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School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale Updated (SACERS)

Thelma Harms Ellen Vineberg Jacobs Donna Romano White

72 pages
Teachers College Press

What are the components of high-quality after-school care for children ages 5–12? How can we evaluate these programs? These are the challenges facing caregivers, schools, agencies, and parents as after-school programs proliferate. The School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale®, Updated Edition provides an easy-to-use resource for defining and assessing the quality of both public and private programs caring for school-age children during out-of-school time.

This updated, spiral-bound edition is re-formatted so that each Item appears on its own page, along with Notes for Clarification and Questions. The expanded Scoresheet can be copied from the book or downloaded from the TC Press website: www.tcpress.com. Selected revised Items make scoring more accurate and informative.

The SACERS Updated Edition consists of 47 items, organized under 7 categories:

  • Space and Furnishings
  • Health and Safety
  • Activities
  • Interactions
  • Program Structure
  • Staff Development
  • Special Needs Supplementary Items

The SACERS Updated Edition is designed to be comprehensive in coverage and easy to use. Instructions for using the scale provide options for self-assessment in addition to formal assessments.

Who should use the SACERS?

  • Program directors
  • Organizations, states, and agencies doing QRIS and continuous improvement evaluations
  • School districts
  • Program funders
  • School principals
  • Community-based out-of-school programs
  • States receiving Race to the Top funds
  • Teachers
  • Teacher educators
  • Researchers
Author Bio

Thelma Harms

Director of Curriculum Development Emerita, FPG Child Development Institute

Research Professor, UNC-CH School of Education

Dr. Harms is recognized internationally for her work on assessing care and educational programs for children from infancy through the primary grades. Her early experience as Head Teacher of the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center, UC Berkeley for 15 years, and her subsequent role as Director of Curriculum Development at the FPG Child Development Institute prepared her for serving as lead author of the four widely used Environment Rating Scales (ECERS, ITERS, FCCERS, and SACERS). Much of her recent training and consultation through the Environment Rating Scales Institute (ERSI), where she serves as president, has focused on preparing professionals in the use of the scales for research, technical assistance, training, and program assessment in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and similar quality enhancement projects in the United States and abroad. These comprehensive projects use the scales to focus on developing accountable systems to train, recognize, and reward high-quality programs for children.

Ellen Vineberg Jacobs

Distinguished Professor Emerita, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

Professor Jacobs joined the Concordia faculty in 1971 and taught in the graduate and undergraduate programs. She founded the Concordia University Observation Laboratory School and was the Director until her retirement in 2011. She became a member of the Advisory Board of Sesame Street Canada in 1992 and is the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education and co-author of Children’s Play in Child Care Settings. The majority of her research has focused on the quality of care in child care settings and the education and mentoring of child care staff.

Donna Romano White

Professor of Psychology, Centre for Research in Human Development, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

Professor White was involved in research on Head Start, preschool education, and day care. Her interest in the quality of services being offered to children coincided with the development of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale by Thelma Harms, Richard Clifford, and Debby Cryer. She extended her interest to after-school care and worked as a researcher and consultant to school-age programs. Her interest in quality of care and school-age care led her into work on the development of the School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale.