Tina Grounds, Early Childhood Education Associate Professor at Rend Lake College, has been approved for a Level II Credential by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the Illinois Director Credential Commission.

The Illinois Director Credential is a voluntary program which validates skills necessary to administer high-quality early care and education programs. The credential is awarded at three levels, based on achievement of skills, experience, knowledge and leadership demonstrated in the early care and education profession.

Dr. Lilian Katz of the Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting said there are nearly 700,000 children being served by early childhood programs of various kinds in Illinois.

“At last, here is the launching of a comprehensive state-wide system to enable those in our state who work with our young children in these diverse settings to strengthen their professional competence, be able to raise their level of qualifications, be encouraged to stay in the field and deepen their commitment to staying in the field,” said Dr. Katz.

“This is quite an accomplishment for Tina and I am very pleased to have her on board. She has spent many years in the field and should be quite proud of herself,” said Karen Bruning, Career Development Director at INCCRRA.

The credential encompasses five seemingly disparate areas reflected in the center director’s job: educational attainment; early childhood knowledge and skills; management knowledge and skills; experience; and professional contributions.

“The implementation of the IDC is part of an overall strategy to develop an integrated professional development system for early childhood professionals in Illinois. This moves us one step closer to a system in which early childhood professionals are recognized for their achievements, compensated appropriately for the important work they do and provided access to continuing education and training,” Bruning said.

The McCormick Tribune Foundation funds the Illinois Director Credential program, which is administered by INCCRRA, which works in collaboration with 17 regional Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and other partners to make high-quality child care available to Illinois families.

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