About Early Learning Pods

  • Early Learning Pods (also known as playgroups) are partnerships of families with children. These children are ages 0-5. Each Pod has no more than six children and one designated adult with set meeting days to interact, play and learn.

    Early Learning opportunities are an important part of a child’s development. This program gives parents, guardians and caregivers an opportunity to create their own small early learning opportunities.

    Pods are being created to:

    • Provide a safe learning environment for children who are not in childcare or preschool
    • Improve socialization skills
    • Support children who need academic help
    • Prepare children for Kindergarten

    A Lake County Quality Counts Coach will guide parents on how to create and successfully implement an Early Learning Pod.

    Information covered by the Coach will include:

    • Health and Safety Considerations
    • Appropriate Learning Activities
    • Choosing a Curriculum Focus if applicable
    • Support children with kindergarten readiness
    • Support parents with child development questions and concerns
    • Overview of Ages and Stages Developmental Screening tool

    Upon completion of the program application, which includes meeting with the Coach, participants will receive an Early Learning Toolkit for their Pod. To view what is included in each toolkit, visit the Learning Pod Levels webpage.

Discussion Guide for Pod Rules and Protocols

  • Below is a list of questions to help you and your pod mates determine your guidelines. These tools are to help give you a sense of empowerment and relief.

    What is the purpose of the pod:

    • What needs is the pod meeting for each family?

    How will the pod be structured:

    • How many people will be in the pod sessions and pod network?
    • Who will be in the pod network?
    • What will be the ages of the children?
    • Are any of the people in the network at high risk for Covid-19? For example, a grandparent or person with an underlying health condition.

    Who will supervise the pod:

    • Will adults take turns facilitating activities?
    • Is there a backup plan if the pod session supervisor becomes sick and can’t supervise? Or if someone in the pod has Covid-19?

    What types of activities will be done in the pod:

    • Will this be a socialization Pod? Will it be a learning Pod?  Will it be both? 
    • Do any of the activities involve yelling, singing, or intense exercise?

    How frequently will the pod meet:

    • Will the pod meet every day? Every weekday? Only on certain days?

    How long will the pod sessions last:

    • Will the pod last for a half-day, full-day, or only during certain hours?
    • Will the pod follow the local school district vacation schedule?

    Where will the pod sessions take place:

    • At one or more houses? At one or more places other than houses?
    • Indoors? Outdoors? Both?
    • If indoors, which rooms?