Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Self-Assessment Rating Scales Score Sheets

Quality programs provide environments that engage children in positive interactions and experiences that develop their skills and abilities. Research-based tools help programs assess children's interactions, use of physical space, and involvement in activities and learning opportunities throughout the day. Maryland EXCELS uses the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) as research-based assessment tools for assessing the environments programs provide to children. Results of the self-assessment are used to create a structured program improvement plan.
two boys
Assessing Environments
This section explains the program assessment requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scale: Program Assessment: ACR 2.3. Explore the Requirements tab to gain an understanding of the documentation you will need to submit for your program type. NOTE: Programs holding current accreditation from an MSDE-recognized organization meet the requirements for ACR 2.3. The Accreditation Certificate submitted for ACR 1.5 is sufficient documentation for meeting the requirements for ACR 2.3.

Requirements

The following interactive shows the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scale: Program Assessment: ACR 2.3. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about what to include in your documentation.

Select the option that applies to your program type:
 

Child Care Center

Family Child Care
ACR 2.3: Program Assessment Self-assessment conducted using FCCRS-R Documentation to submit: Self-Assessment Rating Scales Score Sheet(s)

School-Age Only
ACR 2.3: Program Assessment Self-assessment conducted using SACERS Documentation to submit: Self-Assessment Rating Scales Score Sheet(s)

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scale: Program Assessment: ACR 2.3, you will upload a completed self-assessment score sheet from the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) or Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS).

The ERS includes a set of assessment tools based on your program type and the ages of the children enrolled:

  • Infant / Toddler Environment Rating Scale - Revised (ITERS-R): ages birth - 2 ½ years
  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised (ECERS-R): ages 2-5 years
  • Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale - Revised (FCCERS-R)
  • School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS)

NOTE: If you are a center-based program that provides care to children of all ages, you must conduct a self-assessment on at least one classroom from each age group.






Self-Assessment

Self-assessment is essential in any quality improvement process. It requires programs to reflect on their strengths and identify areas for improvement. Taking ownership of the process involves setting goals based on the results of a self-assessment and making a commitment to achieve those goals.

The Environment Ratings Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) provide specific and systematic structures for evaluating a program's environment. The assessments focus on: interactions within the environment, indoor and outdoor spaces, daily routines, and activities.

 

What does the documentation look like?

You will upload your program's self-assessment rating scale score sheets. Your score sheets should correspond with your program type and the ages of the children enrolled:

  • Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale - Revised (FCCERS-R)
  • Infant / Toddler Environment Rating Scale - Revised (ITERS-R)
    Programs / classrooms caring for infants and toddlers (ages birth - 2 ½ years)
  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised (ECERS-R)
    Programs / classrooms caring for children aged 2-5 years
  • School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS)
    Programs serving school-age children only
Reminder: Center-based programs covering multiple age groups must complete a self-assessment for least one classroom in each age group.
 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

You are on the right track if you completed an ERS or CLASS self-assessment that aligns with your program type and the ages of the children enrolled. You will upload your self-assessment score sheet(s) to the Maryland EXCELS System.
 

Where can you learn more?

The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute provides detailed information about the Environment Rating Scales.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Environment Rating Scales | Assessment instruments for early childhood and child care program quality

Our scales are designed to assess process quality in an early childhood or school age care group. Process quality consists of the various interactions that go on in a classroom between staff and children, staff, parents, and other adults, among the children themselves, and the interactions children have with the many materials and activities in the environment, as well as those features, such as space, schedule and materials that support these interactions.

Visit the Maryland EXCELS website to find additional information and resources from Maryland State Department of Education - Division of Early Childhood Development.

ERS / CLASS

Rating Scales - Maryland Excels

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.

Final Touches

Check your document one more time as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Check to be sure your document:

 
  • Every section / item from the scale is transferred onto the score sheet
  • Average score appears on the last page of the scoring materials
 
 
 

Use one of these formats:

Scanned electronic version of your completed self-assessment score sheet(s) (examples: PDF, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your documentation, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing
improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Documentation

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your written document on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

Once your program publishes at Quality Rating 3, you are ready to request a visit for an Environment Rating Scale (ERS) assessment conducted by a reliable MSDE-approved assessor.

Plan for Improvement

Set a goal to achieve a Quality Rating 3 for your program. Continue working toward meeting the requirements in each content area. Remember your Program Coordinator is available to support your efforts at every step along the way.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (ACR 2.3)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your documentation.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation