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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Participation in The Food Program
srini28 08:12 PM 12-12-2016
If you are a daycare provider, do you participate in the food program? If not, why?

Are there any statistics or data on the number or percentage of child daycare centers participating in the food program?

I am helping my friend who's a daycare owner (and my daughter's care provider) get on the program and would love to hear your input!
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AmyKidsCo 08:38 PM 12-12-2016
Yes, I have for over 20 years but don't know about statistics.

In WI the licensing requirements for meals/snacks are the same as food program requirements. So I'm getting reimbursed for doing what I'd have to do anyway.

Even if the requirements weren't the same I'd be on the food program because it's extra income. Unless you require parents to provide the food you'll have to feed them anyway, so why not get a little money back.
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midaycare 08:59 PM 12-12-2016
I have my own idea of healthy that does not always line up with the food program. I serve more vegetarian meals than they like, and less grains.

My food rep loves my meals, even if they aren't hitting the guidelines. I still make what I make, and don't worry about getting everything correct. 90% of the time, I'm good and get reimbursed.

My food rep uses me as an example for other daycare providers and I'm the one she always takes the state of MI rep too So I get a lot of visits when I'm signed up. I'm Tier 2. Minimal money. $150- $190 per month. There are people on here than can make 10K on the food program with Tier 1.

I've been signed up and went off for awhile, now I'm back on. I just don't like the visits. And the extra visits to show me off. Ain't no one got time for that!
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LysesKids 09:17 PM 12-12-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I have my own idea of healthy that does not always line up with the food program. I serve more vegetarian meals than they like, and less grains.

My food rep loves my meals, even if they aren't hitting the guidelines. I still make what I make, and don't worry about getting everything correct. 90% of the time, I'm good and get reimbursed.

My food rep uses me as an example for other daycare providers and I'm the one she always takes the state of MI rep too So I get a lot of visits when I'm signed up. I'm Tier 2. Minimal money. $150- $190 per month. There are people on here than can make 10K on the food program with Tier 1.

I've been signed up and went off for awhile, now I'm back on. I just don't like the visits. And the extra visits to show me off. Ain't no one got time for that!
I get this totally... I run similar to you and I was on the program for 2 months just 2 years ago; I do infants only and refuse to do cereal... that right there screws me for new regulations - that plus my kids like to flip flop naps & meals a lot; not cool when it's visiting day. My rep & I agreed that as much as she loved my menus that it wasn't worth the paperwork or trouble unless I was full with 4 kids on a regular schedule (yep, timetables not happening with babies)
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Play Care 04:20 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
Yes, I have for over 20 years but don't know about statistics.

In WI the licensing requirements for meals/snacks are the same as food program requirements. So I'm getting reimbursed for doing what I'd have to do anyway.

Even if the requirements weren't the same I'd be on the food program because it's extra income. Unless you require parents to provide the food you'll have to feed them anyway, so why not get a little money back.
This. It's extra paperwork, but minimal. The bottom line is per my State regs, I have to do it this way anyway. Even if the parent's provided the meals I would still need to make sure I had components on hand in case a child didn't have one. May as well get paid for it.
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daycarediva 05:52 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by Play Care:
This. It's extra paperwork, but minimal. The bottom line is per my State regs, I have to do it this way anyway. Even if the parent's provided the meals I would still need to make sure I had components on hand in case a child didn't have one. May as well get paid for it.
Yep. Even though I am on the lower level tier, I get reimbursed about $250-275/month. It's about a week's worth of groceries.

Slightly off topic- I just attended a training where they touched based on new FP regs for next year. No sweet grains at all (graham crackers, sweet cereals). Veggies at snacks, and reducing the grain component! I already do that anyway, but it's nice to see some healthy changes.

midaycare- I do a few vegetarian meals now. I would love to go full veggie, or even fish only on Fridays or something. I just don't have the menu ideas. (hint hint)
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midaycare 06:01 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by daycarediva:


midaycare- I do a few vegetarian meals now. I would love to go full veggie, or even fish only on Fridays or something. I just don't have the menu ideas. (hint hint)
I love to recipe share I will start a thread in off topics today with some of the kids' favorites.
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Blackcat31 06:29 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I love to recipe share I will start a thread in off topics today with some of the kids' favorites.
We have an entire forum section for recipes, lunch, snack and meal ideas....

https://www.daycare.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=6
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midaycare 06:33 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
We have an entire forum section for recipes, lunch, snack and meal ideas....

https://www.daycare.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=6
Awesome, then I'm not even needed
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Blackcat31 06:41 AM 12-13-2016
Tom Copeland has a good article about the food program and it's benefits.

http://tomcopelandblog.com/is-the-food-program-worth-it

He has several great articles about food program topics

http://tomcopelandblog.com/page/2?s=...rogram&x=0&y=0
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Blackcat31 06:42 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
Awesome, then I'm not even needed
Of course you are! Share any and all recipes!

The more the better!! Im always looking for new ideas for healthy eating
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midaycare 06:47 AM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Of course you are! Share any and all recipes!

The more the better!! Im always looking for new ideas for healthy eating
I will see what I can add to it today
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daycarediva 12:38 PM 12-13-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I will see what I can add to it today
YAY!!! I can start January with some new menu options!

A few of my current meat free meals are- (all homemade/scratch)

spanish rice and beans
black beans and quinoa
greens and beans over pasta
vegetarian chili
Lentil soup
cheese quesadillas
bean burritos- black bean tacos, bean dip
quiche/egg dishes

My kids also like to dip, so I do hummus as a protein sub often. I also do a lot of finger food meals; garbanzo beans, edamame as protein subs since those are a HUGE hit.

THANK YOU!!!
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cassiesue 08:26 AM 12-14-2016
I do not participate yet. It is on my mental to do list to check it out. I am such a procrastinator. I was concerned it would be too much additional work.
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Snowmom 08:34 AM 12-14-2016
If I wasn't Tier 1, I wouldn't participate.

Like some others, I don't agree with some of the requirements. However, any extra income can really help.

It's basically a wash at the end of the year with taxes.
But, I do enter any extra snacks I serve in Minute Menu (like birthday treats, party treats or added snacks). Even if they aren't approved. It helps keep track of extra meals I can claim on taxes.
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srini28 03:44 PM 12-15-2016
Thanks a lot everyone for the great answers and recipe ideas! Love this forum already :-).
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Tags:food program, food program - massachusetts, self-employment income tax rate
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