The Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is a tool for assessing, enhancing and communicating the level of quality in early care and education. This system provides a structure for rating all licensed early childhood programs in Colorado for quality using a common set of research-based standards for incentivizing and supporting programs to raise their quality over time. Please refer to the Colorado Shines Program Guide to learn more about the rating system.
We are here to help you through the quality improvement process so please don’t hesitate to contact us for support. Click on the links below for information on other tools or references to help prepare you:
- Environment Rating Scale (ERS)
- Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale 3rd Edition (ECERS-3)
- Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale 3rd Edition (ITERS-3)
- Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale 3rd Edition (FCCERS-3)
- Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG)
- The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Tools
- Program Administration Scale (PAS) – Used for Child Care Center Programs
- Business Administration Scale (BAS) – Used for Family Child Care Programs
Environment Rating Scale (ERS)
Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition books are used for programs throughout the nation as a tool for evaluating the quality of a child care program. Currently, Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System uses the Environment Rating Scale 3rd Edition books for the scoring basis of rating observations. Other versions of the ERS tools are available, so please be sure you are using the ECERS-R, ITERS-R, and FCCERS-R books for your child care programs.
Scroll down to the ERS book you would like to update and then click on the links for :
- additional notes for clarifications
- supplementary materials including practice scoresheets, playground guidelines, meal guidelines, substantial portion of the day chart, diapering and handwashing procedure, table washing procedure, and more
- Please check back frequently for updates.
Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition ECERS-3
Used for rating classrooms serving children ages 3 years to Kindergarten
Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition ITERS-3
Used for rating classrooms serving children ages birth to 3 years
Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition FCCERS-3
Used for rating mixed ages in a Family Child Care Program
Click here to download FCCERS-3 notes (available in English and Spanish)
Click here to download FCCERS-3 Supplementary Materials
Colorado Specific Updates for ERS Tools
Clayton Early Learning provides additional notes based on Colorado licensing requirements. Visit this QRIS Resources page for frequent updates.
Downloads are available under ECERS-3 Tools, ITERS-3 Tools, or FCCERS-3 Tools sections. This includes:
- Reference for terms and useful charts for using ERS tools
- Notes for clarification, page numbers often included.
- Reference for terms and charts on Playground
Click on the link below and then select the appropriate ERS tool to view the downloadable resources, which can be printed on full or label sheets for easy application to ERS books.
Clayton Early Learning ERS Tools
Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG)
The early years of a child’s life, from birth to age eight, are critically important for learning and development. The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG) provide practical tips and points of reference that anyone can use to help kids grow. Colorado’s ELDG’s are embedded in the new Colorado Shines Rating System and can be used for planning and individualizing classroom curriculum and instruction.
The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG) website provides examples of what children typically do at certain ages and suggestions for how adults can support their development. There are also customizable printed materials. Sections to provide information for parents & caregivers, providers & educators, and child advocates.
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Tools
CLASS is a valid and reliable observation tool designed to focus on teacher-child interactions, which have been linked to improved child outcomes. By focusing on interactions, the CLASS® assessment provides evidence to assist teachers in understanding and improving their practices to more effectively create a classroom environment conducive to learning.
Infant CLASS (birth to 18 months) includes a focus on how caregivers:
- Provide infants with a secure base for exploration
- Respond to their needs in sensitive ways
- Encourage early language development
Toddler CLASS (15 to 36 months) includes a focus on how caregivers:
- Help children establish autonomy
- Support children as they make connections between things they learn
- Guide children as they learn to regulate their behavior
Pre-K CLASS (3 to 5 years) includes a focus on how teachers:
- Foster a secure, supportive base for children’s learning and exploration
- Help children develop language and cognitive skills
- Construct environments and experiences that help children develop their abilities
CLASS Dimensions Guide – Optional reference guide for teaching staff
The CLASS Dimensions Guide serves as a foundation for all of Teachstone’s CLASS-based programs, reminding educators how effective interactions are organized and how they impact learning. Teachers will find it easy to use, and coaches will find it a helpful reference as they provide feedback to their teachers.
Program Administration Scale (PAS)
Used for Child Care Center Programs
The Program Administration Scale (PAS) is a valid and reliable instrument designed to measure the leadership and management practices of early childhood programs. The PAS provides valuable information to directors about the quality of their administrative practices and can be used as a springboard for program improvement efforts.
For more information and how to order a copy of the book go to The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership/PAS
Business Administration Scale (BAS)
Used for Family Child Care Programs
The Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS) is a reliable and easy-to-administer tool for measuring the overall quality of business and professional practices in family child care settings. Providers use the information from the BAS to learn about the quality of their practices and take action toward positive change.
For more information and how to order a copy of the book go to The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership/BAS