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.
We aim to achieve these objectives 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 includes three components, and participants have the option to tap into these resources singly or in combination with one another, depending on their needs. To learn more about each component, click below or keep scrolling:
What’s included in the program — and how do I apply?
QFA includes three different components: a QFA grant program; technical assistance; and leadership and professional development. Please note that each component has different eligibility criteria. Participants have the option of tapping into these resources singly or in combination with one another, depending on each organization’s needs.
1. QFA Grant Program
The QFA Grants Program provides grants of up to $50,000 to early childhood education providers 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.
How to Apply: We are currently not accepting applications to the QFA Grant Program. Please check back for the next opportunity.
2. QFA Technical Assistance
IFF will provide free technical assistance to support agencies applying to the State of Illinois’ Early Childhood Construction Grant (ECCG). While the State has not yet released information on the 2021 grant opportunity, we plan to assist agencies based on what we know from prior iterations of the Illinois ECCG so that providers are better prepared to apply when it does become available. Technical assistance may include: conducting site visits, developing a strong plan and proposal, ensuring all necessary documentation is prepared, providing architectural and/or design support, developing a budget, creating a floorplan, providing assistance in proving ownership, and more.
To learn more, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Illinois Early Childhood Construction Grant Program & IFF Technical Assistance.
Eligibility: In order to be eligible for QFA’s Technical Assistance, providers must first confirm they will be eligible to apply for the State of Illinois’ ECCG. While the state has not yet announced the specific criteria, we anticipate nonprofit child care centers that meet Illinois state standards for providing ECE services will be eligible. In addition to meeting the state eligibility requirements, ECE providers must meet the following criteria to be eligible for QFA’s Technical Assistance Program:
- Serve in one of the following high-need communities: Aurora, Champaign, East St. Louis, Rockford, or the Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood, Roseland, and South Lawndale.
- 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
- Posses a minimum Bronze rating in the ExeleRate Quality Rating System
- Have been in business for at least 4 years
- Serve infants and toddlers
- Center-based program
How to Apply: We are currently not accepting applications to the QFA Technical Assistance Program. Please check back for the next opportunity.
3. Leadership & Professional Development
Leadership and professional development opportunities will focus on enhancing provider knowledge on creating and maintaining high-quality facilities, developing sustainable financial practices, and applying to capital grant opportunities. We are currently developing this aspect of the initiative and will provide more information at a later date.
Eligibility: Coming soon.
How to Apply: Coming soon.
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 in Spanish and Polish.
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.