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Upsy Daisy
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Hi everyone,

 

I am looking at the titles of my next foundation degree modules :o and one of them is 'Investigating Quality in Practice'.

 

I have had a little surf for books and the term ECERS seems to come up a lot. Could anyone to me explain what it is? I have seen lots of mentions of the term on the forum but not heard of it otherwise.

 

I would also love to hear if there are any books which you think might be good for this module or for my other module which is 'Planning and Managing an appropriate curriculum'.

 

Thanks xD

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Hi Alison,

It stands for Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale. It's a system for scoring a setting in terms of its provision and is used in many LAs as a means of targeting resources at those settings most in need. It can also be carried out individually and you can get the materials yourself. I know there have been lots of discussion on here about ECERS; try a search and I'm sure you'll find them :o

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As an ECERS anorak, I would also like to say that there are different versions for the kind of setting you're in:-

 

ECERS-R (the revised edition of the original ECERS scales is for children three and over).

ITERS is Infant and Toddler - under threes!

SACERS for school/after school settings

FCCERS - for childminding settings

 

As Helen says, some local authorities are using them to help settings identify areas for improvement within their settings, linked to funding for resources. That is what our LA is doing - they have provided training for LA staff, EYPs and Level 4/5 practitioners to carry out the audits on their behalf so that we can get as many of our settings who are interested audited by Christmas. We will have ongoing training to make sure we audit to the same standard, so that whoever comes to do your audit you can rely on the quality!

 

I had previously bought the environmental scales and the UK curriculum scales previously for an assignment but didn't really understand them and promptly put them on a shelf "to read later". I must say that the training has made it all much clearer and the scales are easy to use once you are clear about what each scale statement looks like in practice.

 

So long as ECERS is seen as something that benefits your practice and not some extra hoop to jump through according to someone else's agenda, I think it is a useful tool to identify areas of your setting that you want to improve because you can set your own targets and decide upon your own priorities. The minute you start to see it as someone coming into your setting with a clipboard looking for things to pull you up on it becomes an altogether scarier prospect!

 

Sorry - I did say I was an anorak!

 

Maz

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Having been ECERSd and ITERSd as a setting, I think it's a really good system (we did well, maybe if we hadn't, I'd feel differently!!). It certainly gives you food for thought about your practice and I don't think it's at all demanding in terms of preparation or paperwork. Not at all, in fact!!

 

Sue

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Thanks everyone.

 

I have to say you can be a very useful anorak at times Maz!

 

I'll look into the cost of buying the childminding version - it sound like it will benefit my setting, support me in the quality module and be good evidence for my early years profile.

 

I'm glad I asked.

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