ECERS-3, the long-awaited new version of the widely used Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, is designed to assess the quality of programs and classrooms serving children three through five years of age. The comprehensive, internationally recognized assessment tool evaluates environmental factors and teacher-child interactions that affect young children’s developmental needs. Here are six key differences between ECERS-3 and ECERS-R (the previous edition):

  1. ECERS-3 is for programs that serve PreK and kindergarten students. ECERS-R included older two-year-olds, but children ages 2½ to 3 years will now fall under ITERS.
  2. ECERS-3 eliminates the need for a teacher interview, requiring three hours of observation time in its place. This change was made to ensure that the three hours of observation would include children being fed and taken outside to play.
  3. ECERS-3 focuses more on how materials are used in teaching activities instead of just counting the materials. This is to help ensure materials are being used appropriately in the classroom learning environment.
  4. ECERS-3 specifically addresses interactions in the classroom. This will help better distinguish between quality and high-quality programs. Here is a list of the types of interactions included in the subscales:
    • Supervision of gross motor
    • Individualized teaching and learning
    • Self-child interaction
    • Peer interaction
    • Discipline
  5. ECERS-3 eliminates that Parents and Staff subscale to allow more time to focus on actual classroom practices. The Parents and Staff subscale in ECERS-R proved to be unreliable. The shift to a focus on interactions also played a role in the ECERS-3 authors choosing to drop the Parents and Staff subscale.
  6. ECERS-3 includes five new language and literacy items. This is to help make reading and literacy positive and engaging for children, so they will voluntarily go read during free play.

If you would like more information about ECERS-3, contact your local representative or browse the ECERS-3 page on our website.