What do child care providers need to create high-quality learning environments?
Use CHELLO to help home-based providers improve early literacy supports
Derived from the bestselling, classroom-focused ELLCO, and shaped by extensive research on effective child care and literacy practices, the Child/Home Early Language and Literacy Observation Tool (CHELLO) assesses the early literacy environment in home-based child care settings. Early childhood professionals use CHELLO to help providers of “family, friend, and neighbor” care improve their literacy supports and interactions with children.
With CHELLO, observers will
- examine the care provider’s methods, materials, and interactions
- get a quick “big picture” view of the environment
- conduct an in-depth observation
- target interventions and track progress over time
Complete the Observation Record
Complete the Literacy Environment Checklist
Complete the Group/Family Observation
Complete the Provider Interview (try to take no more than 10 minutes of the provider’s time)
Record the scores on the CHELLO Tool Score Form
Use the results to provide specific suggestions (found in the CHELLO User’s Guide) to help caregivers expand and strengthen their repertoire of effective practices—and better prepare children for reading success!
At a glance
What is it?
An observational tool that examines the quality of the language and literacy environment in home-based child care settings.
What kind of supports does it measure?
Key instructional and affective supports known to promote children’s learning.
What are the components of the tool?
The tool comprises
- the Literacy Environment Checklist, designed to examine the availability of resources and the organization of space (22 items divided into 5 sections: Book Area, Book Use, Writing Materials, Toys, Technology)
- the Group/Family Observation, created to examine the instructional supports and the affective environment for learning (13 items divided into 3 sections: Physical Environment for Learning, Support for Learning, Adult Teaching Strategies)
- the Provider Interview, designed to assess how the provider plans and supports children’s language and literacy opportunities
What is a sample item?
[From the Group/Family Observation] Under Responsive Strategies, indicate whether there is strong, some, or minimal evidence of positive responses to children’s interests and activities:
Provider regularly uses verbal encouragement in ways that are genuine and related to an actual task or behavior (e.g., “Here, try to write your name.”)
Provider occasionally uses verbal encouragement in ways that are genuine but may not be related to an actual task or behavior (e.g, “You are so smart.”)
Provider rarely or never uses verbal encouragement related to an actual task or behavior.
How is it used?
- as a baseline, providing benchmarks against which change can be documented
- for progress monitoring, to determine whether an intervention or program accomplished its goals
- for professional development and mentoring opportunities, to enhance planning, organize the setting, determine materials
Who completes and scores it?
Professionals with a strong background in early childhood education (birth through 5):
- researchers interested in assessing the quality of language and literacy experiences in early childhood
- supervisors interested in improving the quality of home-based care
- facilitators or coaches who want to target professional development efforts
- program officers who wish to establish results-oriented accountability
How long does it take?
About 1½–2 hours to conduct a complete observation.
Is training required?
As is true with any assessment tool, training will ensure that CHELLO is conducted with validity and reliability. Training instructions are included in the CHELLO User’s Guide.
Is the tool reliable?
91% of the time, pairs of raters were either exactly matched or rated within 1 point of one another (on a scale of 1–5).