The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Division of Family and Community Services, Bureau of Early Intervention (EI), contracts to establish and maintain an EI Credentialing Office to support a system of credentialing and enrollment for approximately 5,000 EI providers.

The EI Program is operated under federal Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the state Early Intervention Services System Act. Both state and federal laws require the establishment and enforcement of personnel standards for EI providers serving children in the EI Program. In Illinois, this is accomplished through the EI credentialing process. The EI Credentialing office coordinates the credentialing process with EI enrollment to allow providers to be authorized and reimbursed for EI services. This office also assists with IMPACT enrollment to support Medicaid Federal Financial Participation (FFP) reimbursement to IDHS for EI services.

IDHS's goal is to improve the quality of services offered to infants and toddlers in the EI system through an effective network of EI Providers. Maintaining a system of credentialing ensures that new providers are qualified and prepared with appropriate pediatric experience and education to provide services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. The credential renewal process establishes requirements for EI Providers to participate in continuing professional education activities and ongoing professional development that will help maintain and improve their competencies.

The EI Credentialing and Enrollment office will:

  • Establish and maintain a system of credentialing for approximately 4,500 to 5,000 EI Providers as defined in the administrative code for the EI Program (89 IL Administrative Code 500).
  • Be responsible for all the steps related to credentialing which include: providing application materials and revising and updating them as requested by IDHS; receiving, tracking, reviewing, and approving application materials; issuing temporary and full credentials; renewing credentials by reviewing and approving ongoing professional development plans and continuing education documentation and college/university coursework to determine compliance with 89 Il Admin Code 500.60(k); and updating information about credentialed EI Providers, as needed.
  • Maintain a system to ensure that EI providers, when applicable, meet the education credentialing requirement as defined in 89 Illinois Administrative Code 500.60(g).
  • Establish a system which includes the review of continuing professional education and course work/ degree program documentation to determine participant compliance and the posting of a searchable database of approved college and university coursework to include course name, college/university, course #, and number of semester hours of credit awarded/core knowledge area.
  • Provide EI evaluation/ assessment credential application materials, including receiving, reviewing and approving application materials; providing payment for review of evaluation reports; and issuing the appropriate credential for EI Providers who will provide evaluations/assessments for the EI Program
  • Develop and maintain a database of Illinois-credentialed EI Providers, updating the database on a regular basis with new information from providers, and generating reports upon request of IDHS.
  • Coordinate the following checks for all providers applying for and, when appropriate, EI renewal credential: Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS)/Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)/Illinois fingerprint criminal background checks, and Illinois Sex Offender Registry (SOR).
  • Work with the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and authorized vendors of Live Scan Background checks to coordinate the process, will maintain all related electronic and paper files, and will examine each check to determine compliance with State statute/rule.
  • Provide training on the credentialing process and/or issues through sessions offered by the Illinois EI Training Program.
  • Have the capacity to accept fees for credentialing, including credit card processing, to be utilized in the event that the IDHS chooses to require such fees.
  • Establish and maintain a system to process enrollment forms, provide enrollment materials and revise and update them as requested by IDHS; process applications for provider enrollment and notices of changes in provider status and information; review forms for completion; and forward completed materials to the EI Central Billing Office, the Illinois Department of Healthcare andFamily Services (HFS), and IDHS.
  • Provide technical assistance on credentialing and enrolling through a toll-free phone number(s), Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
  • Develop and maintain a credentialing and enrollment website that includes provider Credential and Enrollment applications; a catalog of credentialed/enrolled EI Providers that can be indexed by provider, credential, DCSS enrollment, or county; an associate level credentialed provider list; an up-to-date directory of provider information; on-line access to technical assistance regarding the application processes including technology such as instructional video podcasts, RSS Feed and electronic newsletters/notices; timely posting of informational notices and other documents provided by the Department; additional information as requested by IDHS.
  • Participate, upon request, in workgroups of the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI).
  • Provide postage, develop, update, (with approval from IDHS) and duplicate printed materials, as necessary to provide the services listed above.
  • Submit quarterly reports, including progress/status of milestones and deliverables in a format approved by IDHS.