Return to Headlines

Early Learning Pods

Lake County, Calif (December 2, 2020) The Lake County Office of Education (LCOE) is offering assistance to families of children ages zero to five who are looking to create an Early Learning Pod.

With a decreased student capacity in preschools and current social distancing protocols in Lake County due to COVID-19, there is an identified need for parents to be able to prepare their children for kindergarten while also giving them a social outlet.

Many of Lake County’s Early Learning Centers are closed until further notice, which limits playgroup opportunities for children ages zero to five.

An Early Learning Pod is a cohort of no more than six children and one designated adult per child where socialization days are set. This allows children to interact freely, play and potentially have learning days with focused curriculum.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, a cohort is a group of no more than 14 children or youth and no more than two supervising adults.

Each small pod will consist of children and parents that have designated socialization days with developmentally appropriate activities and also follow the CDPH guidelines for COVID-19 prevention.

“Children need opportunities for social interaction and learning environments within their communities. We want to help create a sustainable, engaging and appropriate environment for families to meet,” said LCOE’s Lake County Quality Counts Coordinator Angela Cuellar-Marroquin.

This program will be for parents, guardians and caregivers throughout Lake County that cannot access a formal program for early learning and socialization due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A Lake County Quality Counts Coach will guide parents in how to effectively create a learning pod for early learning environments through a virtual training seminar/webinar. Information covered in the webinar includes health and safety considerations, developmentally appropriate activities, choosing a curriculum focus for the children and Kindergarten Readiness.

Upon completion of the webinar and program application, participants will receive an early learning toolkit for their pod.

Depending on what kind of Early Learning Pod a parent is looking to have will depend on what materials are provided.

The Lake County Quality Counts Team has set up three levels of participation Early Learning Pods. Depending on the level, each pod could potentially receive dry erase board kits, math kits, gross motor kits, crafting supplies, cleaning supplies and books.

All children will receive developmental screenings and receive assistance from one of the Lake County Quality Counts Coaches.

“Our focus is the students. Being able to prepare our children for kindergarten is one of the initial stepping stones to student success in Lake County,” said Brock Falkenberg, Lake County Superintendent of Schools.

For more information, visit our Early Learning Pods webpage.