(20 ILCS 1305/10-70)
    Sec. 10-70. Gateways to Opportunity.
    (a) Subject to the availability of funds, the Department of Human Services shall operate a Gateways to Opportunity program, a comprehensive professional development system. The goal of Gateways to Opportunity is to support a diverse, stable, and quality workforce for settings serving children and youth, specifically to:
        (1) enhance the quality of services;
        (2) increase positive outcomes for children and
youth; and
        (3) advance the availability of coursework and
training related to quality services for children and youth.
    (b) The Department shall award Gateways to Opportunity credentials to early care and education, school-age, and youth development practitioners. The credentials shall validate an individual's qualifications and shall be issued based on a variety of professional achievements in field experience, knowledge and skills, educational attainment, and training accomplishments. The Department shall adopt rules outlining the framework for awarding credentials.
    (c) The Gateways to Opportunity program shall identify professional knowledge guidelines for practitioners serving children and youth. The professional knowledge guidelines shall define what all adults who work with children and youth need to know, understand, and be able to demonstrate to support children's and youth's development, school readiness, and school success. The Department shall adopt rules to identify content areas, alignment with other professional standards, and competency levels.
(Source: P.A. 96-864, eff. 1-21-10; 97-333, eff. 8-12-11.)