Indicator SM.2

Environment Rating Scale® (ERS®) observation conducted by an endorsed ERS Assessor.

The ERS is a series of reliable, valid, research-based observational tools designed to assess the early childhood environment. Bright & Early ND utilizes three scales, each designed for a different segment of the early childhood field.

Programs must have a valid ERS observation conducted every 3 years. For programs receiving an ITERS-3™ and/or ECERS-3™ observation, 33% of randomly selected classrooms will be observed. To meet this indicator, evidence must be valid (dated within the previous 3 years) and represent, at minimum, 33% of the classrooms or groups served.

ERS Subscales

The ERS was developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They are made up of six subscales that focus on different aspects of the early childhood environment:

  • Space and Furnishings
  • Personal Care Routines
  • Language and Books (Literacy)
  • Activities
  • Interaction
  • Program Structure

The information collected from subscales is used to assign a score representing the quality of the environment. The score is based on a seven point scoring system. A score of 1 represents inadequate care, 3 minimal care, 5 good care, and 7 excellent care.

Program Quality Observation

Programs participating in Bright & Early ND receive the benefit of an onsite Program Quality Observation completed by a trained, reliable, and endorsed ERS® or CLASS® Assessor.

The Program Quality Observation provides valuable, relevant feedback in the form of a summary report. This information can be used by the program to help identify program strengths, as well as raise awareness to areas needing development. The information gathered can be used to help create the program’s Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).

Programs are encouraged to work closely with their Bright & Early Nd Coach to find the right time to request an observation. The type of observation received, either ERS® or CLASS®, is dependent on what step the program is working towards. Programs can request an observation anytime throughout a Bright & Early ND cohort.

Ready for a Program Quality Observation? Contact your program’s assigned Bright & Early ND Coach for details.

Additional Resources