Background Checks

Three background checks are completed on all credential providers:

  1. Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS)
  2. Fingerprint-Based Background Check
  3. Sex Offender Registries Check
  • The CANTS form is sent to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for processing which can take up to 12 weeks. No CANTS form will be processed without a complete credential application.
  • Fingerprint-based background checks are usually done with live scan technology. This is more reliable than ink fingerprint cards. Very few police departments have been approved by the Illinois State Police for handling fee transactions for livescan. A list of approved vendors is found on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website. Several vendors have offices located throughout the state.Early Intervention providers only need a state background check. Results are received in approximately 72 hours. The authorization form needs to be returned to Provider Connections and can be mailed or faxed. If prints are rejected, the provider will be notified by mail to be reprinted for an additional $10. If the prints are again rejected, a name check is completed and the process will have to be repeated at renewal.
  • Provider Connections staff checks both the Illinois Sex Offender Registry and the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. You do not need to pay a vendor to conduct these searches.

Consultative Experience

Rule 500 states “In order to qualify for a full credential, an individual must complete and document consultation while providing 240 hours of direct services, for which they are being credentialed, to children ages birth to three with special needs and their families.”

All new providers

  • Have 18 months from the date their temporary credentials are issued to complete the required 240 hours of consultation verification. DT-Hearing, DT-Vision, and DT-O&M and providers credentialed under the EI service categories of Clinical Assessment, Counseling and other Therapeutic Services, Nursing, Nutrition, and Social Services, as defined in Appendix C, need only document 120 hours.
    • Documentation of this requirement must show that the individual participated in consultation with an appropriately experienced individual of the same discipline/Early Intervention service group who has experience working with children ages birth to three with special needs and their families. The consultation shall be in compliance with the professional standards of the individual seeking the credential, as determined and documented by the consultant. Monthly Ongoing Professional Development must occur during this period. Please use the Consultation Verification Form and Ongoing Professional Development Documentation Form to document these experiences.
      • Early Intervention Service Groups: The Early Intervention Program will allow providers to meet with disciplines that fall in the same “EI Service” group as defined in Rule 500, Appendix C.
      • Aural Rehabilitation/Other Related Services (Speech/Language Pathologists and Developmental Therapists/Hearing)
      • Clinical Assessment, Counseling and Other Therapeutic Services (clinical psychologists, clinical professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and Board Certified Behavior Analysts)
      • Developmental Therapy (DT) (DT, DT/Hearing and DT/Vision)
      • Nutrition (licensed dietitian nutritionists and registered nurses)
      • Social Services (social workers, and professional counselors)
  • All new unlicensed providers (except DTs) must complete the four core knowledge areas during the 18-month temporary period. DTs are required to document the completed four core knowledge area requirements upon application.

A credential extension of up to 6 months for credentialed Specialist and Associate Level providers & 90 days for credentialed Service Coordinators and Parent Liaisons may be granted due to non-compliance with consultation experience and/or completion of training requirements established due to extreme hardship or extenuating circumstances. Such requests will be evaluated on an individual case basis and must follow the prescribed procedures.

Per IDHS Bureau of Early Intervention policy, if a provider is not able to meet the Consultation requirement within the 18-month period and no extenuating circumstances have been documented, that provider can only finish out open authorizations on Early Intervention children. If the provider is an assistant, services must stop. The provider may reapply after 12 months.

Credential Extension Request Form

Ongoing Professional Development

Ongoing Professional Development Plan (OPDP) activities are a once a month, non-billable, meeting held either face-to-face or over the telephone with an individual specialist-level credentialed provider or group, of which at least one member is a specialist level credentialed provider.

All new/renewing EI credentialed providers must agree to participate in OPDP activities by using the Ongoing Professional Development Plan Format. OPDP activities are a once a month, non-billable, meeting held either face-to-face or over the telephone with an individual specialist-level credentialed provider or group, of which at least one member is a specialist-level credentialed provider. A Credentialed Provider, now including providers with a temporary credential, must document a minimum of 75% of their Ongoing Professional Development Plan (OPDP) meetings completed.

These meetings are intended to be used for professional development through discussion of client/family concerns, needs, strengths, resources, priorities, outcomes, strategies, and service plans in order to support best practices.

  • If 75% of the Ongoing Professional Development Meetings are not submitted, the provider must submit a plan for the next year stating with whom that provider will meet to fulfill the requirement. A 1-year Full Monitored credential is issued. One month prior to the end of the monitored status, the provider must submit documentation of completion of OPDP meetings using the Ongoing Professional Documentation Form must. If the documentation demonstrates compliance, the monitored status will be withdrawn and the credential will be issued for the remaining two years.
  • If documentation of the required meetings are not received by Provider Connections by the expiration date, the credential will be inactivated and cannot be reactivated for 12 months from the above expiration date.


Full EI Credentials are valid for 3 years. Renewal requirements include Ongoing Professional Development meetings, Continuing Education, and at least the Child Abuse and Tracking System (CANTS) and Sex Offender Registry Background Checks.

Required Trainings

  • System Overview Before receiving an Early Intervention Credential, providers (with the exception of Service Coordinators and Bilingual Interpreters/Translators*) must complete System Overview training, which has 2 parts. The first part is an online training called “Online System Overview” and the second part is a 1-day face-to-face session called “Online Systems Overview One Day Follow Up Session.” Please visit the EITP Training Calendar to register. You will need to register separately for each part of System Overview. When searching the calendar for each part of System Overview, make sure to select the appropriate category as face-to-face or online.Online System Overview Follow-Up (SOFU) must be taken within 1 year of Online System Overview or Online System Overview will need to be repeated before SOFU can be taken. Online System Overview and Online System Overview Follow-Up must be completed within 3 years of making application for an Illinois Early Intervention Credential. If completed longer than 3 years prior to making application for the credential, individuals will need to repeat both.*Service coordinators have different credential requirements, but will need to take System Overview. Interpreter/Translators have a separate System Overview training specific to their role in EI titled “System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators.”
  • Service Coordination Training Credentialed Service Coordinators have 90 days to complete the three following trainings: Service Coordination Online/Blended Training (online and webinars), and Online Systems Overview One Day Follow Up Session. Service Coordinators have 18 months from their credential begin date to complete the 120 Core Knowledge Areas (see above Developmental Therapists section). You can register for each section through the EITP Training Calendar. Make sure to select the category as face-to-face or online, depending on the training.Service Coordinator applicants must submit official transcripts.
  • Parent Liaison Training Completion of “Parent Liaison Services in the Illinois Early Intervention System” is required within 90 days after being issued a temporary credential for full credential status and continued enrollment. You can register for this training through the EITP Training Calendar. Make sure to select the category as “online.”
  • System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters/Translators Bilingual Interpreters/Translators and Interpreters must document completion of System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System. Applicants for Bilingual Interpreters/Translators must also demonstrate oral and/or written language proficiency using approved testing procedures. To access information about the training component, please visit the EITP Training Calendar and search for “System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators.”
  • To access information about the Interpreter Proficiency Exam component, please visit the EITP Training Calendar and search for “Bi-lingual Language Proficiency Exams for Interpreters/Translators in IL Early Intervention.”

Temporary Requirements

There are some temporary requirements as well as the mandatory requirements.

Rule Requirements

The Administrative Code also needs to be followed.