How is CLASS used?

CLASS observations will be conducted by trained and reliable observers in cycles focusing on effective and meaningful adult-child interactions. This could be a Great Start to Quality Assessor or an Approved Assessor.

Watch this short video about what to expect during your CLASS observation.

One cycle is 15-20 minutes of observing and then 10 minutes of scoring.  Each observation will consist of approximately 4 cycles.

Who can use CLASS?

CLASS can be used in any program type, except schoolage classrooms and programs, which uses the SEL PQA. Programs with Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program classrooms will only use CLASS for Great Start to Quality.

Threshold Scores

Threshold scores must be achieved, for each group or classroom observed, for the program to reach the highest quality level; Demonstrating Quality. Threshold scores for each tool are noted in the table.

InfantResponsive Caregiving4.50
ToddlerEmotional and Behavior Support5.00
ToddlerEngaged Support for Learning3.25
PreK-3Emotional Support4.75
PreK-3Classroom Organization4.50
PreK-3Instructional Support2.75

Resources and Training

There are many resources available to support understanding and use of the CLASS tool.  Visit

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) implements the rating process for Great Start to Quality and is committed to providing information and training for providers prior to the shift to CLASS from the Program Quality Assessment (PQA). Information sessions began in summer 2021 and will continue through the launch in February 2023.

Adults sitting at computers typing. Two adults in a conversation while looking at the computer screen.

Review the Sessions
GSQ and CLASS-Introduction and Overview
GSQ and CLASS-Updates and Overview
GSQ and CLASS-Supporting Infants and Toddlers
GSQ and CLASS-Supporting Preschool and PreK

Resource Center staff and partners will also be trained and ready to support providers as they prepare to use CLASS in the future.