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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>No Longer Providing Breakfast and Lunch
DancingQueen 06:18 AM 09-09-2010
I've made a decision that effective 1/1/11 I am no longer going to provide breakfast and lunch. I've given all of my parents ample notice (they've known since June). I wanted to be as fair as possible in letting them know.

one of my biggest reason is that everyone is so incredibly picky. I go through so much waste. My rates are incredilby low for my area and I just can't keep up the expense of providing food - not to mention the work that goes into it. I've decided that everyone will bring a packed lunch (as if they were bringing their lunch to school) and I will include myself and my children in this. We will all have a packed lunch that we will open at the same time and eat. I'm looking forward to being able to sit and eat with them and chat rather than play waitress.


I have a new parent that started mid August. They had been waiting for a spot for quite a while. I told them when they signed my contract that I'd continue to provide B & L until the end of this year but 1/1 that changes. I will still provide snacks and drinks - but thats it. They were fine with it.

all of a sudden they want to "discuss" this. They feel that I should make an exception for their daughter because their daughter is not a picky eater and won't waste any food.
I was so irritated after talking to them because of the assumption that I'd make an exception for their child and not anyone else. Why do so many parents seem to feel as though their child is the only one in my care?


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Lilbutterflie 07:30 AM 09-09-2010
I would be really irritated too! You can't make an exception for one child! Can you just imagine, all of the other kids have packed lunches (lunchables, pb&j, etc...) and here you are in the kitchen preparing a lunch for ONE child! When they sit down to lunch, all of the other children are wondering why you aren't able to provide lunch for them, too. And, preparing lunch for just one person is sometimes wasteful in and of itself! If you wanted to make her Mac&chz, you would have to make the whole entree just for her. I cannot believe they would suggest that! They must not have thought this through or tried to think of what that would be like for the other kids.
I would just explain that you cannot make exceptions for any child, with any of your policies. End of story.
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DCMomOf3 09:04 AM 09-09-2010
i would stick to your bagged lunch.

If they want an execption and you were willing to compromise, you could say you would provide her with a bagged cold lunch at $3 or $4 a meal extra expense.
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misol 09:31 AM 09-09-2010
They were aware of the change you were making BEFORE they signed on so I would say no excceptions. Everyone is the same across the board and that is fair.

Mealtime is a pain. Meals and snacks are standard in my area, otherwise I would consider this too.

Do you have something in your policies that states what will happen if a parent forgets the child's food? Like will you charge a breakfast or lunch fee for the day?
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marniewon 09:47 AM 09-09-2010
I like Quincy's idea - you would already be making a bagged lunch ahead of time for yourself and your own children, it probably wouldn't take much time at all to make up one more, and be making a profit too
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DancingQueen 10:03 AM 09-09-2010
I like that idea a lot but I think I'll just make it clear it is not an option - and save the charging for when people forget their lunches.
I want to make the charge sting - because although the profit sounds nice - I just don't want to deal with it at all adn I want to discourage it the forgetting of the lunch..LOL
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TGT09 11:21 AM 09-09-2010
I just got through my first year of daycare and I've come to realize that exceptions are not allowed nor good business practice. You allow an exception by one and it snow balls....this family in particular that you allow the lunch exception for will think they can have exceptions for other things not to mention it makes you look like you have no backbone because you aren't willing to stand up for your policy.
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melskids 11:28 AM 09-09-2010
i just wanted to point out....make SURE you make it VERY clear that you want already prepared meals. back when i didnt provide meals, and required them to send food, i would get one kid with a can of soup, one with a box of mac n cheese, sometimes soggy uncooked fish sticks or chicken nuggets, and one with the pb, jelly, and bread all seperate. so i would still be in the kitchen doing a bunch of cooking.
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misol 11:36 AM 09-09-2010
Originally Posted by melskids:
i just wanted to point out....make SURE you make it VERY clear that you want already prepared meals. back when i didnt provide meals, and required them to send food, i would get one kid with a can of soup, one with a box of mac n cheese, sometimes soggy uncooked fish sticks or chicken nuggets, and one with the pb, jelly, and bread all seperate. so i would still be in the kitchen doing a bunch of cooking.
Ahhhh, that's a very good point. I saw a contract from a center doing summer care that required the children to bring a bagged lunch. It went on to say that the lunches must be ready to eat and need no heating, refrigeration, or other preparation.
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countrymom 11:50 AM 09-09-2010
if I was a parent, that would be such a pain for me. I make 4 lunches in the morning for my 4 kids and its so hard just get healthy food and things that can sit around for a bit in their lunch bags. Your also opening a can of worms, where if one kid has something then another child will want it too.
How much do you charge a day, maybe increase your rates. Also, what are you making the kids that you are throwing away so much. I put just a little on their plates because you can always come back for more, so this way I'm not throwing food away.
Also, to me, its easier to feed the kids so I know everyone eats than having kids come to my house with no breakfast.
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Live and Learn 12:12 PM 09-09-2010
New to this forum.
My families each supply their own lunches and it goes just fine.
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DancingQueen 12:25 PM 09-09-2010
I've had my kids in daycare and provided their meals. It never seemed like a hassle to me. Probably because my kids have always packed their own lunches though..lol

I know that initially I'll deal with everyone wanting what everyone else has but if I'm consistant with my answers I'm sure that will end pretty quickly.

My biggest problem is that I have some VERY picky eaters.
Mac and Cheese - 2 will eat and 2 will not
nuggets and FF - 1 will eat nuggets, 1 will eat FF but the other two won't touch either
pbutter & Jelly - 2 will eat, 1 will sometimes and other won't touch it
grilled cheese - 3 will eat it
tuna - 2 will eat it
apples 3 will eat
apple sauce 2 will eat
pears - 3 will eat
no one will touch any good stuff, stew, soups, pasta, lunch meat and so on (except for my child & and the one that wants the exception)

and the list goes on - regardless of what I make someone isn't eating unless I make a 2ndary meal. and then I'm dealing with the "I want that" anyways. So I'd rather have this be on the parents shoulders. If the kids complain about their lunches I'll let them know they'll ahve to talk to mom and dad about that.

And then the waitress portion of it is crazy.
Can I have more juice
Can I have another piece of sandwich
can I have some too
can I have another apple slice
can I have more ketchup
can I have water
I want milk

it is the entire time and I am just tired of it - plus I've been providing breakfast too (low key - very simple things).

I charge 140 per week - my area average is about 170

I'd rather have parents pay the same rate and provide lunches.

I spoke to several providers before I became licensed and several told me not to provide lunch - they said I'd regret it. And they were right.
So far all of the parents have completely understood and have no issues with it. Even this one parent didn't when we originally spoke.

Owell - I'm sticking to my guns and 1/1 can't come soon enough - 6 month notice was too much
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ninosqueridos 12:32 PM 09-09-2010
Providers around here also warned me about providing meals and I'm glad I listened to them and only provide snack. My dcp's actually provide snacks, too, even though I offered to from the beginning! All I have to do is warm up their snacks and sometimes cut up or peel fruits, but that doesn't bother me. Even if you don't provide lunch, you will still have the waitress duties to an extent...I just consider it part of the job. Good luck! And NO exceptions for the new child.
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Michael 02:40 PM 09-09-2010
Originally Posted by Live and Learn:
New to this forum.
My families each supply their own lunches and it goes just fine.
Welcome to the Daycare Forum! PM me if you need any assistance with our features.
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Former Teacher 04:38 PM 09-09-2010
I have copied and pasted from TX Minuium Standards regarding meals. I just wanted to provide some info. Your state might be different

For TX Day Cares:

May parents provide meals and/or snacks for their children instead of my child-care center providing these?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

Medium (a) Yes; however, your enrollment agreement signed by the parent must include a statement that the parent is choosing to provide the child’s meals and/or snacks from home and the parent understands the child-care center is not responsible for its nutritional value or for meeting the child’s daily food needs.

Medium (b) If the parent provides a meal but not a snack, you are responsible for providing a snack as specified in §746.3307 of this title (relating to What kind of foods must I serve for snacks?).

Medium (c) You must provide safe and proper storage and service of the individual meals and snacks provided by parents.

Medium (d) You must ensure meals and snacks provided by a parent and shared with other children meet the needs of children who require special diets.

For Day Care Homes:

§747.3109
May parents provide meals and/or snacks for their children instead of my child-care home providing them?
Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

Medium (a) Yes; however, your enrollment agreement signed by the parent must include a statement that the parent is choosing to provide the child’s meals and/or snacks from home and the parent understands the child-care home is not responsible for its nutritional value or for meeting the child’s daily food needs;

Medium (b) If the parent provides a meal but not a snack, you are responsible for providing a snack as specified in §747.3107 of this title (relating to What kind of foods must I serve for snacks?);

Medium (c) You must provide safe and proper storage and service of the individual meals and snacks provided by parents; and

Medium (d) Meals and snacks provided by a parent must not be shared with other children, unless a parent is providing baked goods for a celebration or party being held at the operation.

Just a FYI
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SilverSabre25 04:52 PM 09-09-2010
I know you've already made you decision about the lunches, but I just wanted to respond to your most recent post about the "I want more" or "I want something different"--I have recently started doing things family style, so the sandwiches are cut into small pieces and on the table, and the fruit and veggie and whatever else are in bowls on the table and the kids serve themselves. This is going over VERY well--less trouble for me and they feel so grown-up and independent. Maybe you could try this at least until the end of the year? And if they won't eat what you made for lunch, then they're hungry until snack time. Natural consequence. You offered, they refused, it's the child's choice. Maybe leave their plate out and available until snack so that if they get really hungry, they can try some of what you made for lunch.
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DancingQueen 05:17 PM 09-09-2010
Originally Posted by :
so the sandwiches are cut into small pieces and on the table, and the fruit and veggie and whatever else are in bowls on the table and the kids serve themselves.
That is exactly what I had hoped to work towards. i already cut everything into portions size etc... but my crew is just too young to serve themselves. 2.5 and younger right now.

And if they were older I'd be more comfortable with the natural consequences - but I just ccan't do it at this young age. Which is my own thing that I know i need to get over.

Another thing is that I'm on the food program and they are very specific about what options I have to serve and it is just exhausting. And the more effort I put in the more I realize that if parents were feedign their kids they'd likely send them with a PB&J sandwich every single day and parents would be totally fine with that -but because *I* am feeding them they are expected to have a wide variety of many food groups etc.

I know this is part of the gig - but I just decided that it wasn't working out for me.
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mncare 05:23 PM 09-09-2010
Yep, we go with the natural consequence of being hungry until snack time, as well. My job is to offer healthy food, but I can't make them eat it and I will not play short order cook. I honestly haven't had a kid ask me for something different. I just make it clear that if you don't like it, you don't have to eat it. We serve family style, too, and everything is healthy so if they don't like one thing then they take more of another.
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Francine 06:43 PM 09-09-2010
When I was open previously I provided lunch for a while and then started having them bring their own, I never had an issue with the kids wanting what others had. It just never came up, they all had their lunches and ate what they had. My policy was that I would be glad to warm something up but it had to be microwave ready, in there dish ready to go. No boxes of mac and cheese, no cans of soup. After a while the parents all decided that they would rather pay me more than to pack a lunch so I switched back.

I closed for two years and just reopened in June, I have to prices for kids over 12 months 1) parents provide lunch, 2) I provide lunch.....nobody so far has wanted to bring the lunch so they pay me 3 dollars more per day. It is a hassle and I wish that some of them would bring their own but they don't want the hassle either.
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