Scoring Tools

These resources provide information useful in making scoring determinations:

Tennessee Additional Notes for Scoring the Environment Rating Scales

The Environment Rating Scales contain many descriptive items. These items have been proven to measure quality in early childhood environments. But sometimes, more information is needed to help explain and interpret the intent of an item as it relates to “best practice.

The Additional Notes are written or changed when Assessors have questions about how to interpret and score certain items. The Additional Notes do not change the intent of an item. But they do help clarify its meaning, to assist Assessors when they decide how to score the item. The Additional Notes for each scale are reviewed, and may be slightly changed, a few times each year. As new Notes are developed, they will be posted on this web page. These most recent updates are effective August 1, 2019

  • Additional Notes to the ITERS-R (infants and toddlers)
  • Additional Notes to the ECERS-R (early childhood)
  • Additional Notes to the SACERS-Updated (school-age children)
  • Additional Notes to the FCCERS-R (family and group home care)
  • Deletions to Notes for the ECERS-R (early childhood)
  • Deletions to Notes to the ITERS-R (infants and toddlers)

Scale-related forms:

Have a question? Don’t understand an interpretation or how it is used? Use the Contact Us form on the Home Page to get answers.

Best Practices: The Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) Statements for the Environment Rating Scales

Each agency might have a different way of doing things. Their way of doing things, or their “practices,” can be seen in the kinds of activities children do, in the way that children and adults talk to each other, in the kinds of toys available to the children, in the daily and weekly schedule for the home or classroom, and so on. But while it is OK for these practices to be different from one place to another, they should always be “developmentally appropriate.” That means they should be geared toward the ages and needs of the children.

At different stages in their development (their age and maturity), children have different needs. Over the years, experts have worked to find out what those needs are and to define practices that are best for children in each stage. To give Assessors and other assessment staff a common definition of the “best practice” for each item on each of the Environment Rating Scales, Tennessee’s Anchors wrote the Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) Statements for the Environment Rating Scales. That’s a mouthful, so the name is shortened to “DAPs.”

Each statement in the DAPs gives a general explanation of an item on the Scale. It also explains why doing things in the “best practice” way is important to the overall quality of care and to helping young children develop properly and positively. You can read each of the DAPs yourself:

Do you have a question that the DAPs didn’t answer? Use the Contact Us form on the Home Page.

ERS® and Environment Rating Scale® are registered trademarks of Teachers College, Columbia University.