The Environment Rating Scales are a set of tools for measuring and improving the quality of early years provision.
They provide us with a structure for recording, improving and evidencing different aspects of the learning environment we provide for children. The ERS are used by researchers and practitioners all over the world to support reflection, self-evaluation, quality assessment and improvement. In the UK they are used by more than 50 local authorities and thousands of practitioners in all sectors, guided by the findings of the EPPSE research which identified a strong relationship between high quality early years provision and children's later development.
There are five Environment Rating Scales in all, each designed to evaluate a different early years context:
- Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS-R) - centre-based provision for children from birth to 30 months
- Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Third Edition (ECERS-3) - centre-based provision for children aged from 3 to 5 years*
- Extension to the ECERS-R (ECERS-E) – specific areas of learning and development for children aged 3 to 5 years
- School Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS) - out-of-school provision for children aged 5 to 12 years
- Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCERS-R) - childminding provision for children from birth to twelve
* The predecessor to the ECERS-3 (ECERS-R) began at 30 months, to follow directly on from the ITERS. The ITERS is currently being revised to cover the birth to three age range so that it aligns with the new ECERS-3.
The Environment Rating Scales:
- Are internationally recognised, evidence-based tools for improving the quality of the learning environment
- Are suitable for all types of early years settings and schools
- Were used in the EPPE research and have been shown in many studies to relate to child outcomes
- Support self-evaluation and reflection for practitioners and for leaders/managers
- Provide a measurable ‘profile’ of quality and concrete steps for improvement
- Can be used to track progress over time and to provide evidence for Ofsted
- Are used by local authorities and practitioners across England and worldwide
- Are recognised by Ofsted
- Align closely with the EYFS