Proposed Amendments to Part 26 (Standards for Certification in Early Childhood Education and in Elementary Education)

Part 26, Standards for Endorsements in Early Childhood Education and in Elementary Education, is one of eight sets of the agency’s administrative rules that establish the framework for the following:

Further, the rules define the overall knowledge and skills that teachers must have in their professional roles to ensure that Illinois students meet or exceed the expectations defined by the Illinois Learning Standards (ILS).

In November 2011, the Early Childhood Advisory Group (ECAG) began reviewing the standards for the early childhood education endorsement.  Its review resulted in a group of recommendations for revisions to the standards, which the Board adopted in December 2014 and became effective in February 2015.  All new programs and each existing program offering the early childhood endorsement will be required to show alignment to the revised standards by September 1, 2019. 

As part of its report, ECAG also recommended that early childhood education preparation programs become entitled by the Gateways to Opportunity Illinois Professional Development System by aligning its coursework to the benchmarks of Gateways' ECE Credential Level 5.  Existing early childhood education preparation programs have until September 1, 2019, to show alignment with the Gateways' benchmarks.  Programs seeking approval for the first time should be expected to show alignment when they submit their applications for consideration.  The benchmarks address three components:  Component 1: General Education; Component 2: Education and Training; and Component 3: Work and Practical Experience.  

Initial Review by State Board of Education: May 2015

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