Quality Facilities for All (QFA) is an IFF Initiative dedicated to the expansion, enhancement, and stabilization of infant and toddler programs in high-need communities across Illinois.
QFA is committed to expanding and improving access to infant and toddler care across Illinois by addressing facility quality concerns related to indoor air quality, temperature, ventilation, noise, lighting, classroom furnishing, and outdoor play areas. These factors contribute to high-quality learning environments, which are proven to positively impact infants’ and toddlers’ learning, development, and well-being.
QFA will support providers of infant and toddler programs by providing:
- Grants to expand infant-toddler capacity and/or enhance facility quality in these key areas: indoor air quality, temperature, ventilation, noise reduction, optimal lighting, and quality classroom furniture.
- Leadership and professional development opportunities focused on enhancing provider knowledge on creating and maintaining high quality facilities, developing sustainable financial practices, and applying to capital grant opportunities, including the Illinois Early Childhood Capital Grant.
- Technical assistance to support agencies with facility-related expertise when applying to available federal and state capital grants.
QFA is a statewide program that will focus on high-need communities identified by IFF research. In 2021, the QFA Grant Program will be available to providers in the Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood, Roseland, and South Lawndale, with additional Illinois communities added in 2022. Leadership and professional development opportunities and technical assistance opportunities will be available to providers in Aurora, Champaign, East St. Louis, Rockford, and the Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood, Roseland, and Lawndale. Program participants have the option of tapping into these resources singly or in combination with one another, depending on each organization’s needs.
Applying to QFA
We are currently accepting applications for the QFA Grant Program, which is available to providers in the Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood, Roseland, and South Lawndale. Grant applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, July 16, 2021. Opportunities to engage in our other program components — professional development and technical assistance — will be available at a later date. For questions or assistance, please contact us at gro.ffi@afq.
Upcoming Information Session
We currently do not have any upcoming information sessions. Please check back for the next opportunity.
Eligibility for the Grant Program
Both center-based and family child care home providers are eligible to participate in the QFA Grant Program. To participate, providers must:
- Provide infant and/or toddler services from either a family child care home-based or center-based business
- Serve one of our high-need community areas: Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood, Roseland, and Lawndale (additional communities in Illinois will be eligible in 2022).
- Have no current licensing infractions
- Have been in operation for 3+ years
- Meet these additional requirements by program types:
- For-Profit Programs are required to have 50% or more of their enrollment from subsidized funding
- Center-Based Programs are required to possess a minimum of a Bronze Circle of Quality rating on the ExceleRate rating system
- Family Child Care Homes will be prioritized if they are currently enrolled in the ExceleRate rating system with a minimum of a Licensed Circle of Quality
About our language translation: We welcome participation across all of Illinois’ communities, and we understand that many immigrant populations, while able to speak and listen in English, may still feel more comfortable reading and writing in their native language. That’s why we’re providing our webpage and application form in Spanish and Polish.
You are welcome to provide your answers in Spanish or Polish, and a professional translator will translate your answers into English for IFF’s staff to review. Of course, some of your answers may be personal, and it’s always possible your meaning will get lost in translation. That’s why we suggest that you to use the English application form if at all possible.
We also want to be clear that all training sessions and other program activities, including any Q&A with our staff, will be offered exclusively in English, and program participants should be proficient in English reading, writing, and speaking.