Frequently Asked Questions

Provider Connections receives many questions about the credentialing and renewal processes. Here are a few of the most common questions according to categories:

FAQ General

Q. Does a provider have to see a certain number of EI children in a certain timeframe to remain credentialed?

A. Providers must receive at least one authorization/bill the EI CBO for services every 12 months to remain credentialed. If no services are provided and billed for every 12 months, providers are subject to being exited from the system due to inactivity.

Q. I want to take a break from providing EI services. What is the best way for me to do this concerning EI?

A. If you have decided to not provide EI Services for an extended period, you should inactivate your credential by emailing/faxing Provider Connections a letter asking to place your credential on inactive status and the effective date. You will not be responsible for participating in or documenting Ongoing Professional Development Meetings during the time of inactivation.


Q. What is the process for becoming EI Credentialed?

A. Review the specific credential requirements of the discipline in which you wish to become credentialed before submitting an application. This information may be found within the EI Credential Application and also on the new credential page.If you meet the minimum educational requirements and have completed at least the Online portion of System Overview Training, you may submit your application.

Provider Connections will review applications within 10 days of receipt. If all requirements are met, the applicant will receive and email with a form to take to an Illinois State Police approved LiveScan Vendor to have digital fingerprints taken for a Criminal History Background Check. Provider Connections will send the Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for processing. This may take up to 12 weeks. The applications will be put “In Process.” Once all background checks are cleared, documentation for System Overview Follow-Up Training is received, and IMPACT enrollment is approved (if needed), the credential will be issued.

Q. How soon will I hear about the status of my application?

A. Providers usually receive a response via email regarding their application status within 2 weeks of Provider Connections receiving the application. You may also check the status by clicking on the “Credential Search” feature at searching by name.

Q. Is EI credentialing mandatory in the state of Illinois to see a child birth to 3?

A. To provide services in the Part C Early Intervention Program through the Illinois Department of Human Services, a person must hold a current Illinois Early Intervention credential.

Q. Do I need continuing education hours during my temporary credential?

A. No.

Q. What are done with application materials when an application is denied for some reason?

A. Applications are kept at Provider Connections unless the application was returned to the applicant for some reason. Typically applicants receive an email from Provider Connections noting the deficiencies. Just the missing items need to be returned to Provider Connections, not another entire application unless more than one year passes from the date of application.

Q. How do I let the CFCs know that I am available to see kids? Is there a form that I need to fill out and let them know that I am certified with EI?

A. Once you have received an EI Credential and have confirmed you are enrolled with the EI Central Billing Office (Specialist only), you should contact the CFC(s) for which you will be taking referrals. CFC(s) may request more information from you such as a vita or resume. A listing of CFC Offices is located on Provider Connections website.

FAQ Consultative Experience

Q. Can you explain Consultative Experience?

A. The consultation experience is designed to be a mentoring process by which the consultant advises the provider in Early Intervention service delivery. Therefore, the consultant is not required to be onsite to observe the provider delivering services to infant, toddlers, and/or their families. The consultations should be done in compliance with the professional standards of the individual seeking the credential, as determined and documented by the consultant. Documentation of the Consultative Experience hours should be verifiable through the provider’s case notes.

Q. What activities are included in the 240 hours of professional experience with consultative feedback needed for credential?

A. The activities for this requirement are 240 hours (120 hours for low-incidence services) of billable service to infants, toddlers with special needs, and their families. Billable service includes hands-on service provision in the specific discipline for which you are/want to be credentialed along with IFSP Development.

Q. When does the time begin for my consultative experience?

The 18-month temporary period begins on the date the credential was issued, not the first date of service.

A. How do I find someone who can provide the 240 hours of consultation, what kinds of documentation are needed to report the consultation, and what monetary cost is involved to the provider who needs to fulfill this requirement?

It is the individual provider’s responsibility to locate a person of the same discipline or natural grouping to consult with for the 240 hours of consultative experience requirement. Contacting Child and Family Connections or attending provider meetings may be a good place to network and develop this type of relationship. Some consultants do charge for this service; however, it is based upon the individual consultant. Documentation should state when each meeting occurred and the topic of discussion. The only documentation necessary to submit to the credentialing office is the completed Consultative Experience Documentation Form and the Ongoing Professional Development Documentation Form.

Q. Does shadowing count towards the Consultative Experience?

A. No. 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.”

Q. I was told that volunteering at a day care or doing respite care for children birth to 3 would count towards my 240 hours. Is this true?

A. No. The 240 hours of consultative experience is providing direct services in the discipline for which you are/will be EI credentialed to children birth to three with special needs and consulting with a provider of the same discipline.

Q. What do I need to do once I have completed the Consultative Experience Requirements?

A. Please submit the Consultative Verification Form along with the Ongoing Professional Development Documentation form to Provider Connections. The forms may be faxed to 309-298-3066. The credential will be updated to a full credential within 7 days of receipt.

FAQ Renewal

Q. What are the EI credential renewal requirements?

A. The renewal requirements are listed below.

Thirty EI approved continuing professional education hours. Five of those hours may include EI approved videos from the EI Clearinghouse. The 30 hours must be taken in at least two Core Knowledge Areas.

Seventy-five percent of Ongoing Professional Development Meeting must be documented.

Completion of Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) and Sex Offender Registry background checks.

Q. Is there a cap on how many hours of training can be acquired through Online courses, Face to Face trainings or video through the Clearinghouse to fulfill renewal requirements

A. The only cap is for video training. Up to 5 hours of video training can be used for every 30 hours of training submitted.

Q. When should I submit my renewal application?

A. Because the CANTS can take up to 8 weeks for processing, please submit the entireapplication 60 days before the expiration date. If you do not have all your continuing education hours completed by that time, submit as what continuing education, Ongoing Professional Development Documentation Forms, the application, and CANTS. The remaining continuing education may be submitted as it is completed.

Q. How do I know if my trainings are approved for EI credit?

A. Please check your training certificates with the EI Training Program’s website. Pull up the training you attended, making sure it is for the same date. Check to see how many hours and what areas of credit were awarded for the training. Many trainings are awarded partial creditbecause the scope of the training is not solely on birth to three.

Q. I have a hand-written certificate. Is this valid?

A. Provider Connections requires that all certificates submitted for initial credentialing or for renewal purposes include computer-generated/type-written names on them for training taken after 2012. Items submitted with handwritten names will not be accepted and could cause your application to be delayed in processing. If you have been issued a certificate with a space to write your name, please contact the sponsoring organization and request that they return a certificate with your name pre-printed on it. This policy does not apply to trainings designated as conferences on the certificate.