Melissa Acosta

Watch the introductory video of Melissa Acosta explaining about the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale and explore the panoramic photos of an environment in the activity below.

Click on the panoramic photos of a preschool environment. Refer to the subscale while looking at the photos, mark each indicator YES or NO. All of the indicators after 1.1 describe elements that we want to see in early childcare facilities. You may print out the ECERS-R subscale for Child-related display.

panoramic view ot a room

Score 1

1.1 No materials displayed for children.

1.2 Inappropriate materials for predominant age group (Ex. Materials in preschool classroom designed for older school-aged children or adult; pictures showing violence).*

Score 3

3.1 Appropriate materials for predominant age group (Ex. Photos of children; nursery rhymes; beginning reading and math for older preschoolers and kindergartners; seasonal display)*

3.2 Some children’s work displayed.*

Score 5

5.1 Much of display relates closely to current activities and children in group (Ex. Artwork or photos about recent activities).*

5.2 Most of the display is work done by the children. *

5.3 Many items displayed on child’s eye level.

Score 7

7.1 Individualized children’s work predominates.*

7.2 Three-dimensional child-created work (Ex. playdough, clay, carpentry) displayed as well as flat work.

This environment would score a 7 on this subscale. The scoring for each scale stops wherever there is a NO answer in the scale, then the score is the number previous to the level you could not complete due to the NO answer.

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Write in your journal about what you saw in the photos that led you to write yes or no next to each indicator. Describe some of the factors that indicate a quality program and any that might need to be changed to raise the quality of care in this environment.

You can continue to add on to your journal from other professions after you save your entry. Make sure you print your journal before leaving the website.

*Notes for Clarification

1.1 Examples of furniture for routine care are: infant seats, high chairs, small tables and chairs for feeding; cribs, mats, or cots for sleeping; diapering table, and storage for diapering supplies. Unless all children are fed at the same time, 1 feeding chair per child is not required.

1.2. Examples of furniture for play are: infant seats, small tables and chairs, low open shelves or dishpans/baskets/milk crates for toy storage.

3.2. Sufficient low open shelves and/or other storage for toys are required to get credit for this indicator. There must be enough storage for all accessible toys to get credit for this indicator (without having toys crowded into a small place).

3.3. Sturdiness is a property of the furniture itself (i.e., with not break, fall over, or collapse when used). If sturdy furniture is placed so that it can be easily knocked over, this is a problem with safety, not the sturdiness of the furniture. Don’t be overly perfectionistic when scoring this indicator. If there is only a very minor problem that does not create a likely safety hazard, then give credit for this indicator. For example, if a chair or table is slightly wobbly, but not collapse, or if a vinyl covered couch is slightly worn, but foam is not exposed, then do not count off for these small things, unless there are a substantial number of small problems.

3.4. If the vast majority of children are comfortable in the feeding chairs, then credit should be given, even if one child is not as comfortable as the others are.

5.3. Child-sized chairs allow children to sit back in the chair with feet touching the floor (not necessarily flat on the floor). Children should not have a perch on edge of the chair for feet to touch floor. A child-sized table allows children’s knees to fit under the table while elbows are comfortablely above table surface. Do not consider high chairs or group feeding tables that toddlers must be put into by an adult, to be child-sized.

5.5. Sometimes teachers use preschool-sized chairs or other furniture (such as very large blocks or cubes) to sit on while feeding children who are in high chairs or at very low tables. Credit can be given if seats are larger than infant/toddler furnishings, and if they seem to work well for the teachers. However, credit for such make-shift arrangements cannot be given under 7, where comfortable adult-sized furniture is required. Adult seating should be provided next to child-sized furnishings for care and learning (e.g. diapering/toileting, meals, play activities) so helping adults do not strain their backs while assisting children.

5.2, 7.2. Child-sized chairs allow children to sit back in the chair with feet touching the floor (not necessarily flat on the floor). Children should not have a perch on edge of the chair for feet to touch floor. A child-sized table allows children’s knees to fit under the table while elbows are comfortablely above table surface. Do not consider high chairs or group feeding tables that toddlers must be put into by an adult, to be child-sized.

5.5. 7.4. Sometimes teachers use preschool-sized chairs or other furniture (such as very large blocks or cubes) to sit on while feeding children who are in high chairs or at very low tables. Credit can be given if seats are larger than infant/toddler furnishings, and if they seem to work well for the teachers. However, credit for such make-shift arrangements cannot be given under 7, where comfortable adult-sized furniture is required. Adult seating should be provided next to child-sized furnishings for care and learning (e.g. diapering/toileting, meals, play activities) so helping adults do not strain their backs while assisting children.

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