1. Teaching and Learning
1A. Learning Environment
Brief Overview of Standard: Daily activities and interactions within early learning and development programs are indicators that a program is providing an environment and experiences that are safe, healthy and stimulating for children. This includes offering both indoor and outdoor activities to support varied learning experiences. Providing necessary adaptations to a child’s experience and environment allows all children, including those with special needs, to learn, grow and develop.
Environment Rating Scales Tip Sheets
Specific Tools - Program Assessment
Environment Rating Scales
The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) are designed to assess process quality in an early childhood care group. Process quality consists of the various interactions that go on in a classroom between staff and children, staff, parents, and other adults, among the children themselves, and the interactions children have with the many materials and activities in the environment, as well as those features, such as space, schedule and materials that support these interactions.
There are several environment rating scales (ERS) recognized in ExceleRate Illinois, each designed for a different segment of the early childhood field.
The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R) is used in classrooms with children ages birth through 35 months
The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale- Revised (ECERS-R)
COMING SOON: ECERS-3 will be used for assessments conducted after July 1, 2017. This tool will replace ECERS-R.
ECERS-3 will be used in classrooms with children ages 3 to 5 years. ECERS-3 is similar to the other ERS tools in format and method of scoring, however, the Scale authors have made some important enhancements, including:
- More emphasis on matching teacher interactions with each child’s abilities and interests
- Increased focus on how learning materials are used in teaching activities
- Greater emphasis on interactions and the teacher’s role
- Additional emphasis on pre-academics (language, literacy and math)
- Adult supervision incorporated throughout activities
PLEASE NOTE: In ExceleRate, if a classroom is a combination of two and 3 year olds, we look at ages of the majority of the children in the classroom. For example, if the majority will be over age 3, then ECERS-3 should be used for self-assessment and will be used for verification. If the majority will be under 3 years, then ITERS- R should be used for self-assessment and will be used for verification.
The School-Age Child Care Environment Rating Scale- Updated (SACERS-U) is used in classrooms with children age 5 and older.
The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCERS) is used to assess family child care homes.
Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™) is an observational tool that provides a common lens and language focused on what matters—the classroom interactions that boost student learning. Data from CLASS™ observations are used to support teachers’ unique professional development needs, set school-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels.
- Infant CLASS (Birth to 18 months), Domain: Responsive Caregiving
- Toddler CLASS (15 to 36 months), Domains: Emotional and Behavioral Support; Engaged Support for Learning
- Pre-K CLASS (3 to 5 year olds): Domains: Emotional Support; Classroom Organization; Instructional Support
The Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP)
A structured observation rating scale designed to assess the quality of provisions and daily practices that support the developmental needs of children with disabilities in early childhood settings. It was developed in response to a lack of validated instruments designed specifically to measure the quality of inclusive practices.
Author(s): Elena Soukakou
Publication Date: May, 2012