Run Your Child Care

Environment Rating Scales & Assessment

Environment Rating Scales use observations; rather than structural indicators such as staff to child ratio, group size or cost of care; to evaluate the quality of child care programs. Observers use these tools to assess and suggest stategies to enhance:

  • 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 

Early Childhood Environment 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 categories: • 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