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QRIS Environment Rating Scale Policy Development EEC Board December 10, 2013. Discussion Objectives. Overview of current ERS policy Overview of proposed ERS policy Review of ERS policies across 4 states Picture of a Level 3 Center Based program under the proposed ERS policy

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QRIS Environment Rating Scale Policy Development EEC Board December 10, 2013

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discussion objectives
Discussion Objectives
  • Overview of current ERS policy
  • Overview of proposed ERS policy
  • Review of ERS policies across 4 states
  • Picture of a Level 3 Center Based program under the proposed ERS policy
  • ERS Policy Timeline

Number of MA QRIS Standards

Verified by Measurement Tools

ECERS- Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale PAS- Program Administration Scale

ITERS- Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale BAS – Business Administration Scale

FCCERS- Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale CLASS- Classroom Assessment Scoring System

SACERS- School Age Care Environment Rating Scale Arnett- Caregiver Interaction Scale

APT-O – Afterschool Program Practices Tool (Observation) APT-Q – Afterschool Program Practices Tool

(Assessment Questionnaire)

challenges presented by current ers policy
Challenges Presented by Current ERS Policy
  • At all levels the environment rating scales contain between 39-43 items. If any one of these items falls below the QRIS Level requirements, EEC is unable to grant the program’s/provider’s level.
  • The current scoring requirement of a 3, 5 or 6 on all individual ERS items, is not necessarily indicative of low program quality. For example, some programs/providers may score low on an item because, as a result of bussing, they have limited greetings and departures with family members.
  • Facility and program structure limitations are a barrier for some programs. For example, if a facility does not have an adult only dedicated restroom, they cannot meet the QRIS Level 2 requirements.
  • Certain subscales are more directly linked to child outcomes. The current ERS policy does not address this in any way.



Problematic indicator when most children are bused to a program

proposed environment rating scale policy
Proposed Environment Rating Scale Policy

Current Environment Rating Scale Policy

* See sample “Environment Rating Scale Reliable Rater Visit Report” to review a list of subscales and proposed score requirements.

review of ers scoring policies
Review of ERS Scoring Policies

Key: Independent Assessor (IA), Improvement plan (IP), Program Quality Specialist (PQS)

picture of a level 3 qris program
Picture of a Level 3 QRIS Program
  • View brief video to demonstrate what quality would look like in a program granted Level 3 in QRIS, with the proposed ERS policy
  • Review sample ERS indicators that would be met to achieve score requirements under proposed policy
  • Research linking ERS subscales to improved child outcomes
subscale language reasoning
Subscale: Language-Reasoning

Supportive research:

“Preschool teacher’s use of sophisticated vocabulary during free play has also been found to predict fourth grade reading comprehension and word recognition” (Dickinson & Porsche, 2011).

Informal use of language:

Indicator 5.3 – Staff add information to expand on ideas presented by children

subscale activities
Subscale: Activities

Supportive research:

“…emergent numeracy skills in preschool, including counting, number knowledge, estimation and number pattern facility have been found to predict mathematical competence in the elementary grades” (Duncan et al., 2007; Geary, 2003; Jordan, Kaplan, Olah & Locuniak, 2006; Welsh, Nix, Blair, Bierman, & Nelson, 2010).


Indicator 5.4 – Daily activities used to promote math/number learning (Ex. Setting table, counting while climbing steps, using timers to take turns)

subscale interaction
Subscale: Interaction

Supportive research:

“Studies using a combined dataset from the National Center of Early Development Multi-State Study of Prekindergarten (NCEDL) and the Statewide Early Education Programs Study (SWEEP) have indicated that instructional interactions and the social emotional climate of the classroom are significant predictors of children’s academic gains in language and literacy” (Burchinal et. al., 2010; Howes, et. al., 2008; Mashburn et. al., 2008).

Staff-child interactions:

Indicator 5.2 – Staff show respect for children (Ex. Listen attentively, make eye contact, treat children fairly, do not discriminate)

subscale interaction1
Subscale: Interaction

Supportive Research:

“In a national survey of more than 3500 kindergarten teachers, 46% of teachers indicated that at least half of the children in their classrooms lacked competencies in pre-academic skills, following directions and peer relations, which teachers viewed as significant barriers to school success” (Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta & Cox, 2000).

Interactions among children:

Indicator 5.2 – Staff help children develop appropriate social behavior with peers (Ex. help children talk through conflicts instead of fighting; encourage socially isolated children to find friends; help children understand feelings of others)

thoughts from the early education and care community
Thoughts from the Early Education and Care Community

“Maintains integrity of tool and gives more flexibility

without disregarding individual items.”

“Adds in wiggle room without sacrificing quality.”

“Looks at the big picture of program quality.”

“Addresses that while the ERS is a big measure of quality, it is not the only method of demonstrating accomplishment

of QRIS standards.”

“The Site Visit Report is very easy to read, and provides a clear picture of the program’s strengths and challenges.”

timeline for ers policy implementation
Timeline for ERS Policy Implementation

PQS unit in collaboration with input from the QRIS working group, develops a plan for sharing scores and granting level 3 ratings

PQS unit presents proposal to EEC Board Policy Committee and EEC Board (including feedback from the field)

PQS unit presents proposed policy to EEC Board for decision/vote to adopt new ERS policy

December 2013

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

Policies and potential challenges are shared with the QRIS working group for thoughts and feedback

PQS unit incorporates feedback given from EEC Policy Committee and EEC Board in preparation for board vote

PQS unit begins sharing scores with field and granting level 3 ratings


Burchinal, M., Vandergrift, N., Pianta, R., & Mashburn, A. (2010). Threshold analysis of association between child care quality and child outcomes for low-income children in pre-kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 166-176.

Dickinson, D. K., & Porche, M.V. (2011). Relation between language experiences in preschool classrooms and children’s kindergarten and fourth-grade language and reading abilities. Child Development, 82, 870-886.

Duncan, G.J., Dowsett, C.J., Claessens, A., Magnuson, K., Huston, A.C., Klebanov, P., Pagani, L.S., Feinstein, L., Engel, M., Brooks-Gunn, J., Sexton, H., Duckworth, K., Japel, C. (2007). School readiness and later achievement. Developmental Psychology, 43, 1428-1446.

Geary, D.C. (2003). Learning disabilities in arithmetic: Problem solving differences and cognitive deficits. In H.L. Swanson, K.R. Harris, & S. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of learning disabilities (pp. 199-212). New York: Guilford.

Howes, C., Burchinal, M., Pianta, R., Bryant, D., Early, D., Clifford, R. M., Barbarin, O. (2008). Ready to learn? Children’s pre-academic achievement in pre-kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 27-50.

Jordan, N.C., Kaplan, D., Olah, L.N., Locuniak, M.N. (2006). Number sense growth in kindergarten: A longitudinal investigation of children at risk for mathematics difficulties. Child Development, 77, 153-175.

Mashburn, A. J., Pianta, R.C., Hamre, B.K., Downer, J.T., Barbarin, O.A., Bryant, D.,

Burchinal, M., Early, D.M., & Howes, C. (2008). Measures of classroom quality in prekindergarten and children’s development of academic, language and social skills. Child Development, 79, 732-749.

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Pianta, R. C., & Cox, M. J. (2000). Teachers’ judgments of problems in the transition to kindergarten. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15, 147-166.

Welsh, J.A., Nix, R.L., Blair, C., Bierman, K.L., & Nelson, K.E. (2010). The development of cognitive skills and gains in academic school readiness for children from low-income families. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(1), 43-53.