Is My Learning Pod Lockdown-Legal?

Why your learning pod might be "essential" — and ways to make it safer for everyone.

As the nation hits its highest COVID rates and hospitalizations, many municipalities are tightening restrictions on everything from gatherings to business to travel. Childcare services, however, are usually the last to be shut down because they are essential for many reasons, including but not limited to the needs of parents who are engaged in other essential work themselves. Properly conducted, pods can be much safer than conventional preschools and schools.

Pods and Government Regulations for Curve Flattening

Regulations vary from state to state, and sometimes city to city. Most state and local governments have clear criteria (ok, they’re not always so clear) for qualification as a childcare service provider, and even conditions under which your pod can operate as a license-exempt child care provider. These will often be based on the gathering locations, number of children, number of hours per week, and the purposes of the pod. (For additional legal considerations, check out our article, “Is Your Learning Pod Legal”).

In the State of California, where we currently have the strictest stay-at-home orders since April 2020, properly organized pods and their teachers can continue operating as long as they’re following the heightened safety guidelines including:

  • Only meeting at one home
  • Wearing masks at all times
  • Cleaning regularly
  • Children only participate in one pod (teachers are allowed to work with a max of two pods)

Of course, as concerned parents, educators and community members, we want to do everything we can to limit our own exposure and protect the vulnerable around us. Covid Learning Pod Micro School Safety

Ways to Improve Your Learning Pod’s Pandemic Safety

Mask Wearing

  • Learning pod teachers should wear masks at all times
  • Pod parents should wear masks at drop-off and pickup
  • Children above the age of two should do their best to wear masks at all times

The Learning Pod Space

  • Keep pod activities outside as much as possible
  • If you have to be indoors, maximize airflow by keeping windows open
  • Try to keep the space ventilated and dry—moisture allows the virus particles to linger in the air much longer

Health and Hygiene

  • Wash hands regularly and/or sanitize frequently
  • Sanitize all surfaces before and after pod activities
  • Monitor symptoms daily
  • Use a no-contact thermometer to take temperatures of all kids as they arrive
  • Stay at home if anyone in the house is not feeling themselves in anyway

Additional Measures

  • Do not socialize outside of your pod
  • Proactive testing: People are contagious long before symptoms develop; some are completely asymptomatic and wind up passing on the infection to many others
  • Order delivery for groceries, meals and non-essential items when possible
  • Limit errands to only essential needs

PodSkool helps pods stay compliant while providing them with teachers, insurance and payroll service. Have questions? Get in touch.

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