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Early childhood ed program renewed for Gateways to Opportunity credentials

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jul 18, 2018

Early childhood education students at the College of Lake County can continue to qualify for three state-recognized credentials while taking courses to complete a degree or certificate.

CLC recently received a renewal of its Entitled Institution status for three Gateways to Opportunity credentials granted by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. The credentials are: Early Childhood Education Credential Photo of teacher and youth in Children's Learning Center(Levels 2, 3 and 4); Infant Toddler Credential (Levels 2,3 and 4); and Illinois Director Credential (Level 1).

Diane Wolter, chair of CLC’s early childhood education program, said the renewal of its Entitled Institution status came after the program updated core competencies in areas such as curriculum design and culturally responsive communication skills. The status, granted to the college in 2014, remains in effect until 2023.

 Photo: Nargis Milky, a CLC early childhood education graduate and teacher in the college’s Children’s Learning Center, leads youngsters in a lesson.

“Any student who successfully completes certain early childhood education courses can submit their transcript after graduation and get state-recognized credentials to supplement their Early Childhood Education degree or certificate,” said Wolter. “Today, many child care or early childhood education centers are requiring employees to have specific Gateways credentials for each position level, from teaching assistant up to director. Some centers offer pay raises for increased educational credentials such as Gateways.”

CLC is among a select group of institutions in Illinois to receive Gateways to Opportunity credentials, said a news release from the Bloomington, Ill.-based Gateways to Opportunity, Illinois Professional Development System. “The faculty at CLC have worked diligently to align their courses with the Gateways to Opportunity competencies,” the release said.

The credentials reflect professional standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Illinois Professional Teaching standards. Gateways to Opportunity, Illinois Professional Development System, is designed to provide guidance, support and recognition to practitioners who serve children and families in Illinois.

Learn more about CLC’s early childhood programs at or email Wolter at CLC’s Fall Semester starts Aug. 20. For details, visit