This Early Childhood Education Competency pilot program offers you a unique opportunity to earn your Level 2 Gateways credential tuition-free (tuition, course fees and books).

You will complete a series of up to five early childhood education classes that include competency-based modules to prepare you to successfully work in an early child care setting and exhibit a high level of professional knowledge.

You will complete the Moraine Valley classes online during the summer 2021 and fall 2021 semesters.

You will gain the skills and knowledge needed to earn the Level 2 Gateways credential that shows employers and parents you are a highly qualified professional. The pilot program helps you achieve this distinction in a short amount of time and learn from experienced, caring instructors.

If you are not yet in the field, the credential can lead to employment. If you are already an early childhood educator, the credential presents the opportunity to increase your salary.

As a pilot participant, your program tuition, course fees and books are completely covered.

You are a good candidate if you:

  • Have a strong commitment to working in the early childhood field as a highly trained professional.
  • Are willing to take the five courses required to complete the pilot program during the summer 2021 and fall 2021 semesters.
  • Have previously taken the Introduction to Early Childhood (ECE-101) course or are willing to enroll in, pay for and complete it during the college’s three-week pre-session, which begins May 24, 2021.


You will earn the Level 2 Gateways credential in two semesters.

The pilot program will pay for your Moraine Valley tuition, books and other educational materials.

You will complete five courses that prepare you for the rigors of working in the early childhood field.

You will take all classes online and will be able to work at your own pace. There are no campus visits required.

You will be assigned a faculty mentor who will provide you with personal support throughout the entire pilot.

If you already work in this field, Moraine Valley has the option of granting credit for prior work experience for some of the courses through its Achieved Prior Learning (APL) process, which could include a portfolio, communication with your employer and a one-on-one meeting with the early childhood education faculty. Use the form below to contact our program assistant for more information.

What You Need To Know

Preferred applicants will have submitted the online application by May 1, 2021 and already completed the Introduction to Early Childhood (ECE-101) course at time of application.

Also considered in the selection process is the number of required pilot classes you need to take, a GPA of 2.5 or higher in any previous college courses and work experience in the field.

After applying, you will be notified by email when your application is received and you will receive additional communications later regarding your acceptance.

ECE-105: Health, Safety and Nutrition (offered summer 2021)
ECE-109: Child, Family and Community (offered summer 2021)
ECE-202: Growth and Development/Young Child (offered fall 2021)
ECE-205: Curriculum-Early Childhood Programs (offered fall 2021)
EDU-103: Observation/Clinical Experience (offered fall 2021)

Note: You must show evidence you have completed Introduction to Early Childhood (ECE-101) or be willing to take it during the three-week summer pre-session that starts May 24, 2021.

If you already have taken some of the required courses, you will need to complete the remaining required courses during the summer and fall of 2021, and you must complete a minimum of two of the required classes during the pilot program. Also, the courses must have been completed within the last five years.

Gateways credentials are recognized as symbols of professional achievement in the field of early child care and education. They are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Child Care and Development.
By participating in the pilot program, you will earn the Level 2 Gateways credential, which shows you possess the knowledge and skills to care for and educate young children. In addition, possessing a Gateways credential can lead to a higher salary.

Program NameType of CredentialCurriculum CodeDepartment or Division
Before and After School CareCertificate1474Education
Early Childhood EducatorA.A.S.1264Education
Infant/Toddler Level 2Certificate1472Education
Infant/Toddler Level 3Certificate1473Education

It is highly recommended that you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you intend to take any classes in addition to the five classes covered by the pilot program. Moraine Valley’s school code is 007692.

Apply Today

Apply for the pilot program using the application below.

Ask a Question

Do you have a question? Use the form below to contact program assistant, Maureen Monahan.

The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0001-01-00, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.