If you work in an early childcare setting you may be familiar with ERS: Environment Rating Scales. There are four different scales that are separated by age group and type of setting. The Infant Toddler Rating Scale (ITERS-R) is designed for use with children from birth – 2 ½ years of age. The Early Childhood Environment Scale (ECERS-3) is designed for use with children from 3-5. The School-Age Environment Rating Scale (SACERS-R) is designed for children ages 5-12. The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCERS-R) is designed for use in a family child care setting with children birth-12 years old.
If you are familiar with the scales you will notice that the tool used to assess children ages 3-5, is no longer the ECERS-R but now the ECERS-3. The ECERS-3 is a fully revised version of the previous ECERS scales. If you have taken the ERS training in the past, there is an ECERS-3 update training available online or you have the option to take the revised training in person. In person trainings can be found on the YWCA’s Training Calendar. It will also be helpful to read through the new spiral bound ECERS-3 book, to become familiar with all of the changes and begin to intentionally make changes in your childcare setting. A new All About Book, should be released late 2017. In the meantime, this tip sheet created by McCormick Center is a great resource to become familiar with as well.
Some key changes to note between the ECERS-R and the ECERS-3 (these can also be found in the front of the ECERS-3 Scales book):
- ECERS-3 is all observation based and is scored based on what is observed during a 3-hour time sample. Additional time may be added only to review materials or the safety features of the playground.
- ECERS-3 is made up of 35 items that are organized into 6 subscales. Previously, the ECERS-R has 43 items organized in 7 subscales.
- ECERS-3 has less focus on the number and accessibility of materials and more attention to how the teachers use the materials to stimulate children’s learning.
- ECERS-3 contains 5 new Items on “Language and Literacy,” as well as 3 new Math Items.