Urbana Head Start Receives ExceleRate Illinois Gold Circle of Quality Designation

Head Start blocks logo

Urbana Head Start has received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s new quality recognition and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

“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.”

“We are proud to receive the Gold Circle of Quality,” said Pamela Brown, Urbana Head Start’s site manager. “Providing quality in early learning and development will help our children in Urbana be better prepared for success in school and in life.”

ExceleRate Illinois helps families make more informed choices about their children’s early learning. It establishes standards to help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. In addition, it provides a framework for early learning and development professionals to identify opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Research in science and brain development shows that children who are more meaningfully engaged in early learning experiences from infancy through the first five years of life are more likely to be successful in school and in life. With the right engagement, children can form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain, which impacts their ability to think, react, process, and grow.

ExceleRate Illinois is a comprehensive system that includes Licensed Child Care Centers, Licensed Family Child Care, Preschool for All and Center-Based Prevention Initiative Programs, and Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through INCCRRA under the joint direction of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

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