Moraine Valley Community College has received a new accreditation that opens the doors for additional career and monetary opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The Family Child Care credential approves Moraine Valley as an Entitled Institution for Gateways to Opportunity. Gateways is the overseeing body for Illinois for early childhood education. As such, students at Moraine Valley can qualify for state recognized credentials as they take courses or complete a degree through the Social Sciences Department.

“To be an entitled institution is the biggest honor,” said Aileen Donnersberger, Social Sciences Department chair. “There are schools that offer these programs (for early childhood education), but they are not entitled by Gateway. It’s a big deal we are accredited by the state and Gateways. This truly is very important for our students.”

Gail Ditchman, coordinator for the Education Program, said this newest credential allows students to be certified to have a home day care center. “In today’s world, more parents are looking to both schools and home day care centers to have education credentials through Gateways,” Ditchman said. She noted the credentials mean an increase in pay in day care centers.
The college also offers several credentialed levels in the Infant/Toddler, Early Childhood and Director Programs.

Moraine Valley is among a select group of institutions in Illinois to be entitled for the Gateways to Opportunity Family Child Care credential. All credentials have competencies that reflect multiple professional standards, including National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards.

“The diligence of the Early Childhood and the Education faculty, especially Gail Ditchman, to ensure our college and students have the most up-to-date and current courses as well as credential offerings, is truly a testament to the dedication of Moraine Valley faculty to ensure success for our students,” Donnersberger said.

For more information, contact Ditchman at