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Meet the Authors and Trainers

Thelma Harms

Dr. Harms is Director of Curriculum Development at the FPG Child Development Institute and Research Professor Emerita in the School of Education, UNC-CH. Dr. Harms is recognized internationally for her work in assessing the quality of educational and care settings. She has also developed a variety of curriculum materials and staff training resources. Dr. Harms has provided extensive in-service training and consultation in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Debby Cryer

Dr. Cryer has developed early care and education curriculum materials and assessment instruments for over 15 years. She is lead author for the Active Learning Series books published by Addison-Wesley. Dr. Cryer has extensive experience assessing early childhood programs in varied settings. Most recently, she has studied the relationship between the cost and quality of child care and is currently studying the effects of continuity of care on infants and toddlers.

Richard Clifford

Dr. Clifford has written extensively on child and family policy issues, with a particular emphasis on the role of government in the provision and financing of services. In addition, he has conducted research assessing early learning environments and identifying developmentally appropriate practices in early care and education. Dr. Clifford is past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Dr. Clifford is currently co-director of the First School Initiative at the FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cathy Riley

Cathy Riley has over 28 years experience in using the Environment Rating Scales as a lead trainer, including her work at the University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute and the School of Public Health. She has served as a reliability anchor and data collector with federal and state research and evaluation projects using early childhood assessment instruments and child outcome measurements, including the NC Rated License Project, in which she established systems for reliability for the state’s QRIS. Cathy is co-author of widely used All About the ECERS-R, All About the ITERS-R and soon to be All About ECERS-3rd Edition, as well as the All About Preschoolers, an environment-based curriculum.

Tracy Link

Tracy Link has over 20 years of experience in using the Environment Rating Scales as a classroom teacher and as a lead trainer at the University of North Carolina (UNC-CH), FPG Child Development Institute.  She has served as a data collector with federal and state early childhood research and evaluation projects, as a guest lecturer and clinical instructor for the School of Education at UNC-CH, and as presenter at national and international conferences.  Tracy is one of the primary authors of All About Preschoolers, an environment-based curriculum consistent with ECERS quality, and she is currently co-authoring All About ECERS-3, a resource book to be used with the ECERS-3.

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ERS® and Environment Rating Scale® are registered trademarks of Teachers College, Columbia University.