HB 2374 Fact Sheet

What does HB 2374 actually do?
There is a crisis in the early childhood care field:
Centers are closing (even with waiting lists).
The reason?
We can’t hire enough qualified teachers to keep centers open.
Because of an outdated DCFS regulation.
House Bill 2374 does two things:
  1. Provides another pathway for teacher certification in the ECE field.
  2. Changes opener and closer requirements in centers.
(1) Providing another pathway for teacher certification:
HB2374 increases standards by replacing the random six hours of required early childhood coursework with the Gateways Level 1 Credential. This gives the knowledge and skills essential for teaching young children. It also allows a teacher assistant to gain experience under a mentor-teacher to become teacher-qualified so long as they enroll in coursework to gain education and credentials.
ISBE agrees. In fact, ISBE did something similar two years ago.*
(2) Allowing experienced teachers to open or close programs.
Directors are burning out due to having to be in their centers from open to close. HB 2374 allows a teacher-qualified individual with 2 years of experience to open or close a center.

*In 2018, ISBE stated they would be working with partners across Illinois to streamline pathways into the teaching profession for P-12 and post secondary institutions. ISBE said these local pathways may help diversify the teaching corps and alleviate regional pipeline concerns. For example, ISBE decided to focus on alternative license as a strategy. Public Act 100-0645 makes changes to who can teach in Preschool For All (PFA)classrooms.

Between 2017 and 2023, educators who hold one of the two following credentials and are working towards a Professional Educator License can teach in a PFA program:

1) A Gateways ECE Credential Level 5


2) An Educator License with Stipulations with a Transitional Bilingual Educator endorsement and have either passed the ECE content test or have completed at least 9 semester hours of ECE coursework.

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