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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Advertising You're On The Food Program
craftymissbeth 08:34 PM 10-17-2013
I have a question for those on the food program. I'm not on it so I was curious if others do this, also...

I've noticed that in my area almost all of the providers advertise that they are "on the such and such food program". I just wonder why they feel the need to advertise this. I understand that the FP is there to help provide healthier meals and snacks for the dck's, but I wonder why they feel the need to put it out there for prospective families that they get reimbursed for food...

Does anyone else include that they participate in the food program in their advertisements?
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craftymissbeth 08:35 PM 10-17-2013
oh and I'm in no way saying the FP is bad... I'm just curious about the including it in advertising
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Unregistered 08:41 PM 10-17-2013
Food program pays for formula. Which can be a big selling point for parents with infants...saving money. At least that's what I have been told. I'm not on the FP.
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daycare 08:49 PM 10-17-2013
I push the selling point that I can't serve junk food while on this program so they can rest assure that their child will get a healthy home cooked meal.

Another selling point is that it helps to pay for those healthier foods at absolutely zero cost to the parents.

I also use the fact that I get a quarterly unannounced visit from the FP, in CA if your not on the food program you normally won't get a visit but once every 3 years. So it invites them into our home.

It also helps to set a consistent healthy routine for all the children with a consistent set meal times
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Leigh 08:49 PM 10-17-2013
There are a lot of daycares that just don't feed kids well, I think the food program is a great selling point in my area. I have heard from lots of parents that the food program is part of why they made the initial phone call to me. My sponsor told me that there are LOTS of daycares feeding kids the cheapest stuff they can find, and serving hot dogs, mac & cheese, ramen noodles, and such to get by as cheap as they can. My kids get homemade food every day, balanced meals, lots of variety, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. And the formula is a HUGE selling point to parents of newborns.
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kelsey's kids 08:49 PM 10-17-2013
I advertise it because then they know the food is being regularly inspected and healthy. And most providers in my area who are not on the fp dont supply food. So it is a big selling point
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TwinKristi 11:02 PM 10-17-2013
Originally Posted by daycare:
I push the selling point that I can't serve junk food while on this program so they can rest assure that their child will get a healthy home cooked meal.

Another selling point is that it helps to pay for those healthier foods at absolutely zero cost to the parents.

I also use the fact that I get a quarterly unannounced visit from the FP, in CA if your not on the food program you normally won't get a visit but once every 3 years. So it invites them into our home.

It also helps to set a consistent healthy routine for all the children with a consistent set meal times
This! I want parents to know I can't just serve junk food and that the meals are partially subsidized so i won't be taking shortcuts to save money. They pay a fair wage and I get a subsidy towards food. I serve a lot of organic stuff, rarely not fresh fruits and veggies, homemade muffins, etc, no juice, no junk.
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Karena 11:39 PM 10-17-2013
Like some of the others I advertise the fp too to let parents know I care about serving healthy meals and snacks, and also to let them know I provide them, and they don't need to bring food.
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Karena 11:43 PM 10-17-2013
I don't necessarily bring up the point of it being a reimbursement program, although it does come up sometimes, I explain that I participate in this food program and it is through the CACFP; the paper they fill out is a necessary part of my participation with this program, and that it is regulated.
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Play Care 04:16 AM 10-18-2013
Originally Posted by TwinKristi:
This! I want parents to know I can't just serve junk food and that the meals are partially subsidized so i won't be taking shortcuts to save money. They pay a fair wage and I get a subsidy towards food. I serve a lot of organic stuff, rarely not fresh fruits and veggies, homemade muffins, etc, no juice, no junk.


This. And it's one more "check and balance" to put parents at ease.
Advertising you are participate in the food program lets parents know that:

1. They won't have to provide food. HUGE incentive for parents. (my own kids insist on homemade lunches for school and honestly, it's such a pain )
2. The food must meet certain requirements (I know my FP sponsor does tell providers if they are serving too much "junk" and takes meals away if they don't change things up)
3. Someone is coming into check you are actually feeding the children healthy foods (some might argue that the FP allows things that are not the healthiest - but that's something parents can look into when looking for care - many providers use this money to make sure kids are eating meals from scratch, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You know when you talk to some providers where they stand on nutrition)
4. Done correctly, the FP actually allows you to keep your prices DOWN. This is especially true if you are getting Tier 1. I know a while back I was stressing over high food prices and I was notified I was now Tier 1 instead of Tier 2. My reimbursement went up considerably so I didn't have to raise tuition. By buying in bulk, making my own foods, etc. I can make money.

This is what I highlight in my interviews anyway
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MissAnn 04:31 AM 10-18-2013
I hope I don't step on toes, but I'm amazed at the amount of people who are on FP and serve chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other junk food.
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blandino 06:14 AM 10-18-2013
Originally Posted by MissAnn:
I hope I don't step on toes, but I'm amazed at the amount of people who are on FP and serve chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other junk food.
I serve chicken nuggets, but they are home made.
I serve hot dogs, but they are nitrate free, grass fed, all beef hot dogs.

I think it helps put parents at ease because the meals are "approved by the state". Now, I think that he guidelines that the state uses are ridiculous, and I don't think most parents know that spam is credible under those guidelines, they might not be so impressed if they knew that. But I think they like it because they know that at least the meals will be balanced, and are going to include fruits and vegetables.
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daycarediva 06:24 AM 10-18-2013
Originally Posted by MissAnn:
I hope I don't step on toes, but I'm amazed at the amount of people who are on FP and serve chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other junk food.
I also do homemade nuggets and I am serving hot dogs (nitrate free, grass fed, organic turkey dogs) for the first time on Halloween!

Originally Posted by blandino:
I serve chicken nuggets, but they are home made.
I serve hot dogs, but they are nitrate free, grass fed, all beef hot dogs.

I think it helps put parents at ease because the meals are "approved by the state". Now, I think that he guidelines that the state uses are ridiculous, and I don't think most parents know that spam is credible under those guidelines, they might not be so impressed if they knew that. But I think they like it because they know that at least the meals will be balanced, and are going to include fruits and vegetables.
FP is a selling point, my MENU is more so. Mostly organic, home made, healthy, variety, no canned food, etc.
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Play Care 06:45 AM 10-18-2013
Originally Posted by MissAnn:
I hope I don't step on toes, but I'm amazed at the amount of people who are on FP and serve chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other junk food.
But this is something a parent can suss out in the interview. Most people who serve those types of food see nothing "wrong" with it. They don't know that veggies shouldn't come from a can, or that spaghetti is anything other then Chef Boyardee (sp?). I remember years ago when I worked in a day hab for disabled adults the woman in charge of teaching cooking was essentially teaching the folks how to reheat processed food When it was pointed out to her that she was supposed to be teaching them to cook from "scratch," she had no idea what that meant... IMO, this has nothing to do with the food program, but is more about the provider and their level of education, or their tolerance for seeing healthy, homemade foods tossed in the trash because the dck's aren't used to eating those types of foods.

I don't serve hotdogs because I think they are gross. And I'm not paying a fortune for "healthier" versions because I see no need to serve them at all. The only thing I buy organic are the fruits and veggies on the dirty dozen list - I refuse to buy organic junk food (so no cheddar bunnies, pirate booty, or boxed mac and cheese, etc.)
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Blackcat31 06:53 AM 10-18-2013
Originally Posted by MissAnn:
I hope I don't step on toes, but I'm amazed at the amount of people who are on FP and serve chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other junk food.
The sad part isn't that some providers feed the children these things, the sad part is the food program actually approves of it.
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wonderfullisa 08:18 AM 10-18-2013
I literally signed up yesterday, and have spent the morning flipping through my handbook.
Really? Coffee cake and corn dogs are reimbursable? If I ensure that my CAKE has 1/8 cup of fruit in it, I can use it, but I can't do the same for my 100% whole wheat Zucchini bread? Silliness (yes, i know it can count for the bread, at least).
But it seems to be silliness that will give me extra money, so I'll play by the rules and take it.
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TwinKristi 08:27 AM 10-18-2013
Well I admit I serve nuggets and hotdogs on occasion but I buy 100% beef, kosher, gluten free, expensive hotdogs, not even the Ballpark mystery meat hotdogs. I also only serve DinoNuggets from Costco that are all natural GMO, antibiotic, hormone free chicken from Canada, which has higher guidelines on food safety than the US does. I use 100% all natural peanut butter not Jif or Skippy. I use organic jelly/jam and often locally grown and processed jams. I buy local milk and eggs the vast majority of the time. "Nuggets and hotdogs" can vary greatly so I don't think it's fair to judge. And I believe that combined with healthy foods there's nothing wrong with it.
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