FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is your age range and class size?
We accept children from 18 months to 3.5 years of age. Our class size is maxed at 12 children per day. Our teacher to child ratio is typically 1:3.
What is your daily schedule and how often will my child attend?
We are open 5 mornings a week and your child will attend 3 mornings a week. We are open from 9 AM to 1 PM. We do not offer full days at this time.
What participation is required by parents?
A parent works, or "PODs," once per week for 4-hour shift (on one of the days that their child attends). You are also asked to complete 4 hours of assigned committee work per month. Either parent, or even a grandparent, can POD or do committee work, though training is required by anyone who wishes to POD.
Do I always work the same shift?
Not necessarily. Flexibility is required so that the community can work together to meet the needs of the other parents and children.
How much does your program cost?
Our monthly tuition is $225 per month. To enroll, families pay a $110 registration fee plus the first and last month's program fees before their first day in the program. Families additionally pay an annual insurance fee of $200 after their third month of joining the program.
How long do I have to commit to the program?
We ask that each new family commit to 9 months and pay a last month’s deposit. We understand that life happens and some families will not be able to fulfill this commitment, in which case, the deposit will be forfeited.
Do you offer a tour?
We offer a tour every third Monday of the month at 9:30 AM. Tours are scheduled in advance. On the tour, we offer an overview of our philosophy and facility while school is in progress to ensure that Pea Pod is the right choice for your family. Please contact us at to be added to the next tour.
Do you have a wait list?
Yes. The length of the wait list varies by time of year. Interested families must attend a tour before being added to the wait list. We can provide more info about the projected wait at that time.
Who provides snack and lunch?
You are responsible for packing a lunch for your child each day that he or she attends Pea Pod. Snacks are provided by a rotating schedule of parents. Specifically, once during your time at Pea Pod, you will do a 2 week snack rotation in which you are in charge of bringing in snack and setting the menu. Parents are reimbursed by Pea Pod for expenses. We ask that everyone provide organic snacks when possible, especially foods on the Dirty Dozen list.
What is your potty training policy?
Your child does not need to be potty trained to attend Pea Pod. Most children entering the playschool program are not potty trained. We do support potty training as a community and will offer your child time to sit on the potty as needed.
What if I have a younger or older sibling? May I bring them along?
Yes, we have a parent to child ratio of 1:3 in order to allow for parents to bring a tag-a-long which can be either an infant or an older sibling.
Do you have a maternity policy?
Yes, birthing families are supported by the community with 1 week of maternity leave per month of participation in the program, for up to 6 weeks, prior to your baby’s birth. That means you may drop off your participating child without working your shift. Monthly programs fees must be paid even if you or your child does not attend during this time.
Do you follow the Portland Public School calendar? What days are you closed?
We are open all year round and do not follow the PPS schedule. We are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Other days surrounding holidays are subject to group decision.
What if I want to go on vacation?
Monthly program fees must still be paid, but you are welcome to go on vacation at any time. If your child does not attend that week, then you do not have to work shift or make it up.
What if I get sick or my child gets sick? How do I cover my shift?
We have a back-up system in place that includes a backup shift worker for each day. If you cannot attend on a shift day, it is your responsibility to call the backup as soon as you are aware of your situation. It is also your responsibility to pay that shift worker back by working a shift for them as soon as possible.
What if my child still naps?
Early pick-ups are totally fine. Please let shift workers know in advance. Often, parents will arrive at 12:30pm, just after lunch, in order to take their child home for an afternoon nap.
What is Positive Discipline?
There are 5 criteria for Positive Discipline:
1. It helps children feel a sense of connection through belonging and significance.
2. It is respectful and encouraging by implementing kindness and firmness at the same time.
3. It is effective long-term because it avoids punishments as a method of teaching. Discipline is interpreted as "to teach" and not as "to punish".
4. It teaches valuable social and life skills for developing a good character through emotional intelligence.
5. It invites children to discover how capable they are and promotes constructive use of autonomy.