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YoungStar Optional Self-Assessment Tools
for Group Providers

Self-Assessments are tools for child care programs to step back and take a big-picture look at the quality of care they are providing in their child care center. These tools will help group child care programs look at many aspects of their programs and determine the areas where they want to improve. Once a group child care program has completed a Self-Assessment, they can work with a YoungStar Technical Consultant to make a Quality Improvement Plan to raise the quality of their center. Whether the plan focuses on an individual classroom or is program-wide, YoungStar staff are here to help your stars shine brighter every day.

Wisconsin child care providers may preview the tools identified below by borrowing them on two-week loan from the Child Care Information Center. The only cost is return postage at the economical library rate. Email CCIC at or phone them toll-free at 1-800-362-7353.

1. YoungStar Self-Assessment Tool for Group Providers

This self-assessment tool is designed to help child care providers become aware of important indicators of quality. The tool helps providers assess space and furnishings; personal care routines; literacy and language components; indoor activities and outdoor activities; interactions of staff, children and adults; program structure and provision for children with disabilities; and promotion of acceptance of diversity. Additionally, the tool helps the provider assess contract and program policies, program practices, professional development, and community supports.

2. Grow in Quality Self-Assessment Tools for Group Providers

A two-part tool, designed to assist with development of meaningful plans for program improvement by teachers/administrators in group child care.

Part 1 consists of the Materials and Practices Assessment Tool:
    M = Materials (the number of materials accessible to the children, the quality of the space available in which to use the
           those materials, and the adequacy of the amount of time that the materials are accessible to children)
    A = Age-appropriateness (developmentally appropriate materials in a range of complexity to meet the needs of all children)
    P = Plan (observation of the classroom, looking at the lesson plans, and teacher assessing whether there is evidence of
          alignment between classroom materials and daily activities)

Part 2 consists of the Professional Practices Assessment Tool with considerations on global practices.
    1. Staff development
    2. Business management
    3. Family involvement

3. The Creative Curriculum for Preschool Implementation Checklist for Group Providers

For Preschool Age Children:  Designed for various uses by teachers and administrators/supervisors. Teachers can use the checklist in an ongoing manner to inform their work, help to set up classroom environment, and assess their work with children. Administrators can gain information as part of the program's ongoing self-assessment and continuous improvement process. It will help to support teachers, material purchases, plan staff development, and improve the overall program. The tool covers physical environment, structure, teacher-child interactions, assessment and family involvement.

For Infants, Toddlers and Twos: Designed to guide the individual professional development of teachers who work with children under age 3. Teachers can use it to reflect on their teaching practices and make suggestions about the design and delivery of professional development services. The tool can help administrators identify each teacher's level of curriculum implementation, areas of strength, and areas where professional development is recommended. It can be used as part of the program's ongoing self-assessment and continuous improvement process. Sections of the tool cover overall physical environment, materials and equipment, how to build partnerships with each family and help teachers reflect on how they are guiding children's learning and behavior, how they observe, the experiences they provide and the routines that are conducted.

4. Environment Rating Scales for Group Providers:
    Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) and
    Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R)

The scales define environment in a broad sense and guide the program to assess the arrangement of space both indoors and outdoors, the materials and activities offered to the children, the supervision and interactions (including language) that occur in the classroom, and the schedule of the day, including routines and activities. The support offered to parents and staff is also included.  The ECERS-S is meant for use with children ages 2-5 and the ITERS-R is meant for use with children birth through 30 months of age.

5. Program Administration Scale (PAS) for Group Providers

Designed to measure and improve the overall quality of business practices in center-based programs. Administrators can set goals for incrementally improving administrative practices of early care and education programs. This instrument provides a focused look at best practice in the broad view of program quality from an organizational perspective.

6. HighScope Preschool Program Quality Assessment (PQA) for Group Providers

The Preschool Program Quality Assessment (PQA) is a rating instrument designed to evaluate the quality of early childhood programs and identify staff training needs.  The Preschool PQA is reliable and valid, and is appropriate for use in all center-based early childhood settings, including but not limited to those using the HighScope educational approach.

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