JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship Program Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program, an applicant must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (FSA Handbook Volume 1, Chapter 2)
  • be a member of the incumbent workforce, currently working or having worked in the early childhood industry (in either a licensed or license-exempt facility), including home-based child care (e.g., family, friend, neighbor), center-/community-based care, Preschool for All programs, school-based preschool settings, and Head Start programs, that serve children from birth to age 5. Acceptable positions include teachers, assistant teachers, directors, family child care providers and assistants
    • applicants must provide documentation confirming their current membership in the Gateways to Opportunity® Registry
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on a full- or part-time (at least 3 credit hours) basis at a public or non-profit private 2- or 4-year Gateways-entitled and Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity member institution, as an undergraduate* student, pursuing an early childhood education major
    • if attending a 2-year public community college, be enrolled in an Associate of Applied Science degree program leading to a Level 4 Gateways credential or related certificate program in early childhood education
    • if attending a 4-year institution, be at the junior level or above, or hold an Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science degree focused in early childhood education
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a course of study which, upon completion, qualifies the student to receive:
      • a postsecondary credential or undergraduate degree in the field of early childhood education, or
      • a Professional Educator’s License in early childhood education
    *A student already holding a bachelor’s degree in any field is not eligible for the ECACE Program.
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress as established by the college
  • complete the application process by submitting an Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship Program application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) on or before the ISAC-established date in order to receive priority consideration
  • be certified as meeting eligibility requirements by the college at which the scholarship will be used
  • not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any State or federal grant