Observation Tools

Observation Tools

Programs must select either the Environment Rating Scale (ERS) and/or the Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™) observation tool and complete the required training for that tool.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

CLASS is an observation tool that measures the effectiveness of classroom interactions among teachers and children, including emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support. These daily interactions promote children’s social and cognitive development.

CLASS observation tools have been developed for Infant, Toddler, Pre–K, K–3, Upper Elementary and Secondary age groups. At every age level, CLASS focuses on interactions that support learning.

The CLASS Self Assessment Form can be used by directors and teachers to internally identify strengths and focus on changes the program plans to make. Access to the CLASS Self Assessment form.

CLASS Resources to share with families.

Environment Rating Scales (ERS)

ERS is an observation tool that assesses the quality of interactions between adults and children, including classroom schedules, materials and spaces available and accessible to children. The use of ERS is a widely accepted method of evaluating and improving the quality of home– and center–based programs.

Environment Rating Scales is broadly defined and currently includes the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Third Edition (ECERS-3), the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Third Edition (ITERS–3), and the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale–3 (FCCERS–3).

The FCCERS-3 and ITERS-3/ECERS-3 Self Assessment Forms can be used by directors and teachers to internally identify strengths and focus on changes the program plans to make.

Observation Tool Training

Visit necprs.ne.gov/training-public to find and register for Environment Rating Scales and CLASS training.

If you are interested in attending a Practice Using the Environment Rating Scale training, please complete the training request form.

Interested in Becoming a Nebraska Approved Observer?

The Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood is recruiting individuals to join a cadre of early childhood professionals to conduct observations for Step Up to Quality in community child care programs, family child care homes, school district programs, Head Start programs and for Results Matter in public school district early childhood programs.

Tools used for observations will be Environment Rating Scales (ERS) for preschool (ECERS-3), infants and toddlers (ITERS-3) and family child care homes (FCCERS-3) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) for Pre-K, Toddlers and Infants.


Observers must meet the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of an Associate degree in Early Childhood, Child Development or a related field; a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Child Development or related field is preferred
  • At least 2 years of experience in an early childhood program
  • Completion of Introduction to ERS, Practice Using the ERS and Item Analysis training (current within a year) in one or more scales and/or CLASS reliability with Teachstone (current within a year) in one or more age groups
  • Ability to demonstrate reliability to Nebraska’s ERS and/or CLASS anchor; experience of at least 1 year as a Nebraska approved observer is preferred
  • Successful completion of a Department conducted background check
  • Strong oral and written communication, interpersonal skills and organizational skills
  • Ability to travel
  • Prior experience using ERS or CLASS is preferred

To apply to be an Environment Rating Scale or CLASS observer, complete the Coach & Observer Application and submit to the Nebraska Department of Education.

For questions about becoming an Environment Rating Scale or CLASS observer, contact Jenny Fleming at jenny.fleming@nebraska.gov or at 531-530-9028