What is The Pod?

The Pod is a concept that resulted from extensive research, consultancy and trialed methods of support within the Early Education and Care sector during the 2013 – 2015 Regional Community Child Care Development project. The Pod operates under the umbrella of Investing In Our Youth and is managed by a Board of highly skilled professionals from the South West community.

The inception of The Pod stemmed from the identified gaps and needs which impact the delivery of care throughout the South West. Four key foundational pillars were established, then built upon to bring you what is known across the South West, as The Pod.

We are commonly asked, “What does the POD stand for?”. Our answer is two-fold! Nope, the Pod is not an acronym for anything – we simply love that we are a pod of consultants working as a hub in supporting you! What else? We stand for the healthy, safe and happy environment for the children from our amazing communities, by supporting for-profit and not-for-profit Early Education and Care services.

What are the benefits of being a member of The Pod?

As a paying member of The Pod, you have access to exclusive support structures including forums to explore ideas and questions with fellow Education and Care professionals, resources and information distributed in an easy-to-digest and of course timely manner, as well as access to member benefits including reduced costs on business and education materials. Paying Pod members also have access to products and services that can be tailored to meet your service needs!

Are there payment plans available for Pod memberships?

We are always open to discussing your financial needs and how we can alleviate any budget worries. If finances is something you need to get a clearer picture of, our Health Check is a perfect way to explore this further. You’re welcome to contact us to discuss this further.

Does the Pod know of any funding opportunities?

Yes! In fact, The Pod is offering paying members the opportunity to apply for a grant of up $5000! This can be used for:

  • PD and training
  • Governance
  • Business restructure
  • Operational processes and relevant resources
  • Governance
  • Marketing support
  • Assessment, rating and QIP development

Need to become a paying member but want to know more first? We are only an email away hello@thepod.org.au

What is a Health Check?

We can run a Health Check on your service to identify areas of opportunity, weakness and potential areas that take higher priority. The Health Check consists of one 2hr service visit. Once we review your Health Check, we will provide you with a document detailing recommended actions you can take to move forward. This way, you have the freedom to work towards the recommendations yourself or engage The Pod for support along the way.

QIP, Budgets, Planning and Staffing Issues – I need help!

We get it. Sometimes things pile-up and it’s hard to unpack and prioritise tasks. We have several products and packages that can assist you.

We begin by running a FREE discovery session where we get to know you and your service needs better. There are several avenues we can take after this depending on both identifying what you feel is most important and what The Pod feels needs addressing. Yes we have between us, over 50 years sector experience and the wonderful thing is, when The Pod attends listens, we can do so from an objective position – we aren’t tied to what can be, very emotional and stressful situations.

Further exploration can be done through our highly regarded Health Check to identify areas of opportunity, weakness and potential issues.

Perhaps you know where you want your service to be, you just need a hand getting there. We totally get it and can offer you assistance through our amazing Getting Started package. Alternatively we are also able to develop custom support packages tailored to your needs. We here to take the load off.

I have less experience as a Director and need some support.

New Director? New Board of Management? New Family Day Care Educator? Not sure where to start?

Not only as a member are you entitled to your half hour Discovery Session where we work through your primary needs, members are able to purchase fantastic resources such as our Professional Development & Support where we can discuss your needs for longer and develop a plan to future proof your service!

Alternatively, if you need hands on support and guidance to get you on your way, The Pod offers a wonderful package Getting Started.

Networking Opportunities?

Connecting with other Educators in the South West can be incredibly difficult – we get it. This is why we have developed a two-tired forum where there is a forum for Pod members which includes a Directors log-in only and a general forum where staff are able to log-in and chat with other Educators from the South West. The Pod also anticipates that there will be skills building and networking opportunities hosted by us, brought to you, throughout the year.

Are the Forums anonymous?

Not entirely. When you fill out your membership, the username will be set then. The Pod will set up additional log-ins as per request where less-identifiable usernames can be created.

Alternatively you as a member, can have The Pod post on the forum on your behalf. Perhaps you have a question for other Directors about HR issues and you’re looking for other’s experinces to help assist you in decision making. The Pod can take your inquiry to the forum and ask the question for you – maintaining confidence at all times. We also monitor the forums and have outlined what happens if there is anti-social behaviour occurring on there. Find out more about our Terms of Use.

 

Marketing & Social Media for my Service? Where do I begin?

We know social media can be a powerful tool in communicating with both families and the wider community. Yes we get it! There can be concerns about using these tools but we have all your questions covered! We can assist your service in building a great social media presence. Social media verges on marketing your service too uniquely and here at The Pod we understand that what was once, families seeking out your service through word-of-mouth now also relies on important marketing strategies. We are currently working with renowned marketers Jack In The Box in developing marketing strategies from the Early Education and Care Sector. Watch this space!

Individuals and sponsors as Pod members?

The Pod is always interested in discussing opportunities with potential sponsors and partners. Exploring what future partners and sponsors can offer the amazing Educators of the South West is always welcomed. Find out how other Pod partners and sponsors are supporting those who care for and educate our future little possibilities here!

Affiliates as individuals who may not come from a specific service and are wanting to become paid members are absolutely most welcome! We love diversity and having different members means a greater wealth of shared experience, support and networking. Email us at hello@thepod.org.au to discuss rates for students and individual affiliates.