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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Can I Charge For Food Program?
threelittles 07:40 PM 05-07-2014
I have my meeting next Monday with the 4C lady but I am curious-- can I offer parents the option to be part of the food program? In other words, for $10 a week more I will provide food, otherwise they have to provide lunches (or infant formula/whatever)??

Or if I participate in the food program does it have to be for ALL of the kids? What about my own children, how does that work? Thanks!
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itlw8 07:47 PM 05-07-2014
If your income is low enough you may get paid for their meals IF other childcare children are also eating.

YOu have to offer it to all children but the parents can opt out if they have a problem with it. Some people do not believe in foodstamps, free and reduced lunch at school and the food program.

Yes you have to off formula to infants BUT if they do not want the formula you provide they can supply it and you still get paid up to 8 months and then you have to provide the food and they bring the breast milk or formula unless they decide the formula you provide will work.

No you may not charge families on the food program.
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MissAnn 07:48 PM 05-07-2014
Parents can opt out. You cannot charge those on the food program.
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threelittles 07:57 PM 05-07-2014
Originally Posted by itlw8:
If your income is low enough you may get paid for their meals IF other childcare children are also eating.

YOu have to offer it to all children but the parents can opt out if they have a problem with it. Some people do not believe in foodstamps, free and reduced lunch at school and the food program.

Yes you have to off formula to infants BUT if they do not want the formula you provide they can supply it and you still get paid up to 8 months and then you have to provide the food and they bring the breast milk or formula unless they decide the formula you provide will work.

No you may not charge families on the food program.
Thanks! (only if I meet income guidelines though for my own kids eh?) My kids certainly WILL eat with them, but I am certain I wouldn't meet income guidelines.It has to be both parts yes?
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melilley 08:00 PM 05-07-2014
Originally Posted by threelittles:
I have my meeting next Monday with the 4C lady but I am curious-- can I offer parents the option to be part of the food program? In other words, for $10 a week more I will provide food, otherwise they have to provide lunches (or infant formula/whatever)??

Or if I participate in the food program does it have to be for ALL of the kids? What about my own children, how does that work? Thanks!
I am a part of the 4c food program! Is Rita your rep?
Your own kids can be a part of the program, but you have to meet certain income guidelines. When I first opened last year, my ds was able to count, but this year we make too much so I can't claim him on it.

I swear she told me that I had to enroll all families, plus they make sure you aren't over capacity or you can loose the food program benefits. I may have misunderstood her.
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NoMoreJuice! 08:01 PM 05-07-2014
I get paid at a Tier 1 level because the elementary school that my house falls within the boundaries of is eligible. More than 50% of the students receive reduced lunches. My income wouldn't qualify me, but I qualified that way.
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melilley 08:05 PM 05-07-2014
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice!:
I get paid at a Tier 1 level because the elementary school that my house falls within the boundaries of is eligible. More than 50% of the students receive reduced lunches. My income wouldn't qualify me, but I qualified that way.
Same here, but I swear my FP sponsor messed up. Last year our district didn't qualify, but this year it did. Maybe it changed.
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threelittles 08:10 PM 05-07-2014
I definitely won't qualify my kids based on my school district either- it's one of the most affluent districts around

Hm.
If a parent opts out, could I offer them (per fee) to provide their children's lunches?

I am conflicted. I am only looking at having probably 2 (maaaaybe 3) kids that aren't my own. I am just not sure that it makes sense ...

I was thinking that if I didn't end up doing the food program perhaps I could give parents the option: 1) provide your child's own lunch (I would do breakfast and snack myself because that isn't much between 2 kids), or 2) pay $10 a week for me to provide your kids lunches.

I am very back and forth on this one. On the food program I would get $2.11/ kid per day for food. It seems like a lot of work, when half of the stuff on the approved food list isn't stuff I would feed anyhow (nuggets? french fries? corn dogs??)
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CraftyMom 08:34 PM 05-07-2014
If you're only taking 2 kids you may find it easier to just have the parents provide the food. If you have more than that the food program is worth it, I think it's worth it regardless. That extra check is nice every month!

It also depends on if you are a tier 1 area or tier 2. (tier 1 you get more)

I was surprised that I am a tier one so I get reimbursed at the higher rate, plus my kids.

You don't have to feed them chicken nuggets and corn dogs, you can feed them just about anything you would normally serve, the healthier the better. Preferably whole grains and low fat, low sodium, etc.
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Cradle2crayons 09:20 PM 05-07-2014
Originally Posted by threelittles:
I definitely won't qualify my kids based on my school district either- it's one of the most affluent districts around

Hm.
If a parent opts out, could I offer them (per fee) to provide their children's lunches?

I am conflicted. I am only looking at having probably 2 (maaaaybe 3) kids that aren't my own. I am just not sure that it makes sense ...

I was thinking that if I didn't end up doing the food program perhaps I could give parents the option: 1) provide your child's own lunch (I would do breakfast and snack myself because that isn't much between 2 kids), or 2) pay $10 a week for me to provide your kids lunches.

I am very back and forth on this one. On the food program I would get $2.11/ kid per day for food. It seems like a lot of work, when half of the stuff on the approved food list isn't stuff I would feed anyhow (nuggets? french fries? corn dogs??)
I would specifically ask your questions to your rep because every single program in every state does things a bit different even though it's a federal program.

I get more money by doing the IRS meal deduction and I can serve he kids whatever I want and don't have to fiddle with all the junk my local food program sponsor wants to make up rules about.

And I provide all food for all kids I just factor that in the weekly fee. I will NOT allow parents to send food here AT ALL. For lots of different reasons one being what if a child is allergic to peanuts and your house is peanut free but another child's parents send peanut butter sandwich and the other child grabs it. Or what if parents are constantly forgetting parts of meals. Not to mention nutrition issues with how parents feed kids. Just way too much liability. and I can't see saying "your weekly rate is $100 but I charge x more just for meals" most people assume the weekly rate includes food.
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TwinKristi 11:26 AM 05-08-2014
You can charge for meals OR participate in the Food Program, not both. You get the money to offset your meal costs so charging parents would be like double-dipping.
I'm Tier 1 and my 4 younger kids qualify based on the school district and our income (since we have 6 kids and both dh & I are self-employed) so my 3 kids plus the daycare kids all qualify. It's a nice chunk of change every month, that's for sure. On good months it's like $650, other slower months are more like $450. But we spend a lot on food so it just makes a dent in it for sure. I buy mostly organic and have a gluten free guy, lactose free guy, egg white free girl...
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itlw8 09:36 PM 05-08-2014
remember just because you CAN serve processed foods does not mean you have to. In fact they would prefer you would not. They take one step at a time to get people to serve them healthy meals. Hot dogs and corn Dogs are limited per week. I expect in the next several year nuggets will be the same unless home made.
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