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Environment Rating Scales - ERS

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1 Environment Rating Scales - ERS
ECERS-R & ITERS-R Orange County Quality Improvement System OC QIS Barbara Easton

2 Training Materials Please download the materials found on the CD onto your office computer. There is a checklist guide to assist you with printing the materials to be used with the classroom assessment and quality improvement process.

3 Orange County Quality Improvement System
Project goals include: To begin to align OC QIS with the state’s proposed QRS To support the existing rated centers in improving the quality of their program Expand the usage of the Environment Rating Scales into every classroom and program Implement an ongoing quality improvement process with ERS Provide professional development opportunities Support teachers with acquiring and maintaining their Child Development Teacher Permit Raise community awareness on the importance of high-quality early care and education Support families in accessing community resources California is moving toward a state rating system.

4 Use “ERS Family” as the tool (ITERS-R, ECERS-R, FCCERS-R)
Plus a tool(s) to measure teacher/child interactions at Tiers 3,4 and 5 This is the first element decided with the proposed California Quality Rating System CAEL QIS July 2010

5 ERS ~ Outcomes for this training
After today’s workshop, providers will: Be familiar with the intent of ECERS-R and ITERS-R Be able to understand the scoring process Be prepared to complete a classroom self assessment Understand how to complete a quality improvement plan

6 Rating Scale Authors REVIEW ARTICLES and discuss Author Thelma Harms writes about QUAILTY and also about the process of conducting a self-assessment Dr. Thelma Harms Dr. Debby Cryer Dr. Richard Clifford

7 ECERS-R Preschoolers 43 items ECERS-R Assessment scale
Recommended – All About ECESRS-R

8 ITERS-R Infants and Toddlers 39 items ITERS-R Assessment Scale
Recommended – All About ITERS-R

9 ERS Overview Workshop Agenda: Materials Rating Scale Book Score Sheet
Profile Self- Assessment Process Resources

10 Workshop Agenda: Process of the ECERS-R & ITERS-R Purpose
ERS Overview Workshop Agenda: Process of the ECERS-R & ITERS-R Purpose Hints to prep your scale Terms Scoring & practice Quality improvement process Purpose – research shows that early care experiences lead to a variety of positive outcomes for young children that last throughout their life time. The PERRY PRESCHOOL STUDY has published their latest updates after 40 years of following young children into adulthood. You can look up the articles on the internet for some fascinating reading to validate the fields goal of ongoing quality improvement for young children and their families. Hints – Look for often used terminology & refer back to the instructions in the scale for clarification if needed.

11 What’s the point of all this?

12 Their future truly is in our hands every day
The ECE Field builds on 75 years of theory and research. Modern technology enables us to actually view the brain learning and to reinforce that young children learn through play and hands on rich experiences with a wide variety of materials. We now have the CA Early Learning Foundations and Guidelines to help support our work. Remember back to your ECE coursework and the key message of…… It’s the PROCESS not the PRODUCT that is the valuable element of successful education and learning.

13 Why is quality important?
During the first five years of life, the majority of the architecture of a child’s brain is determined (Shore, R. 1997), and early childhood experiences set the stage for all future learning. Positive outcomes from investments in early childhood education depend on the quality of these experiences.

14 Why is quality important?
Quality is paramount if preschool programs are to have an effect on children’s learning and provide the economic and financial benefits we expect from our investment. High-quality preschool is much more than custodial care; it provides children with meaningful learning and play experiences guided by qualified teachers in an enriched educational environment.

15 Why is quality important?
Children with access to high quality preschool and child care programs are more likely to acquire the skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed and adapt to new learning and social environments.

16 Research typically points to two dimensions of quality:
What is quality? Research typically points to two dimensions of quality: Structural features Process features

17 What is quality? Structural features in early learning settings refer to the way in which the program is organized or structured, such as staff-to-child ratio and teacher qualifications.

18 What is quality? Process features refer to the positive interactions between children and others which support experiences that promote children’s learning and development (Scott-Little, C. 2006). REVIEW PROCESS QUALTIY handout with circles. There are many areas where the classroom teacher is unable to make the improvements to the classroom environment. There are times when each classroom many have to take a low score as they can not make the improvements to raise the score. HOWEVER – being able to raise scores in many of the other areas will improve the overall classroom score. Find the areas that can be improved to the excellent level! Many times, improvements can be made right away such as adding different types of books to the library, and other times it may take a couple of years, such as fundraising to put in new play equipment.

19 What are teachers? In early care and education, the highest features that affect quality focus largely around the teacher and interactions - 6’s & 7’s The teachers are everyone who is a regular person in the children's environment. For scoring, paid staff and regular volunteers are considered when scoring. AND anytime any negative event occurs that children are exposed to such as a parent, delivery person, or visitor. Look closely at the indicators under the 6’s and 7’s and you’ll see that it is many times the teacher’s interactions and activities that lead to the highest quality environment and experiences for children.

20 What are teachers? Effective early childhood professionals have:
Strong background in education and child development and specialized early childhood competencies Warmth and sensitivity to engage children Foster positive interactions Work in partnership with families Recognizing and respecting cross-cultural differences The ERS covers many areas of Child Development and foundational opportunities for young children to create their own firm foundations for all future learning.

21 What are teachers? Possess the communication skills to nurture self-confidence and appreciate a child’s holistic growth Interact well with children, both individually and in small groups Promote exploration in the classroom Encourage questions and conversations Sharing information with families is an important element of quality programs.

22 What is curriculum? An age-appropriate curriculum recognizing the psychological development of children and building on their instinctive curiosity is important, but the way a teacher implements that curriculum is more significant. The scales use the term age-appropriate. That means if you have a classroom with children of mixed ages or abilities, the materials and interactions need to be appropriate to all the children. For example, you notice that a variety of puzzles are required, this enables any age child to be successful no mater where they are on the puzzle skill continuum – and provides the next step as they being to master doing puzzles. This same viewpoint applies to all areas of the program, and to score correctly, think about the children in your classroom and where they are skill and experience wise. This is an area that frequently requires thought and some changes to improve scores.

23 What is curriculum? Small group sizes and low child to teacher ratios that allow for individual student attention are also hallmarks of a high quality program. Meaningful learning and language occurs best in small group settings. There are a number of items on the scales that look at interactions, schedule, and language.

24 What is curriculum? When scoring the activity items, be sure to look all over the room for the materials to write on your score sheet. For example, written numbers could be found on telephones, calendars, clocks, calculators, microwaves, stoves, posters, etc…. NOTE: Look to see how the materials are actually used by the children, just because they happen to be in the room, doesn’t mean that they are accessible or appropriate. NOTE: when looking for science and math materials, to be counted, the item must be in intended working order. For Science examples: If you have a balance, there needs to be something to weigh and compare in the same area – so both items would need to be present to be counted as a balance. Magnifying glasses must have something to magnify, magnets something to attract, etc… For Math examples: Unifix cubes for math must have counting guides or plastic number trays to be counted as math, otherwise they are just used as fine motor materials. Teddy Bear and other counters as well, if there are bowls or containers to sort and count, they can be used for math. If just out for play, then fine motor. However, occasionally, a teacher has shown the children ways to use the counters and you see the children using them for math play, it can be counted as math. Learning environments should stimulate children’s cognitive development, with environments divided into smaller activity-based centers

25 Why Use the Environment Rating Scales?
Research has shown a relationship between higher scores on the environment rating scales and more positive child development outcomes in areas that are considered important for later school success. Because children and providers deserve to be in quality environments and parents need the assurance of knowing their children are safe and healthy and learning.

One of the ways that the assessors are able to achieve inter-rater reliability is to pay very close attention to the definitions of the words and phrases used throughout the scales. These words and phrases have very specific meanings which impact the ratings that are given. A review of these terms will be helpful for providers as they prepare to use the scales. A complete definition is provided in the “Explanation of Terms Used Throughout the Scale” in the beginning of each of the environment rating scale books.

27 WHO ARE THE CHILDREN? Toddlers 12 months – 35 months Infants
Birth – 11 months It is important to note that the age ranges used in the scales are different than those categories used for licensing. Many of the indicators have specific requirements for materials for each of these age ranges. Preschoolers 36 months - Kindergarten School-Agers 1st grade & older

Children can reach and are allowed to use age appropriate toys, materials, furnishings and/or equipment. ACCESSIBLE means children can reach, open, and use independently. If materials are stored in a tub they can’t open or are out of reach they are NOT accessible, and can’t be added or counted on the score sheet. NOTE: Items stored in cupboards or extra materials to be rotated ARE NOT counted as they are not accessible to children every day. (There is another area where extra materials to rotate are scored.)  ** Let’s take a moment and look at the picture here. What do you notice that is right in it? (Accessible to some) What do you notice that is wrong?  (items out of reach of the children in the group are not accessible. This is also a safety hazard as items could fall on children)   ** For non-mobile infants, the baby must be moved to reach them, or the materials must be placed close to the infant. NOTE: In many programs, there are abundant materials; however, often children’s access to the materials is limited due to large blocks of time devoted to adult directed activities (i.e. circle time, waiting in line, etc.)

For ECERS-R At least 1/3 of the time children are in attendance Substantial portion of the day is calculated based on what is observed, the posted daily schedule, plus what the teacher says is usually done during the rest of a full day program. At the good level, materials must be accessible for a “substantial portion of the day” for the ECERS-R. HANDOUT: ECERS-R chart of 11 SPD items. There are 11 items that are based upon the time children are able to choose WHO, WITH WHAT, WHERE, and HOW they play with the materials in their environment. Ask participants to find the page in the scale where it describes SPD as well as where the chart is at the end of the score sheet. There is a variety of additional information found in the All About books. NOTE: SPD is NOT used with ITERS-R TIP: Write down the actual times children begin transition and when the last child finishes, when children line up, read stories, have group time, and every other thing they do so you can see what experiences EACH CHILD is having. The ERS is based upon each child every day’s experiences with the materials accessible to them on the shelves. You will enter this information on the last page of the score sheet as well as your posted schedule for comparison.

** The words “some” and “many” are used throughout the scales to denote quantity of materials, equipment, toys, etc. They are also used to denote frequency, especially in items that evaluate language and interactions. Specific guidelines are often included in the notes for clarification. ** In ITERS-R, “Some” denotes the presence of a material in the environment, and at least one example must be observed, unless the guidelines require more examples. To give credit for “Many”, children should have access to materials without long periods of waiting or undue competition. See page 7 of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales-R for definitions of these terms as they apply to this scale. This slide shows the requirements for “some” and “many” for Item 18, Music and Movement in the ECERS/ITERS-R. “Some” means at least two materials for use with each age group enrolled. “Many” means at least ten music materials with no fewer than three for each age group enrolled.

Everyone needs to wash their hands with running water, including infants. Wet hands first and then add soap. Rub hands together for 10 seconds, minimum Hands must be dried by individual towels that are not shared. Using wipes or antiseptic waterless washes CANNOT be substituted for hand washing in scoring. Glove use does not preclude handwashing. HANDWASHING of adults and children is tracked in several items in the Personal Care Routines. Assessors will observe and note whether each of the steps is followed, and use this information to determine a rating. Handwashing is tracked at the following times during the observations: upon arrival, before and after meals, after toileting, assisting with toileting, or diapering, when reentering the home or classroom after outdoor play, before shared water play, and after messy, sand, or water play, after dealing with bodily fluids, after touching contaminated objects (trashcan lids, the floor) or pets. SINK SANITIZATION: When children wash their hands before eating and then touch other objects, hands are not considered washed for meal time. If the same sink is used for washing hands after toileting AND to wash hands for meal times, the sink must be sanitized with a bleach solution prior to children washing for mealtimes. The same is true for teeth brushing and toileting. See the Scale for clarification.

32 Health questions from the field…..
Standards in the ERS are from: Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care, 2nd Edition The complete guide is found on the CD and can be downloaded to your computer for ongoing reference and guidance. When you go to this link, all of the health and safety items in the ERS are found here. Just like our CA driving codes, there are way more national regulations and guidelines than we are aware of. Each state picks and chooses the ones that become the licensing regulations, and these are the minimum standards. High quality looks at a higher standard for children’s health and safety. National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Almost every day, unless there is active precipitation or unhealthy air quality. This term is used in several items of the scale with regard to when children can participate in outdoor activities. Children are expected to go outside every day, unless there is active precipitation, or public announcements that advise people to remain indoors due to weather conditions, such as high levels of pollution or extreme cold or heat that might cause health problems. If children are unable to go outside (rarely in California), then gross motor activities are to be provided for the same time indoors. Details are in the scale and All About Book.

34 The Score Sheet Handout
Fill out the top of the score sheet as if all of the children are there who could be there that day. This way you can reflect on the materials and events for all of the children. Pull out the blank score sheet. NOTE: There is a SAMPLE SCORESHEET completed score sheet on the CD you can copy and pass around to give an example of how to complete the front page, scoring, and notes.

35 SCORING Read each indicator and check Y, N, or N/A
When there is a * be sure to go over to the additional notes to get help in knowing how to score that item. Terms are explained on P. 5 & 6 The All About book clarifies in greater detail with photos of each item * Practice with staff the process of reading the ITEM, the indicators under each item, and then looking for the * which means there is additional information to help understand what to look for and how to score. HANDOUT – Additional Notes are also published as the authors continue to help clarify scoring requirements. The ALL ABOUT book looks in detail at every item and indicator, and provides additional guidance.

36 DVD Scoring Practice Turn to the section in your handouts that has the Video Guide and Training Workbook selection. The DVD has practice video that is used to practice scoring. There is also a scoring scramble activity Use the Scoring Practice handout to practice determining the correct score to circle NOTE: THE SCORING PRACTICE handout can be used for both ECERS-R AND ITERS-R as it is the same process used to determine the score. A SCORING PRACTICE ANSWER page is included on the CD that shows the answers for the trainer.

37 Scoring – what you see is what you get
Kodak moment These items and indicators are meant to be available to all children every day, your assessment is a ‘snap shot’ of the daily experiences Reminders – read the criteria, additional notes, and look for evidence Score based only on what is asked and viewed REALITY TV Try your best to score your classroom on typical everyday experience the children had LAST WEEK or anytime prior. That way you are able to document your classroom before improvements are thought about and made. These changes are important to document on the quality improvement plan you create. Try your best to document your classroom like a Kodak snapshot. The ERS score sheet and scores will reflect your program as you start the quality improvement process now and is a really valuable tool to bring back out and look at in the future.

38 Always start at the left under the 1 column
SCORING Always start at the left under the 1 column Ask your self this question each time: “Is this true….. Yes or No”

39 Under the 1 column, Inadequate:
SCORING Under the 1 column, Inadequate: All indicators must be marked NO to continue scoring. If an item is marked YES, the score for that item will be – 1 Ask yourself, “ Is my classroom inadequate for this item”? Yes or No Classrooms don’t want to be inadequate, but sometimes they are. Many times when a classroom scores a 1, it is because they didn’t know what the criteria was that is used to score. Also, there are times when the classroom has no control over reality, such as when a classroom has to go long distances to use the bathroom or there is no sink in the classroom (review the circle barriers chart). Dr. Harms encourages people to just take their ONES, and focus on all of the other areas you can make excellent! Remember: It is the overall average of all 43 ECERS-R and 39 ITERS-R items that becomes the classroom score. It is very rewarding to complete all of the improvement strategies you come up with and to then again assess your classroom and see the advancement! Quality improvement is ongoing.

40 SCORING For indicators under the 3,5,7 ratings, the goal is to earn and mark YES. Scoring will stop once you mark a box a NO. Continue checking all of the indicators through the 7 column so you can see your areas of strength. Ask yourself, “ Is this indicator true?” yes… or not true, no.

41 SCORING If all are marked YES, keep going
If ½ or more of the indicators are marked YES, then you score ONE score below, or half way between the columns. Ex: Under the 5 column, you have 3 YES & 2 NO, the score would be a 4 If less than ½ are marked YES, you score back to the prior column where you had all YES. Ex: Under YES & 3 NO, the score would be a 3 Half or More or 50% and higher are marked YES, you ALMOST earn that score, so you would earn the number one less. If less than half of the indicators are marked NO, you don’t almost earn that score so you return to the column where all indicators are marked YES – and if it is in the 1 column, all would need to be NO.

42 Goals of scoring are to earn a score of 5 or higher for each item.
When scores are below a 5, you complete a quality improvement plan with ideas on how to score higher. Research has shown that an overall average score of 5 or higher lead to high quality programs.

43 We will practice scoring with the training DVD.
The scoring process is written in detail in your ECERS-R and ITERS-R books HANDOUT – DVD Video Training Guide – ECERS-R or ITERS-R INSERT THE ECERS-R DVD if your program is for preschool children. INSERT THE ITERS-R DVD if your program is for infants and toddlers. NOTE: IF you are using a laptop DVD player, sometimes the laptop will set up the videos on an menu and you might need a guide to figure out which menu item is the answer to the video you just watched. There is a HANDOUT - DVD VIDEO GUIDE COMPUTER CHART. This shows where to find the answers and video follow up.

44 SCORING Every item will need a score of Yes, No, or N/A
Once all boxes have been scored, decide on the number or score for that item (see Sample Score Sheet) Put a circle around the score for that item Once you have scored all of the items, you can calculate the average of each section or sub scale. Each score and average will be transferred onto the program profile Some items have an option for N/A – always read the * Additional Notes to decide if you qualify for N/A. N/A items are NOT added into the average, they are considered INVISIBLE. So if you have a sub scale or section that has 8 items and ONE is N/A, and you want to determine the average, you add up all the scores and divide by 7 to get the average of that sub scale. See the SAMPLE SCORE SHEET and profile on the last page.

45 Materials and Support Additional materials are included on the CD to help with your assessment OCDE have a limited quantity of ECERS-R and ITERS-R Kits for loan that include: All About ECERS-R and All About ITERS-R books – each item in pictures and details on how to score ECERS-R and ITERS-R Training Videos – classroom environments and interactions to practice scoring Call or if you need assistance with your ERS Additional materials include: Playground Regulations Snack and Meal Guidelines Clarification on Play and Free Play Additional Notes Sink Sanitization and Hand Washing Sample Score Sheet Competed Tips for Scoring Sheet

46 ERS – Overview Tips – Some develop a tip sheet that may be useful for you to: Make sure to observe key items Age groups attending during the observation Document materials for different age groups Tally hand washing, books, materials, etc… Capture dialog to meet specific criteria – directions Some find it helpful to have a Tip sheet handy to be able to jot down things they see. A sample Tip sheet is included on the CD for ECERS-R and is just a suggestion.

47 Quality Improvement Planning
Self Assessment Find a system that works for you Some do one section at a time If there are 2 teachers in a room, one can focus on scoring some items as long as program requirements are met Be honest and commit to the improvement process

48 Quality Improvement Planning
Steps Read the ERS Self Study Process Instructions Become familiar with the QIP Excel Data materials

49 Quality Improvement Planning
Steps – Scores Complete Self-Assessment Score Sheet Transfer scores into the QIP EXCEL file All scores 5 and above indicate those items that lead to high quality Scores less than 5 require a QIP plan to improve

50 Training of Trainers Goals
Quality Improvement Planning Fill in your scores on the QIP data excel page Put N/A into the QIP data page where needed Transfer all scores less than 5 onto the QIP and complete the plan for each item Instructions are found on the ERS Self Study Process page on how to complete the program profile, your assessment score sheets, and QIP You can copy the EXCEL QIP file onto your computer. You can make a copy of the QIP file on your computer for each classroom. The teacher who enters the scores can also type directly onto the QIP form. SAVE OFTEN! Each space is designed to expand to include all writing. Put the scores for each item that scored less than 5 next to the corresponding number. Create a plan for each item. Be sure to fill out each section across the page. A sample is provided as a guide. NOTE: A paper QIP form is also provided if a computer is not available. Write down the number of the item that scores less than 5 and fill out all of the areas across for each item. Make a copy for your files.

51 Quality Improvement Planning
Steps - Strategies Discuss and brainstorm ways to improve the score for the item Evaluate and document which items have barriers outside of your control Write strategies for improvement you are able to complete Have your director partner with you to document the improvements made Return completed score sheet & QIP

52 Training of Trainers Goals
Time Line Goals Train your staff within 1 month of either taking the ERS workshop or 1 month of receiving an ERS lending kit Complete each classroom ERS assessment and score sheet by the following month Complete each Quality Improvement Plan within 2 weeks of completing the classroom assessment the QIP Excel file back to OCDE NOTE: If you have completed a paper QIP, make a copy for your files and mail your score sheet to OCDE.

53 Please call or email if we can assist you in any way.
Jannell Jones OCDE Barbara Easton OCDE Mailing address: OCDE Barbara Easton B Kalmus Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Please your QIP Excel file upon completion.

54 Early Care and Education Providers are life long learners!

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