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External Quality Improvement Services

Looking for training and observation services using the Environment Rating Scales™ (ERS) and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS)? We can help with that! Our classroom experts maintain reliability with the Environment Rating Scale Institute (ERSI) for ERS and maintain certification with Teachstone for CLASS®. In addition to classroom assessment, we specialize in playground safety and best practices while outdoors. All of our trainers not only have many years of experience in the field of early childhood, training adult-learners, and conducting assessments but also continue to assess classrooms using ERS and CLASS® tools for various projects across the state. Our trainers are in the field doing the work, uniquely enabling them to provide the most current information and assessor tips from the field. Training is rigorous to maintain this expertise, thus, you can always expect a high-quality experience. Not in the Denver-Metro area? We can come to you for all trainings and services.

Requests for customized services or small projects can be made, but please provide us with a minimum of three months notice. Complete a Service Request Form to request any of the services below or customized projects. 

Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) Initiative

Clayton impacts systems change through our research and evaluation services, professional support, and development for teachers and leaders throughout Colorado. One of Clayton’s priorities in our strategic plan is to support the early childhood workforce through our comprehensive, whole child, whole family approach to helping young children. Clayton cultivates the workforce through three main priorities:

  • Developing practitioners and leaders for the field who are steeped in our whole child, whole family approach
  • Designing, incubating, and testing workforce solutions at Clayton and creating a toolkit for other organizations to duplicate
  • Impacting workforce quality through products, services, supports, and policy

To accomplish this critical work, we’re excited to announce that Clayton received a $250,000 grant to provide support to rural early childhood providers in counties or cities with populations less than 60,000. These providers will receive training, coaching, and support for strengthening business practices that will build resilience, improve quality of care, and enhance teacher-child interactions (through Clayton's EMBRACE™ mindfulness program, training, and offering the PAS and BAS business assessments). In partnership with the Colorado Department of Early Childhood, Early Milestones is leading the Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) Initiative. This initiative provides nearly $23 million in grants to child care providers and other community, education, or governmental partners pursuing innovative solutions to challenges worsened by the pandemic.

Click the components below to learn more about each part of Clayton's CIRCLE Grant project. Flyers for upcoming opportunities are also accessible below. 

Register for FREE In-person Training!

We are offering free Early Childhood Best Practices Training as part of our CIRCLE Grant award. Our training teams are coming to an area near you this Spring to provide in-person training for Early Childhood Educators!

We are offering one more round of virtual training in June before this grant ends. Do not miss your opportunity to attend FREE TAP approved trainings that will help you earn credit towards your Early Childhood Credential! . 

Please click on the Spring 2023 Virtual Training link below to learn more and register! 

  • Spring 2023 Virtual Trainings

    We are providing one last round of training for this grant, virtually! The dates and times vary and you can choose all or some of these trainings when you register!

    Thursday, June 1, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    The Benefits of Free Play

    This training is designed to enhance early childhood professionals’ knowledge of free play in the use of the third editions of the Environment Rating Scales. Participants will gain an overall understanding of free play for each age group (infants, toddlers, preschoolers) in early childhood settings, how to set up their environment to allow children to get the most benefits from free play, and how to support their free play. Participants will also leave with action steps toward creating a high-quality early childhood environment that incorporates free play.

    Thursday, June 8, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    Math is Here to Help

    This training will help you learn how to use math in creative ways with children from birth - 5 years. Why math matters - Math skills are just one part of a larger web of skills that children are developing in the early years - including language, physical, and social/emotional skills. Each of these skill areas is dependent on and influenced by the others. Math builds reasoning, which leads to comprehension in all areas of development. Developing a mentally organized way of thinking is critical for that comprehension to build, and to make that happen, we need to provide high-quality math education at an early age.

    Saturday, June 10, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

    Non-Traditional Gender Roles in ECE

    This training is designed to provide guidance for early childhood professionals as they support children in their exploration of non-traditional gender roles in early childcare settings. Participants will learn what gender roles mean to young children, how stereotyping can affect children, the ERS requirements regarding materials related to non-traditional gender roles, as well as different ways educators can support all children with the guidance of the NAEYC Code of Conduct and current research. 

    Saturday, June 17, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (ECERS-3) Overview

    Saturday, June 24, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (ITERS-3) Overview

    These courses are an overview of the Environment Rating Scale of your choice. During these courses, we discuss the interpretation of specific indicators, the research, and rationale for the requirements, and how programs can make small significant changes to improve the quality of environments they offer to children. This course is geared towards early childhood professionals who are working with children in these classrooms, are new to the field of Early Childhood, or are planning to provide mentoring services to classrooms currently using the Environment Rating Scales for continuous quality improvement. 

    REGISTER HERE for any and all trainings listed above!

Services Offered by Our Team of Experts

Click on the service below to learn more about it. If you don’t see a particular service listed that you might be interested in, please contact us.


We offer Program Administration Scale (PAS) and Business Administration Scale (BAS) assessments. These assessments are not only beneficial for helping centers and family child care homes implement high quality business practices, they can also be used to earn credit for your Colorado Shines Rating!