Professional Development Fellowships are no longer available for fiscal year 2020.
Please check our website for professional development fellowship that may become available after July 1, 2020.
Parent Education Fellowships are still available.
Fellowships provide reimbursement funds to individuals so they may attend in-service opportunities in Illinois or the St. Louis area. Family members of a child with special needs who is enrolled in or will transition to early childhood special education services and professionals who provide early childhood special education services are eligible to apply. Funds may be used for workshop registration, lodging, substitute teachers, and child care.
What is a STAR NET Fellowship?
To promote family education and professional development for individuals in southern Illinois, STAR NET Region IV (part of a grant funded through the Illinois State Board of Education) offers fellowships.
A fellowship is a monetary award that reimburses eligible family members and early childhood professionals for certain expenses associated with attendance at an Illinois or St. Louis area training event. Individuals may apply for a maximum of one fellowship per grant year (from July 1st to the following June 30th). Awards are based on available funds and approved at the discretion of the STAR NET staff. See the application for further details.
Family members and early childhood professionals in STAR NET Region IV (see map at www.starnet.org) who meet the following eligibility requirements may apply for reimbursement with STAR NET Region IV:
- Parent or legal guardian of a child, ages two through six years, with an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
- Professionals who are Public School Educators from Early Childhood Special Education or Preschool for All programs who teach or provide services to children, ages three through five with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Families in other STAR NET Regions (I, II, III, V, or VI) must apply with the appropriate office (contact information at www.starnet.org).
What expenses qualify for reimbursement?
The following expenses related to family education or professional development qualify:
- workshop/conference registration fees
- lodging expenses
- child care costs for parents (receipt necessary—child care provider cannot be the spouse of the applicant)
- substitute teacher expenses up to $80
Lodging expenses must follow the recommended ISBE Hotel Rates. If you have applied for lodging, please be aware that we can only reimburse up to the following state rates:
- Chicago Metropolitan Areas: $200.00 plus tax.
- Suburban Cook County: $131.00 plus tax
- DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties: $95.00 plus tax.
- Downstate Metropolitan Areas (encompasses counties of Champaign, Kankakee, LaSalle, McLean, Macon, Madison, Peoria, Rock Island, St. Clair, Sangamon, Tazwell and Winnebago): $85.00 plus tax.
- Other Downstate Illinois Areas (not listed above): $75.00 plus tax.
Download the application and directions here:
- Professional Development Fellowship (no longer available)
- Parent Education Fellowship
The Arc of Illinois offers consumer stipends, which are available for family members of a child (any age) with an intellectual/developmental disability. Check the website for specific details and application forms at:
If you have any questions, please call 800.942.7827!
The Illinois Division of Early Childhood offers Family Development Scholarships for family members of a child with a disability, ages birth through eight. Email email@example.com for details!