November 15, 2016
The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) are valid and reliable program assessment tools designed for evaluating program performance and guiding program improvement. Family Child Care Providers, Child Care Centers, and School-Age Programs use Environment Rating Scales to monitor, measure, and improve program performance.
Environment Rating Scales
Presentations on Environment Rating Scales Presentations
- Presentation 1: Maryland EXCELS and the Environment Rating Scales
- Presentation 3: Scoring Your ERS Self-Assessment
The Environment Rating Scales identify a program’s areas of strength and areas needing improvement in the following categories: Physical Environment; Basic Care; Curriculum; Interaction; Schedule and Program Structure; and Parent and Staff Education. There are four scales, each designed for a different program type or age group:
- The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) is designed to assess group programs for preschool-kindergarten aged children, from 2 through 5 years of age.
- The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R) is designed to assess group programs for children from birth to 2 ½ years of age.
- The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R) is designed to assess family child care programs conducted in a provider’s home.
- The School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS) is designed to assess before and after school group care programs for school-age children, 5 to 12 years of age.
For more information on ERS, visit:
Classroom Assessment Scoring System
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) measures classrooms interactions in three broad domains: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. In Maryland EXCELS Head Start programs, Public Prekindergarten, and Preschool for All classrooms use the CLASS assessment tool to monitor, measure, and improve program performance.
Programs and providers who have achieved an Overall Check Level Rating of 3 must use the form below to request an onsite visit from an MSDE-approved ERS or CLASS assessor. Accredited programs should contact their Program Coordinator or review the Maryland EXCELS Guidebook for information regarding CLASS and ERS assessments.
The Business Administration Scale (BAS) for Family Child Care Providers and the Program Administration Scale (PAS) for Child Care Centers and School-Age Programs are reliable tools that identify and measure best administrative practices. BAS and PAS assessments are not required for Maryland EXCELS Participation, however programs wishing to receive the Quality Business Practice Achievement must complete the BAS or PAS program.
For more information on BAS and PAS, visit: