Environment Rating Scale (ERS)




Using an environment rating scale helps educators reflect on both the strengths & areas for improvement in their classroom. The environment rating scale is an instrument that measures program quality by rating the education program, the staff development program, parent involvement and education.

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Regulations & Policy

State Title 5 Section 18278

We are required by our funder, the California Department of Education, to annually assess our classrooms using the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) or Early Childhood (ECERS) Revised Editions. 

Classrooms must achieve a rating of “Good”, defined as scoring at least an average of 5.0 on each sub-scale on the environmental rating scale.

All SCOE GO sites participate in the Stanislaus QRIS program called STARS. STARS is of great benefit as assessors/coaches will assist us in meeting the ECERS/ITERS requirements


Designed to measure program quality in a classroom

All items measure the environment, along with the educators ability to support children’s basic needs. Basic needs of children include:

  • Protection of their health/safety
  • Supporting and guiding positive relationships
  • Providing appropriate learning opportunities


Organizing the Environment

Carefully review & set-up environment using the ITERS or ECERS tool and notes. Pay close attention to the Terms & Notes for Clarification. 

Assessment Day

The assessment is a snapshot of what a typical day looks like in your classroom. 

STARS Assessor will schedule a time/date for the assessment. Assessor will be observing the environment for 3 to 3 ½ hours, which must include drop-off and meal time

Note: During the observation, the assessor is not allowed to interact with the provider or children. In addition, please note that you will not receive the results on the actual assessment day.




Each item in the ERS tool will be scored. The goal is to have a minimum score of 5 within each subscale (not item).

Ratings are based on levels of quality.  When scoring, each section builds onto the next. Start with 1 & work their way up the scale. One of the most common errors when classrooms prepare for the ERS is to jump to 5 or 6. If 1, 2 or 3 are not met, then the score stops. It is not realistic to score 7 across all items.

To determine the subscale average, the subscale items are added together & divided by the total number of items scored

Results/Blueprint for Quality Improvement

Ratings on items are used to gather information on strengths/weaknesses in a variety of areas/items. Results used as a blueprint for improvement.

Assessor will schedule a time to review the ERS results. Educators will develop action steps for any sub-scales scored below a Good (5) rating. The plan will be recorded on the Summary of Findings form.

Note: Follow-up/Reflection will be completed according to the Year at a Glance schedule.


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