Debby Cryer, Ph.D., is a Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has taught in a variety of early childhood programs, recently directed the child care program at the FPG Center, and has studied and written about early childhood program quality for more than twenty years. Throughout her career, she has combined her interests as an early childhood practitioner with those of a researcher, studying real-world issues and translating research findings into practice for early childhood program staff, parents, and policy makers.
Dr. Cryer is co-author of the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, (Harms, Cryer & Clifford, 1990) and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised Edition (Harms, Clifford & Cryer, 1998) and has worked with various teams to develop numerous other quality assessment instruments. She has developed a variety of resources for teachers and for others interested in early child care and education, such as the popular Active Learning Series (Cryer, Harms & Bourland, 1986, 1987; Cryer, Harms, Ray, 1996), and the award-winning public television series, "Raising America's Children" (Harms & Cryer, 1988). Her most recent books include Infants and Toddlers in Out-of-Home Care (edited by Cryer & Harms, 2000), and the Early Childhood Education and Care in the USA (edited by Cryer & Clifford, 2003), both published by Paul H. Brookes.
Dr. Cryer was a Principal Investigator for the national study on Cost, Quality and Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers, and continues that research in the International Child Care and Education Study. She is currently Principal Investigator of two studies investigating the effects of continuity of caregivers on infants and toddlers in child care.
Thelma Harms, Ph.D., is Director of Curriculum Development at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and Research Professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has been since 1975. She earned an M. A. in Child Development and a Ph. D. in Early Childhood Education at the University of California at Berkeley, where she served as a head teacher in the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center laboratory school for 15 years. Dr. Harms has lectured and conducted training throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Russia. Her areas of specialization are program evaluation, curriculum, and staff development.
Dr. Harms is the lead author of four widely used program evaluation instruments: the ECERS-R (Harms, Clifford, & Cryer, 1998); the FDCRS (Harms & Clifford, 1989); the ITERS-R (Harms, Cryer & Clifford, 2003); and the SACERS (Harms, Jacobs, &White, 1996). She consulted with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in the development of its center accreditation instruments and validator training procedures and is a co-author of the school age child care assessment instrument, which is being used in the NSACA accreditation. Dr. Harms co-chaired the national committee that developed quality criteria for family child care programs and developed an accreditation process and instruments for military family child care.
Dr. Harms has co-authored a number of curriculum materials including: the Family Day Care Education Series; the seven volume Active Learning Series; the Cook and Learn Series, Nutrition Education for Preschoolers; and the 10-part educational television series, "Raising America's Children". She has co-edited a book on working with homeless preschool children in shelters and a recent volume on infants and toddlers in out of home care.
In addition to training courses offered through the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute in Chapel Hill, Dr. Harms provides training and consultation in collaboration with agencies in many other states and countries.
Cathy Riley, M.S., is a lead trainer on the Environment Rating Scales and program coordinator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has worked for the past 15 years. Cathy has a M.S. in Early Childhood Education. Her experience includes working as a trainer and technical assistance specialist with providers, directors and other early childhood professionals throughout the U.S. She worked with Drs. Cryer, Harms and Clifford, field testing the revision of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale, and the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale. She has helped to develop training materials that are used with the Environment Rating Scales.
Cathy has served as an adult trainer working with many state agencies as well as other early childhood associations. Cathy served as a Research Assistant for the Army Family Child Care Accreditation Project, which developed and implemented a model accreditation system for Army, Navy and Marine family childcare. She served as a training coordinator for the North Carolina Rated License Project, which included establishing systems of reliability, as well as training all assessors throughout North Carolina. She currently co-directs a training and development project for licensing consultants and technical assistant specialists in a statewide project. Cathy is co-author of All About ECERS and All About ITERS.