Marycrest Early Childhood Center Recognized


Congratulations to Marycrest Early Childhood Center for receiving the Gold Circle of Quality award through ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s system for supporting continuous improvement among early learning providers. The school is one of only 142 public school-based early childhood sites in Illinois that received this top distinction.

“Early childhood education is the foundation for our children’s future, and these outstanding early learning providers are the gold standard,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “With a record $50 million increase in the Early Childhood Block Grant and $100 million to build and repair child care centers and pre-schools, we’re making real strides to make Illinois a national leader in early childhood education and improve outcomes for thousands of children. I’ve been committed to improving early childhood education for decades, because every child deserves high-quality care from their youngest days.”

“High-quality early childhood services prepare students for success throughout their educational careers,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Schools across the state are improving the quality of their early childhood programs thanks to increased funding and support. ISBE congratulates all of these sites on their dedication to supporting our youngest learners.”

Gold Circle programs have met the highest standards for quality in three areas: learning environment and teaching, administration, and training and education. The winning programs are also actively engaged in continuous quality improvement. This is the third time in a row that Marycrest Early Childhood Center has received the Gold Circle of Quality distinction (2013, 2017, 2020).

 “Congratulations to the entire Marycrest staff for receiving this top designation,” said Joliet Public Schools District 86 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Rouse, “I know that under principal Dr. Melissa Mendoza-Thompson’s leadership, our youngest students in District 86 are receiving a solid educational foundation.”

In addition to being recognized by the State Board of Education, Marycrest Early Childhood Center was presented with a plaque by the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of School Inspectors at their October 21, 2020 school board meeting.

Marycrest Early Childhood Center houses the preschool program for Joliet Public Schools District 86. Currently 434 students, aged 3-5 years old, attend the half day preschool program. The program provides opportunities for children to grow in four developmental areas: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. The school offers free development screenings and quality preschool services for children living in the Joliet District 86 school boundaries who qualify. To schedule a screening, please fill out a request form at or call the school at (815) 725-1100.

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