FAQ Teacher

GENERAL

Play Sense Playschools take place weekday mornings, Monday to Friday, from 08h30 to 12h00. As a Play Sense teacher, you can adjust the start and end time as needed, whilst ensuring a full 3 ½ hour program is maintained. The online program runs 5 days per week, and the in-home program requires a minimum of 3 days per week, although it is recommended that teachers do not limit their days as this can limit their potential to fill and grow their playschools.

All of our in-home teachers are allowed to teach online and have access to the online curriculum and training material, but it does not work the other way. If you are an online licensee interested in running an in-home Play Sense playschool, then we will happily migrate you across to a new legal agreement. Running an in-home playschool has different criteria, and is a more significant investment than an online playschool as you need to purchase the Play Sense Kit.

There is no renewal fee.

Once you have entered the program and signed your contract, we either place you in a host home with a group that has been waiting for a teacher, or we advertise to find you a group and host home as soon as possible. We will open your school from the moment you are ready. It can take a few months to grow your playschool, but we are constantly advertising the program and prioritise marketing for teachers with the lowest numbers in their groups. We cannot guarantee how long it will take to get a group going, nor are we able to guarantee the number of children in your group.

If your own child is between the ages of 2-4, they can join your online group, however, for in-home playschools it is advisable that teachers do not enrol their own child in their playschool unless absolutely necessary. If you want your child to join your playschool, we ask that teachers consider the matter carefully. The in-home playschool is a small, intimate environment and having your own child in your group can pose problems and create an unhappy dynamic for both the teacher and their child, and the rest of the children and parents in the group. A teacher who does enrol their child will be required to pay a royalty for their child as if they are earning income from them.

Teachers are encouraged to market their own group – whether it’s online or in-home. We will provide professionally produced marketing material and ideas and resources including posters, flyers, car magnets or material for social media posts. In terms of allocating children to your playschool, our customer services team will assist you with onboarding new families if your contract stipulates this level of business and administrative support.

Play Sense does not operate in line with any local school calendars, terms or semesters. Playschools are closed on religious and national holidays and teachers are entitled to take up to 7 weeks of paid leave annually.

The teacher’s paid leave period will be discussed and decided upon between the teacher and parents at an individual playschool level, with a fair amount of notice given to the parents to give them time to arrange alternative childcare during the teacher’s leave. Traditionally, there is a 4 week closure over the summer with the remaining 3 weeks taken throughout the rest of the school year. Dates will differ according to territory and teacher.

If teachers take unplanned leave for sickness or family responsibility, they can use their annual leave; or make up the day if the playschool runs less than 5 days per week; or take unpaid leave and refund the parents; or find a suitable substitute who they will pay a fee to conduct the program on their behalf.

It depends on the length of time. If it’s ad-hoc and for short periods, the teacher is responsible for instructing and paying the substitute. If it’s for a long period of time – e.g. maternity or long-term illness, then Play Sense will need to be involved in vetting and the substitute for the role, however, the teacher would still train and pay the substitute.

Maternity leave is discussed and agreed at an individual playschool level. Depending on the time of year and how long a teacher plans to take leave, it is sometimes best to replace the teacher in the host home and put the teacher returning from maternity leave into a new host home. If the playschool is run from the teacher’s home, a substitute will be needed for the duration until the teacher returns.

Play Sense admin team will ensure all parents are billed and pay their invoices in a timely manner. There is a clear debt management protocol that is followed if needed.

All teacher training is conducted in English. The Play Sense In-home curriculum is available in English and Afrikaans. The Play Sense Online curriculum is only available in English to both parents and teachers. In South Africa, we do have Afrikaans teachers that conduct Online Groups in Afrikaans, but they translate the online curriculum themselves as they work through the program with their playschool. We would happily allow for teachers to translate the curriculum into their preferred language – please speak to Play Sense Management if this is something you’re interested in pursuing.

All the required training for Play Sense Programs is conducted online. After a successful application, you will be invited to join one of the upcoming monthly intakes.

 

For the in-home program, new teachers are required to visit a local group in person prior to signing a contract and to complete 2 weeks of job shadowing, where possible, as part of their training.

 

NOTE: This will be continuously evaluated according to local regulations and restrictions due to COVID-19 and is not a requirement in every territory.

 

Online teachers review videos sessions of online playschools and are also allocated a mentor as part of the post-training process to provide support, guidance and additional training.

All trained Play Sense teachers get access to the curriculum through our online learning platform.

Some fees are payable upon signing – this will depend on the program you join, and payment plan option selected. Monthly royalties are due from the moment you are earning an income. More information on fees, royalties and payments can be requested from our admin team.

No, we do not assign specific territories at Play Sense. Because our group sizes are small, we can have multiple in-home and online playschools running in the same areas – it all depends on local demand. We will discuss your regional opportunity with you during the recruitment process.

Fees are researched and set in accordance with market-related fees for the area.

This will depend on the program you run, the number of children in your group, and the area you operate in. Please discuss your income potential with a member of the Play Sense team.

This will differ according to whether you sign up to the Online or In-Home Program and your contract will outline all termination clauses and notice periods. Please check with our admin team what applies to you.

Play Sense enrolments are open all year long because admission is based on the age of the child and not the time of year. Children can enrol from 22 months and leave the program at the end of the year in which they turn 4.

Parents are required to provide one calendar months’ notice when leaving a playschool, however, a minimum 2-month notice period applies should they leave an in-home playschool before the summer break if they do not plan on their child returning in the new school year. 

IN-HOME PLAYSCHOOL

Some ECD programs are exempt from registration and licensing, depending on the type of program and where and when it operates.

 

In South Africa, as an example, the government requires that only playschools with more than 6 children register with the Department of Social Development. Since Play Sense playschools accommodate for 6 or fewer children, they are not required to register.

 

Even if a program is exempt from registration or a license, Play Sense teachers will follow the guidelines of the early childhood regulations in a local territory to ensure the expected standards are met.

Yes, teachers are trained in First Aid & CPR and required to keep their certification up to date every second year. Play Sense offers an internationally recognised First Aid certification.

Yes, all teachers will need police clearance prior to signing a contract and will need to update it annually.

Teachers are required to invest in a Play Kit for in-home playschools. The kit contains everything the teacher needs to run the program and the equipment is very specifically aligned to the curriculum. Consumables do run low, and teachers are able to levy small amounts to parents within reason.

The teacher is always with the children and toileting is carried out as a group (whether children are wearing nappies or using the toilet in potty training). Children learn from each other in this regard e.g. we all wash hands even if one child 'goes to the toilet' and soon they are determined to also have a turn sitting on a potty or toilet, for example. Same with changing nappies. It usually is part of the routine of the morning. Everyone sits on their little cushion and waits their turn for a nappy change whilst looking at books/puzzles. The same “cushion” concept can be applied to attending to injury.

Play Sense will assist in advertising for a host home for your micro-playschool, and if we have a host homes waiting on a teacher in your territory, we try to place you in a group as close to your home as possible, but this cannot always be guaranteed.

The key benefits of hosting an in-home playschool are that their child is in the security of their own home and the parent has the convenience of not being tied to drop off and pick up times. In addition, we offer a discount on the placement fee as well as a monthly discount on school fees – the monthly host discount is deducted from the teacher’s gross income. Please check with your local Play Sense management regarding the host home discount offered in your area.

If there are any people who come to the home for work in the home/deliveries, the teacher is notified beforehand. If any prospective parents want to visit the group during class time, proof of identification is required before the visit and the host parents are informed of the visit.

 

Play Sense has emergency plan procedures in place, and this includes protocols for security. Only listed adults are authorised to collect the children. If the teacher is not notified by the parent of someone, not on the list collecting their child, he/she will not be allowed to leave premises.

Host homes come in all shapes and sizes, but the room where the playschool takes place must be a minimum size as dictated by local regulations. This can be a shared living space in the home (sitting room or dining room, etc.) or a separate room (converted garage, sunroom, etc.). There also needs to be a fenced outside area where the children can play safely, with water hazards and pets screened off. All host homes are thoroughly checked and assessed for safety before being approved as a venue, and the teacher is responsible for the monitoring of safety hazards daily. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about hosting.

Play Sense will ensure that both the company and the teacher are covered by insurance. Host Parents have to commit to having Third Party insurance (which comes with their household policy). If there is an incident that is unrelated to the business’s activities, (e.g. a tile falling off the roof and hurting a child) and it happens while the teacher is at the third party's house, the Host Home’s Thirds party insurance will cover the incident. If there is a link to the teacher’s activities and responsibility, the teacher is covered by their insurance.

You may request a copy of the Health & Safety Regulations for your territory. This document is continuously reviewed and updated according to local regulations.

ONLINE PROGRAM

Parents are required to submit certified copies of IDs and Birth Certificates before joining an online playschool. Teachers are required to meet with new parents and children in a one-on-one session to verify their identity prior to the child joining their first online session. Video cameras have to be kept on at all times during the session, and all online sessions are password protected. Classes may be recorded for training purposes but not without prior consent from teachers and parents.

Play Sense Online playschools run 5 days a week.

Each group has a morning ring between 08h30 and 09h30 and a second session at approximately 11h30 for reflection time. Online teachers are required to be available all morning to support and assist parents with home activities or conduct a one-to-one call with a child.

Each session is approximately 30-45 minutes each.

You can run an online playschool for children in your region or have English-speaking children from other countries in your playschool. This will be dependent on local demand and time-zone restrictions, and parents will either enrol directly in your online playschool via the Play Sense website or you will be allocated children to your school on an enquiry basis.

For the online program, there is no upfront investment for equipment. It is up to the teacher to purchase props and items according to the theme in order to ‘set the scene’ for their virtual classroom, and to purchase the consumable materials to experience first-hand how to conduct the daily activities so that they are able to provide virtual support and instructions to parents.