Environment Rating Scale (ERS)

The Environment Rating Scale (ERS) is a nationally recognized tool used to assess and improve the quality of child care programs. ERS workshops offer step-by-step guidance for making helpful changes that can make a real difference in the work that is done with young children.

IQ4K and ERS requirements for the Environment category for QRIS.

Training Credit

  • 8 hours

Training Audience

  • Child Care Centers (CCC) - ECERS-3, ITTERS, SACERS
  • Child Development Homes (CDH) - FCCERS-R, SACERS

i-PoWeR Professional Workforce Registry

  • Iowa's Early Childhood and School Age Professional Workforce Registry (i-PoWeR) is a comprehensive registry where you can find and enroll in the Department of Human Services (DHS) approved professional development opportunities related to early childhood and school-age professionals. It will also maintain a record of your professional achievements. Approved training opportunities can be accessed by visiting i-PoWeR.

Training Narrative

Environment Rating Scale Assessment

The ERS assessment is part of Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS). Early care and education programs working towards achieving a 5 star rating will receive an ERS assessment.

  • The ERS scales are nationally recognized tools used to assess and improve the quality of child care programs.
  • All programs assessed will receive a feedback report for each observed classroom. The reports contain valuable information to use towards quality improvement in areas such as health and safety, program structure, teacher-child interactions, activities, language, space and furnishings, parent communication and staff development.
  • Programs applying for a level five in QRS will receive ERS assessments. Programs must achieve an average score of 5.0 on each observed classroom to attain a QRS 5 star rating.
  • Funded by Iowa Department of Human Services

ECERS-3: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale 3

This series will allow participants to gain an understanding about the importance of assessing learning, play and routine environments in a preschool age child care center setting. Additionally, providers will identify the measures that indicate quality in staff-child interaction, program structure and language and literacy areas. Intended as an observation scale, caregivers will be given the opportunity to asses and interact with the scale in a realistic child care setting.

ITERS-3: Infant and Toddler Environment Rating Scale 3

This series will allow participants to gain an understanding about the importance of assessing learning, play and routine environments in an infant to age three child care center setting. Additionally, providers will identify the measures that indicate quality in staff-child interaction, program structure and language and literacy areas. Intended as an observation scale, caregivers will be given the opportunity to assess and interact with the scale in a realistic child care setting.

FCCERS-R: Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale Revised

This series will allow participants to gain an understanding about the importance of assessing learning, play and routine environments in a mixed age child care home setting. Additionally, providers will identify the measures that indicate quality in staff-child interaction, program structure and language and literacy areas. Intended as an observation scale, caregivers will be given the opportunity to asses and interact with the scale in a realistic child care setting.

SACERS: School Age Care Environment Rating Scale

This series will allow participants to gain an understanding about the importance of assessing learning, play and routine environments in a school age child care center and home setting. Additionally, providers will identify the measures that indicate quality in staff-child interaction, program structure and language and literacy areas. Intended as an observation scale, caregivers will be given the opportunity to asses and interact with the scale in a realistic child care setting.

Supporting Resources:

Links & PDFs

ERS Forms on DHS Website

  • Self Assessment Forms
  • Improvement Plans
  • Score Sheets
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ERS - Quest for Quality Brochure

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Environment Rating Scales Insitute

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Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

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