Evaluation Tools (ECERS, DRDP, ASQ, CLASS)
There are a variety of evaluation tools used in child care and preschool settings. Listed below are some of the tools frequently applied when assessing the quality of programs and/or environment in early childhood education.
Environment Rating Scales (ECERS)
There are four versions of this assessment tool, which are tailored for child care centers providing care for infant/toddlers, preschools, and school-age children, and for family child care providers providing care for children at varying ages in their homes. Each one of the scales evaluates the following: Physical Environment; Basic Care; Curriculum; Interaction; Schedule and Program Structure; and Parent and Staff Education. The scales are suitable for use in evaluating inclusive and culturally diverse programs and have proven reliability and validity. Used nationally and in selected other countries.
Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDP)
Developed by California Department of Education (CDE), Child Development Division in collaboration with the Center for Child and Family Studies at WestEd. This tool focuses on the results desired from the system, and there are versions that can be applied to children from birth to 13 years old. CDE child development contractors are required to use DRDP as an assessment tool. There are six basic components of the desired results structure: the results themselves, indicators, themes, measures, criteria for success, and measurement tools. The six desired results to which all CDE-funded child care and development programs are expected to contribute are listed below.
- Children are personally and socially competent.
- Children are effective learners.
- Children show physical and motor competence.
- Children are safe and healthy.
- Families support their children's learning and development.
- Families achieve their goals.
The Desired Results for children encompass the four developmental domains, i.e., cognitive, social-emotional, language, and physical development, which are reflected and integrated throughout the indicators, measures, and examples of the measures.
Ages and Stages
The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is used by a variety of child development professionals for developmental and social-emotional screening for children from one month to 5 ½ years. Highly reliable and valid, ASQ looks at strengths and trouble spots, educates parents about developmental milestones, and incorporates parents' expert knowledge about their children. It is available in a variety of languages and formats. The questionnaire is simple and can be completed by parents. It is especially helpful to identify developmental delays, and addresses five development areas: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social.
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
This tool is a system for observing and assessing the quality of interactions between teachers and students in classrooms. It measures instructional and social interactions proven to contribute to students' academic achievements and social competencies
The CLASS describes multiple dimensions of teaching that are linked to student achievement and social development, and has been validated in over 2,000 classrooms.
What does the CLASS measure?
The CLASS measures 3 broad domains of classroom quality: