Saturday, January 28, 2023

Host homes. Pods of no more than 10 kids. Here’s what’s that all about

(WYDaily/Courtesy Pixabay)
(WYDaily/Courtesy Pixabay)

As the 2020-21 school year approaches, many families are worried about sending their children back to school with coronavirus cases back on the rise.

But many families are also anxious about balancing virtual learning with full time jobs.

Enter Sitters On Call, a child care service founded by Brittany Beebe. The company offers on-call childcare services with flexible hours, but now they are looking to expand their services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sitters On Call is now hiring licensed teachers to instruct small groups of children as an alternative to public education in the Peninsula area.

“We are trying to be the middle person for that and have the teacher be able to instruct in person,” said Beebe.

The pods would consist of groups no larger than 10 children with one teacher assigned per pod.

“We have a lot of parents who have volunteered their homes to be host homes. The pods would be constructed there, the teachers would go there, and other families would drop off,” Beebe said. “That’s why we are keeping the max number at 10, since we don’t want too many people in someone’s home.”

Teachers would design the curriculum themselves, spanning grades Pre-K through 12. Sitters on Call is also prepped to instruct children with learning disabilities. For example, children with autism will be placed in smaller pods so they receive more one-on-one time with the teacher.

Beebe said she has received many phone calls from teachers who have been out of work or who are looking for a change from the public school system.

The teaching period would be the same as a normal school day, but Beebe said Sitters on Call will match the needs of each family. After the instruction period is over, the teachers will be able to go home and a sitter will swap out if further care is needed.

“We try to be as flexible as possible,” Beebe said.

Sitters on Call currently has about 33 staff members, and their goal is to eventually have the pods taught in libraries if restrictions ease up. They are also looking to use the pod model as a way to offer daycare-like services at a cheaper rate without the wait list.

The teaching pods cost $25 a day per child. For regular sitting services, their prices start at $16 an hour. Prices vary based on booking and location.

Families can book sittings or register for the learning pods by calling 757-390-7306 or visiting Sitters On Call’s Facebook page.

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