Social-Emotional Rating Scale

Measures a child’s social and emotional functioning.


The ELOM Social-Emotional Rating Scale is used in conjunction with the ELOM 4 & 5 Assessment and ELOM 6 & 7 Assessment to measure a child’s social and emotional functioning – aspects of behaviour that aren’t reliably assessed by a stranger. The short assessment is designed to be administered with a teacher, day mother, playgroup leader or caregiver, familiar to the child.

The Social-Emotional Rating Scale has 13 items and assesses three key areas:

  • Social relations with peers and adults: e.g. the ability to cooperate without prompting and work with peers in group activities; to resolve problems without aggression; to seek support, assistance and information from familiar adults etc.
  • Emotional readiness for school: e.g. the ability to communicate with adults; appropriate expression of needs and feelings; willingness to do things without help; ability to adjust to changes in class or home routine; confidence in new experiences; and initiating activities.
  • Self-care: i.e. independent toilet use.

Scores for each scale fall within one of two performance bands – children either meet the standard, or they don’t meet the standard. This information can be used to identify children who may require additional support as they transition into Grade R or Grade 1, to assess the relationship between social- emotional functioning and other child outcomes, and to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes that aim to enhance children’s social-emotional wellbeing.


There are two ways in which you can access this tool: Download the pdf version of this tool in English only OR apply to access the digital tool. The ELOM User Journey and Pricing Packages provide further information on the use and cost of using the digital tool. 


The process followed in the development of the Social-Emotional Rating scales (formerly known as the Teacher Assessment) is detailed in Chapter 7 of the ELOM 4&5 Assessment Manual.


  • The scale includes 13 items in an interview format, which takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes per child. It is completed by the child’s teacher or caregiver.
  • The instrument includes one item to rate the child’s Self Care (degree of independent toileting), and two scales: Social Relations with Peers and Adults (SRS) (6 items) which measures children’s relations with peers and adults, and the Emotional Readiness for School Scale (ER) (6 items) designed to assess aspects of emotional functioning associated with readiness for school.
  • The tool can be administered digitally or using a paper based questionnaire.

Early learning service providers, researchers, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialists and funders can use the ELOM Social-Emotional Rating Scale, alongside ELOM 4 & 5 Years and ELOM 6 & 7 Years, to evaluate and improve early learning programmes and to understand the relationship between socio-emotional functioning and other developmental domains.

No formal training is needed, but basic interview skills are required.

Costs depend on the amount of support required from the DataDrive2030 team and a cost estimate is provided once a request is received. We aim to keep the costs as low as possible and to subsidise costs for smaller non-profit organisations to enable their use of the tools.

It is available in all 11 of South Africa’s official languages.


The following case studies illustrate how the ELOM Social-Emotional Rating Scale can be used.