Environment Rating Scale Assessment
When programs reach Star Level 2, they may begin actively working toward the next Star Level. Under the section of the standards for Learning Environment and Curriculum, Delaware Stars uses the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) to conduct observations of the learning environment. The ERS are observational tools used to assess the quality of early care and education programs in the following age groups:
- Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale Revised (ITERS-R) – children 6 weeks to 30 months.
- Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Revised (ECERS-R) – children 30 months through 60 months.
- School Age Care Environment Rating Scale Updated (SACERS U) – school-age children from Kindergarten through 12 years.
- Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale Revised (FCCERS-R) – family child care and large family child care programs.
Programs must complete the ERS assessments of their program and meet the minimum ERS scores for the designated Star Level.
Verification refers to the process of verifying a program’s supporting documentation for all standards required and chosen in order to determine if the program meets the minimum requirements for the desired Star Level. For Star Levels 3 through 5, verification is a two-step process. Programs must have ERS assessments as the observational portion of verification. Additionally, they must verify with the Delaware Stars Standards for their program type. A verification visit is conducted to review the evidence and documentation of the program standards with points being accumulated to designate the Star Level earned by the program.
Programs must re-verify Star Levels 3 through 5 every three years. There are Program Change guidelines that may require re-verification sooner. In addition, programs that go on enforcement action by the Office of Child Care Licensing must re-verify their Star Level Designation once they are off enforcement.
For information about Alternative Pathways to Star Level Designation, including information for National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Pathway policy, Head Start/ECAP policy, and public school 619 Pre-K programs policy refer to the Delaware Stars policy guide included here.