The increasing concern over the effect of child care on children's lives has focused attention on the quality of that care. Since most out-of-home care is provided in family child care homes, the need has grown for an accessible, reliable, and thorough means of assessing the quality and suitability of such settings. Developed through lengthy field testing, research, and revision, the Family Child Care Environmental Rating Scale® consists of 32 items, organized under six major headings: Space and Furnishings for Care and Learning, Basic Care, Language and Reasoning, Learning Activities, Social Development, and Adult Needs.
ERS® and Environment Rating Scale® are registered trademarks of Teachers College, Columbia University
The Environment Rating Scales are internationally recognized tools used to assess and improve the quality of child care programs.
Using the Environment Rating Scale® to Construct a Program Improvement Plan
This session will demonstrate to attendees how to produce program improvement plans based on the Environment Rating Scale®. Participants will be shown how to use scores to formulate a plan that gives detailed, specific recommendations for quality improvement while identifying the provider’s strengths. Strategies and suggestions for conducting successful consultations with teachers and directors will also be provided.
Environment Rating Scales in Practice
During this session, participants will learn about the specific scale, interpretation of specific indicators, and the research and rationale for the requirements. Participants will review the sub-scales of the Environment Rating Scales through discussions, video clips, and hands on activities. Some instruction in scoring and completing an observation will be provided.
Flexibility and the Meaning of Environment Rating Scales
There are many things that affect the care and education that is provided to children in child care. Cultural differences, curriculum, conditions of building, and finances are just a few of the things that will affect the Environment Rating that a program will earn. It is important for programs to keep in mind that the total score in a classroom is more important than an individual indicator score. This session will show participants how to make well-informed decisions on areas to emphasize classroom strengths while minimizing areas of weakness.
Orientation to the Environment Rating Scale®
Having an environment rating scale observation can be daunting even for the most seasoned teacher. This session will walk participants through the scale and observation process. Participants will be instructed on conducting a self-assessment as well as the importance of emphasizing strengths to increase overall scores.
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