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ERS . . . Survive or Thrive. It’s up to you!. Objectives. Brainstorm stressors related to ERS assessment and develop strategies for overcoming that stress. Review the role of the ERS in Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Education quality initiatives.

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ERS . . . Survive or Thrive

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ERS . . . Survive or Thrive

It’s up to you!


  • Brainstorm stressors related to ERS assessment and develop strategies for overcoming that stress.

  • Review the role of the ERS in Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Education quality initiatives.

  • Link ERS content to children’s experiences and opportunities.

ERS Stress

What are the things related to the ERS that cause stress, anxiety, worry, confusion?

What do programs feel they

have to “survive”?

Survive or Thrive – What’s the Difference?



Definition from Webster’s:

1. a: the act or fact of living or continuing longer than another person or thing

  • b : the continuation of life or existence

    2. a: one that survives

  • Definition from Webster’s:

    1. a: to grow vigorously :flourish

    2 a: to gain in wealth or possessions :prosper

Survive or Thrive – What’s the Difference?



Survive or Thrive – What’s the Difference?



  • Be persistent . . .

  • Keep learning

  • Keep asking questions

  • Be open . . .

  • To new ideas

  • To the possibility that it won’t work

  • To taking risks

  • To help

  • Be prepared . . .

  • Know your kids, families, staff

  • Set goals

  • Learn about the ERS

  • To start, stop, revise, and start again!

Making the choice to Thrive

Background of the ERS

  • Developed in North Carolina

Background of the ERS

  • Used in all of Pennsylvania’s ECE initiatives

    • PA Position Statements

Background of the ERS

  • Designed to be used in varied ECE settings and with varied curriculums

  • Used across the US and


  • Employs if/then thinking

If this . . .

If this . . .

Then That . . .

If this,

If this, then that

Why the ERS?

  • Consistent data source for documentation

    and comparison

  • Designed for all age groups and program settings

  • Provides detail about daily practice that can be used in developing a quality improvement plan

  • Cross walked with the PA Early Learning Standards

Ch, ch, ch, changes

And choices!







but not




Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.

H. L. Hunt

Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.

Brian Tracy

Quality Improvement As A Value

What are we Trying to Balance?

Cognitive development, Emotional development, Physical development, and

Individual interests and skills

Basic needs of children

Health and safety

Building positive relationships

Opportunities for stimulation and learning

In our haste to deal with the things that are wrong, let us not upset the things that are right.

- Unknown

What is best for our children and families?

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Quality is a moving target

Where we are.

Where we want to be.




getting there is NOT half the fun.

Group Activity

Gender specific dress-up clothing

Same sink is sanitized effectively

Outdoor play “weather permitting”

Group Activity

What goes at the top of the to-do list?

Can everything be “the most important”?

What makes a really fabulous meal

“really fabulous”?

What Makes A Great Classroom Teacher Great?


(page xii ECERS-R)

Environment, interactions, materials

Environment Rating Scales are a resource for the classroom

  • Indicators are based on best practice for children

  • Classrooms will function differently based on the individual needs of the child and the group

  • No right or wrong answers

  • “What is best for our children and families?”

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

Stephen Covey

Addressing ERS Stress

Star 3 & 4

Fiscal Year 2010-2011

In the first half of FY 10-11, 93% (out of 285 total assessed statewide) Keystone STARS providers at STAR 3 and STAR 4 levels successfully met required overall facility scores.

Environment Rating Scales are a resource for Planning

and a tool for thriving!

  • By submitting an ERS request you are asking for feedback to assist you in your quest for continuous quality improvement

  • Assume there will be items that score high as well as those that score low

  • Lower scoring items are those ones you may choose to focus on improving ( or not!)

Relax, Breathe, Enjoy the process

Young children from the beginning cannot help but learn—they don’t have to be taught to learn, they are naturally wired up to learn. From the very beginning children are learning about the world. They are also learning about what learning is about. So everything that is going on is a learning experience.

Jack P. Shonkoff, MD, Dean, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University

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