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

Environment Rating Scales & Assessment

Environmental Rating Scales are used to evaluate the quality of child care programs. These rating scales use observations, rather than structural indicators such as staff to child ratio, group size or cost of care, to predict the outcome of child care programs.

Environmental Rating Scales are used to help the observer assess:
• The arrangement of indoor and outdoor space
• The materials and activities offered to the children
• The supervision, interactions and language that occurs in the classroom
• The schedule of the day, including routines and activities
• The support offered to parents and staff

The Environmental Rating Scales help programs conduct a research-based evaluation of their child care setting with suggestions to enhance the quality of their program in the future.

Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS)

This tool is used to assess group programs for preschool/kindergarten children ages 2 through 5. The scale rates 43 items in the following catagories:
• Space & Furnishings • Personal Care Routines • Language Reasoning
• Activities • Interactions • Program Structure • Parents and Staff

Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS)

This tool is used to assess group programs for children from birth to 2 ½ years of age. The scale rates 39 items in the following categories:
• Space & Furnishings • Personal Care Routines • Listening & Talking
• Activities • Interaction • Program Structure • Parents and Staff

Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCERS)

This tool is used to assess family child care programs. The scale rates 38 items in the following categories:
• Space & Furnishings • Personal Care Routines • Listening & Talking
• Activities • Interaction • Program Structure • Parents and Provider

School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS)

This tool is used to assess group-care programs for school-age children, ages 5 to 12. The scale rates 49 items in the following categories:
• Space and Furnishings • Health & Safety • Activities • Interactions
• Program Structure • Staff Development • Special Needs

Learn more about Environment Rating Scales by visiting the website of University of North Carolina Child Development Institute. Or contact a Provider Support & Start Up Consultant in your region to receive more information and guidance.