Early Learning Observation Rating Scale (ELORS)

The ELORS is designed for preschool children, particularly 4-year olds. The tool is designed to screen for areas of concern that can then be evaluated in further detail.  It gathers information about children across seven important developmental domains: Perceptual and Motor, Self-Management, Social and Emotional, Early Math, Early Literacy, Receptive Language, and Expressive Language.

There are three ELORS forms: Whole-Class, Teacher-Individual Child, and Parent-Individual Child. The Parent-Individual Child form is included here. Parent observations can be made at any time, although they are most effective in concurrence with a program-based assessment.

The Whole-Class Teacher-Child forms can be found at the National Center for Learning Disabilities website along with further information: http://www.getreadytoread.org/screening-tools/early-learning-observation-rating-scale

The authors of the tool have requested that the Parent-Child Form only be administered in its entirety. Please do not split out particular domains for observation, and please do not distribute or electronically reproduce this material without the express written consent of the National Center for Learning Disabilities.


Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D., Tracey West, Ph.D., & Margaret Gillis, Ed.M.

Citation: Gillis, M., West, T., & Coleman, M. R. (2009). Early learning
observation & rating scale: Development Manual. New York: National Center for
Learning Disabilities.

Scoring / Benchmarking
Teacher-Individual Child and Parent-Individual Child Forms may be interpreted in two ways:

1. to determine areas in which additional support or instruction is needed, and
2. to determine whether additional assessment is needed to understand the child’s needs.

To determine areas in which additional support is needed, teachers should examine both teacher and parent summary ratings for each domain.

If there are any ratings of 3 or 4 for a domain, indicating moderate to great concern, plans should be made to provide the child with additional support or instruction in that area. The information from both Teacher and Parent Individual Child Forms can provide consensus about specific areas of need and help parents and teachers work as a team to respond quickly and effectively.

If there is a rating of 4 for any domain, indicating great concern, consideration should be given to the needs for further evaluation. Additional assessment may be general or domain-specific, depending on the nature and gravity of concerns.
Background / Quality
The theoretical and social validity of the ELORS have been established through the process of development, including a pilot study that confirmed the suitability and understandability of the tool to users.

Further research is necessary to establish the reliability of the ELORS across time and across raters, and additional studies looking at how the ELORS fits with other measures are needed to establish concurrent validity.
Is there a cost associated with this tool?
1 vote