Advice about Covid Pods

Parent Q&A

Pros and Cons of parent vs. paid tutor led pods Aug 9, 2020 (3 responses below)
Seeking recommendations on how to pay pod educator Jul 26, 2020 (1 responses below)
Preschool Pod - how much to pay teacher/caregiver? Jun 26, 2020 (1 responses below)
  • We have a group of 3 families considering a pod and discussing whether to do parent led or hired tutor led pod.  The kids are remaining enrolled in school and will follow DL program so mostly need to just supervise, help answer questions and enrich education as needed.  All parents work from home and have very busy work days but have flexibility to take a day off and make up hours at night/weekends. All are neighbors and have same level of risk tolerance/exposure with regard to covid, kids are friends and similar grades, so it seems to be a great fit.  Parents can afford a paid tutor but seem to hesitate at the complexity of finding a good one, administrating the arrangement, and becoming an employer.  The cost is affordable but still a consideration as most instructors in the area ask for around $80-100k total salary for the year (even divided 3 ways it is a lot!).  We are learning toward parent led and have the 6 individual parents alternate days (roughly 1 day/week per parent) as it just seems easiest and the parents all are comfortable teaching if needed, but most of the pods seem to be formed with paid instructor so we decided to think about it a bit more.  If you are forming a pod, are you doing parent led or instructor led and what were your reasons for going that way? 

    I've been in education for 25 years.  There pros of a "good" paid tutor is they are professionals.  They will have experience teaching students, know how to communicate concepts with students and know what the students are learning.  The cons of a paid tutor is it is going to be hard to find a "good" one.  Many teachers this fall are tutoring finding they can make more money teaching fewer students in a covid "safe" environment that teaching a classes at a school.

    Having parents teach is really hit or miss.  Some parents might be very good.  But others They may not have the skills and knowledge to teach students.  I the 1980s and 1990s schools in the US adopted the "whole language" method of teaching.  (And in some schools this is still being taught today.)  Instead of teaching students how to sound out words pheneticaly kids were taught to understand the meaning of the words in the conext of a senttence.  There is more evidene proving this doesn't work than it does.  You would be surprised at how many adults in there 30s and 40s who cannot read.  We did something simlar when it comes to math.  Having one of more parents trying to teach something they have not learned or understand is probably not someone you would not want teaching your child. 

    The other issue you are going to have with rotating parents is the lack of consistency in teaching.  Having 5 or 6 different parents teaching means the parents teaching on the other days of the week will not know what was covered previously.  There's a good reason students have one teacher to teach a subject.  

    Another issue you will have is the potential for a parent favoring their child on the day they teach.  This is only natrual.  And then all kids do not learn the same way.  A parent teaching might not be able to tap into how your child learns.  

    Hope I've given you some things to think about.  

    As an educator I who might one day be teaching your child.  Make sure your kids lean how to read, can do math problems, are exposed to science and understand how to think critically.  Every year I am getting more and more students who lack these fundamental skills.  Every semester I watch as these kids get frustrated.  It's not that they can't master what I'm teaching, they can.  It's just they don't have the fundamentals they need to build on to do well.

    We formed a parent led group because parents felt more comfortable having an adult that they know and trust. Each parent takes a day of the week to supervise. We felt that kids will be busy with DL and we are just there to support the learning. Our kids are also at a language immersion school so the parents could provide language support. I agree that it feels too complicated to interview candidates who meet all the criteria - a person we feel comfortable with supervising our kids, following strict covid precautions and providing language support. Not to mention, figuring out the labor and employment laws. 

    As a parent and an educator I would recommend facilitating the pod yourself and if needed, hire an experienced tutor for additional support (reading or math). This way you get the best of both ways. The cost will not be as high, because of limited hours, at the same time you will be able to afford a specialist if you need one

  • What method / online platform do you recommend for paying caregivers / educators? We are 4 families sharing one educator for a learning pod this fall, and we want to be able to pay over the table, withhold taxes, etc. We also want to be able to use our individual daycare FSA accounts and have documentation for tax purposes. We don't want to make this a management nightmare for the educator!!  Any recommendations on how to go about doing this? I assume those with over-the-table nanny share experience might have some insight, too. Thank you!
     

    I highly recommend Homepay for payroll services for household employees. We used them for a nanny share a few years ago and now are planning to use them to pay our pod teacher. Easy setup, direct deposit into your employee’s bank account from yours, and they handle all the withholdings and IRS reporting. Excellent customer service too if you ever need to call. Well worth the fee. 

  • Our beloved preschool has closed, and our family is looking to start a preschool pod with other families.

    Total number of children would be around 3-5 kids.

    Seeking advice on how much to pay? Our pod leader might be a former preschool teacher or director.

    Families would host the pod and provide all the materials. Should we treat this like a share situation? Looking for advice.

    Hi, I'm so curious and thankful to see this post! We are planning to do the same! I'm both terrified and really excited.

    Currently we are planning to have a much loved pre-k teacher as educator and are in the stages of imagining what our set-up will look like. We are thinking 3-4 kids, a shorter day, and wondering about $12-$15/hour per kid. (Still very much figuring out the finances of it). We are also planning to have a "guest" art teacher 2x/week. We are now planning to rotate between two homes versus staying at one and the families would provide some back-up with set-up and support if needed and provide a break for the teacher.

    Writing this I realize just how much we still have to figure out but are trying to do the best we can to keep the kids engaged and socialized. Be well. :)