionate model of best practices in the early childhood community.


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