A program of Lutheran Social Services in western North Dakota and Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership in eastern North Dakota

Tools of the Profession

Working in the field of early care and education brings a commitment to helping children learn and develop school readiness skills. How you go about developing those skills in young children is at the heart of providing a quality program. There are several national and state tools that can guide your decision making about setting up a program that leads to positive outcomes for children.

North Dakota Early Learning Guidelines (ELG)
are research-based, measurable descriptions of the things young children are expected to know and be able to do at each age and stage of development. These guidelines provide parents, teachers, caregivers and policy makers with shared expectations for young children's learning and provide common language for measuring progress toward achieving these goals.

Core Competencies
are research-based guidelines that describe the knowledge and skills early childhood professionals need in order to work with children birth through age eight and their families. These guidelines also help parents, communities and policy leaders make informed decisions about practices within early childhood programs.

Child Care Licensing
is a form of consumer protection that reduces the risk that children are being cared for in an unsafe environment. North Dakota state laws, and local ordinances in some locations, regulate child care licensing.

Environmental Rating Scales (ERS)
are national tools that guide early childhood professionals in the arrangement of indoor and outdoor space, choices in materials/activities offered to children and daily routines.

Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS)
Consistent evidence suggests that if we want to improve children’s academic achievement and social skill development, we need to focus on how adults instruct and relate with children. CLASS measures the interactions between adults and children.

Administration Scales (PAS) (BAS)
provide a reliable and easy-to-administer tool for measuring the overall quality of administrative practices of early childhood and education programs.