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There are two ways to form a KinderPod: self-organized or assisted matching. A self-organized pod is where families who already know each other decide to manage their pod using Kinder Outside’s platform. If you do not have enough families to form your own pod, or if you need to find a group of like-minded families to match with, we can assist.
Kinder Outside wants you to have a safer, more consistent pod experience for your family. Our management tools provide transparent communication, scheduling, and safety considerations such as waivers, insurance coverage, and the option to hire a trained facilitator. Kinder Outside allows families to set expectations upfront, avoiding unsafe and uncomfortable situations. Ad-hoc pods that are independently organized may have trouble staying together, communicating freely, or offering reliable care.
This is completely up to the families in the pod! We recommend keeping the number of children to fewer than 10 total kids to aid in social distancing. This could mean 10 families with one child, or 2 families of five (or anything in between). You can have fewer or more depending on what’s best for your pod.
For each participating family, our lowest subscription includes 3 hours per week. To maximize efficiency in scheduling and costs, we recommend that all families in the same pod have roughly the same needs when it comes to hours of care. We are happy to assist you in finding a pod that fits your scheduling needs.
Kinder Outside is a technology platform and service exchange. We are not a daycare, preschool or other school. The day to day activities of each pod is determined exclusively by the families in each pod, in cooperation with their facilitator if hired. Kinder Outside does not prescribe what activities a pod should do. Some pods will be purely social. Other pods will do educational activities. Still other pods are for nature exploration, or creative movement and music. The Kinder Outside platform is a blank slate for families to determine what is best for their group. From time to time we may offer suggestions and resources via our blog or social media, but we do not require that a pod carry out those suggestions.
Absolutely! If you are interested in a learning pod, Kinder Outside can help match you with a facilitator who has educator experience. Like other interest-specific pods, a learning pod should be made up of families that share the same goals for their children. If you would like to host a learning pod, or join one in your area, please sign up.
We are called Kinder Outside because we believe the outdoors is the safest place to be in groups during this pandemic. We also understand the wonderful benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and room to explore. If the weather is too hot, or too cold, pod participants can decide to carry out activities indoors, at the agreement of all members of the pod. As long as children are appropriately dressed, they can enjoy a range of temperatures, including rain and snow (do you wanna build a snowman?).
We are a new business model and are working to obtain comprehensive insurance that covers our unique blend of child-minding services and technology services. Kinder Outside is pursuing general liability insurance, abuse and molestation coverage, and business insurance to cover our software development and other business operations. If you decide to hire a facilitator through Kinder Outside, that person is a fully insured employee of our company, and has access to Worker’s Comp as well as other benefits.
Our facilitators are hired for their diverse experiences with groups of children. They are skilled professionals from a range of backgrounds including early childhood and elementary education, recreation and sports leadership. We offer regular training to our facilitators on CPR/First aid, as well as diversity and inclusion, crisis and de-escalation training.
We fully vet our facilitators because they are our trusted employees and they are taking care of your children. Our hiring process includes a background check, reference check, and verification of any credentials (such as teaching certificates, memberships in professional associations, et al.).
Waivers allow us to be fully transparent about the risks that your family is taking on by joining a pod. The use of the Kinder Outside platform is at your own risk, and we want to make it as easy for you to understand what that means.
There are too many to list – but rest assured we have it covered from the moment you sign up to the moment your child meets with their pod mates. We have adapted the best practices from other child-focused organizations to our unique offering, resulting in a robust set of policies and procedures that cover everything from transparent communication, inclusive practices, disciplinary action, to first aid and other health concerns. If you are interested in reviewing our policies and procedures before you sign up, please contact us. We’ll be happy to send it to you.