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View Poll Results: Good Idea or not?
Yes! I've been looking everywhere for an organic daycare! 2 12.50%
Parents don't really care as long as they get good quality child-care 14 87.50%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>A Fresh Idea
RayofSun 11:05 PM 02-26-2016
Hi there!

I'm looking to open a Daycare in the distant *deflating balloon sound* future. Finances just aren't currently allowing to advance with my dream too much but I still hope and plan. You can never be to prepared.
So I wanted to talk to a group of like minded individuals and parents to see if my idea was worth getting off the ground at all.
I want to open an organic daycare. I wish to offer baby care to fellow health contentious mommies. Only Eco friendly furniture and organic toys. I wish to accommodate children with glucose/lactose/peanut ect, intolerance's along with tots being raised vegan/vegetarian or even "traditionally" {quotes because parenting styles are all subjective} raised children who's parents just want them to learn healthy/eco friendly habits from a young age.

Please comment, tell me what you think, should I just archive this idea? Or should I push and look for a business partner? I'd love your feed back. Thanks in advance!
-Beth
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Pepperth 07:49 AM 02-27-2016
I think it depends on your area. Where I live, people like the idea of organic. A lot of providers here provide mostly organic food. However, they are not able to charge all that much more, so I'm not sure how that plays out in their bottom line.
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MunchkinWrangler 07:52 AM 02-27-2016
I am an organic daycare. I'm not 100%. Meaning some foods and snacks aren't always organic, but I also read labels like crazy. I believe the ingredients in a food are important and usually anything with more than 10 ingredients is really processed and should be avoided, even if the label says organic, remember companies can pay for the label. For example my DCK's prefer Goldfish over Annie's but to me that's not a big deal, Goldfish, in my opinion is not a bad snack for kids to have, chips on the other hand...

Your food expense will be higher. Organic fruits and veggies, meats, and other foods are priced much higher and you will need to set your rates accordingly. Most if not all municipalities require bleach and water solutions for cleaning, this is for the safe disinfection of your daycare space. This is a must, as bleach kills everything and as long as it's mixed and used correctly is safe. You can use organic cleaning products, but me personally, when it comes to daycare, I don't use them because IME some of it doesn't work as well and I'm a little old school.
Other providers in my area running organic daycares have their own gardens where they grow their own food and chickens they raise for true organic eggs. They involve the children in these activities as part of their programs. And it saves some money, although raising chickens does carry it's own expense.
Sorry this is long but hopefully I helped out with some things you are wondering about. There is a definite market for this type of daycare now. Most of my clients aren't strict on organic but like the fact that I do serve as much organic fare as possible. I wish my rates were higher though because, like I mentioned, your expenses are higher.
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Unregistered 08:23 AM 02-27-2016
Many are 100% organic here in CA. Many like to do the 'green care for children' pledge even thought the organization is now defunct. For those that aren't 100% organic on food, they just use language like 'when possible' etc.
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RayofSun 08:44 AM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler:
I am an organic daycare. I'm not 100%. Meaning some foods and snacks aren't always organic, but I also read labels like crazy. I believe the ingredients in a food are important and usually anything with more than 10 ingredients is really processed and should be avoided, even if the label says organic, remember companies can pay for the label. For example my DCK's prefer Goldfish over Annie's but to me that's not a big deal, Goldfish, in my opinion is not a bad snack for kids to have, chips on the other hand...

Your food expense will be higher. Organic fruits and veggies, meats, and other foods are priced much higher and you will need to set your rates accordingly. Most if not all municipalities require bleach and water solutions for cleaning, this is for the safe disinfection of your daycare space. This is a must, as bleach kills everything and as long as it's mixed and used correctly is safe. You can use organic cleaning products, but me personally, when it comes to daycare, I don't use them because IME some of it doesn't work as well and I'm a little old school.
Other providers in my area running organic daycares have their own gardens where they grow their own food and chickens they raise for true organic eggs. They involve the children in these activities as part of their programs. And it saves some money, although raising chickens does carry it's own expense.
Sorry this is long but hopefully I helped out with some things you are wondering about. There is a definite market for this type of daycare now. Most of my clients aren't strict on organic but like the fact that I do serve as much organic fare as possible. I wish my rates were higher though because, like I mentioned, your expenses are higher.
This was so very helpful, thank you. I think it's wonderful that you run an organic daycare. Of course I've taken price into consideration which is part of the reason it's going to be a bit until I can afford to get into business. I think the idea of owning a few chickens would be wonderful, as well as growing some of our own veggies. It would defiantly make great, easy to plan, rec activities. It is a shame that being organic has to cost so much compared to severely processed or preserved foods. As far as cleaning goes I am a little nervous to use bleach based cleaners, I am currently a 2nd time mommy and have been using honest company cleaning products religiously since my first. I'm just afraid of the chemicals, I know if they are used properly it doesn't pose a threat but I'm a natural worry wart >.<
All the best,
-Beth
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LysesKids 10:24 AM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Many are 100% organic here in CA. Many like to do the 'green care for children' pledge even thought the organization is now defunct. For those that aren't 100% organic on food, they just use language like 'when possible' etc.
There is also this program which I became part of when it went nationwide in 2010
http://www.cehn.org/our-work/eco-healthy-child-care/
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Thriftylady 10:24 AM 02-27-2016
I am no help. I have kids who mostly eat out or processed foods at home. I try to serve healthy, and they resist it. In fact I recently lost a family of three kiddos because "the kids didn't like the food". I am not sure that is the real reason, and I didn't loose any sleep over loosing that family. I think it may depend on the income of the area you are in? It seems to me lower income's eat more processed foods? I don't understand that, because while fruits and veggies do seem more expensive, I am not sure they are when you factor in what serving sizes people are supposed to be eating? I don't know. I do think it totally depends on your area. I also live in a small town, so that alone makes it harder for me to get clients.
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LysesKids 10:24 AM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Many are 100% organic here in CA. Many like to do the 'green care for children' pledge even thought the organization is now defunct. For those that aren't 100% organic on food, they just use language like 'when possible' etc.
There is also this program which I became part of when it went nationwide in 2010
http://www.cehn.org/our-work/eco-healthy-child-care/
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RayofSun 10:48 AM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Thriftylady:
I am no help. I have kids who mostly eat out or processed foods at home. I try to serve healthy, and they resist it. In fact I recently lost a family of three kiddos because "the kids didn't like the food". I am not sure that is the real reason, and I didn't loose any sleep over loosing that family. I think it may depend on the income of the area you are in? It seems to me lower income's eat more processed foods? I don't understand that, because while fruits and veggies do seem more expensive, I am not sure they are when you factor in what serving sizes people are supposed to be eating? I don't know. I do think it totally depends on your area. I also live in a small town, so that alone makes it harder for me to get clients.
No no! this helps a lot. I know what you mean by lower in come families eating more processed foods. Again it's a shame that organic has to be so expensive. Have you tried vegan baking? Even if you're not a baker there are some really nice online bakeries, for a really nice price that will send you vegan cookies cakes ect. I guarantee the kids won't be able to taste the difference ^.^
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RayofSun 10:51 AM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
There is also this program which I became part of when it went nationwide in 2010
http://www.cehn.org/our-work/eco-healthy-child-care/
Currently looking into it! Thank you for sharing!
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Thriftylady 10:58 AM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by RayofSun:
No no! this helps a lot. I know what you mean by lower in come families eating more processed foods. Again it's a shame that organic has to be so expensive. Have you tried vegan baking? Even if you're not a baker there are some really nice online bakeries, for a really nice price that will send you vegan cookies cakes ect. I guarantee the kids won't be able to taste the difference ^.^
I just don't get the processed food thing either. I mean we are low income (adjusted gross for 2015 was a hair over 30,000 filing jointly). But we eat minimal processed foods. Now I do sometimes make hamburger helper from scratch, so it is the same thing, only a healthier version. And we don't eat steak, chicken and pork every night (daycare kids wouldn't eat it anyway). I do make homemade chicken strips (fried so not uber healthy). But I try to get in plenty of veggies. Of course this time of year I use a lot of canned and frozen, but I just couldn't feed my family processed foods all the time and feel good about myself.... Coming from the person who took my DD to McD's for breakfast this morning.
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NillaWafers 11:58 AM 02-27-2016
I am in LA, and serve organic when possible. I am not 100% organic. I have my own veggie garden (which is it's own set of hurdles at times), and would love to get chickens. It really depends on your area. I do use chemicals to clean because I feel that the other brands are not as effective

I would have to raise my prices quite a bit if I were to go 100%. If you know your market I would say you could do it effectively, but definitely would have to have a higher price point than others. If you're in an affluent neighborhood, I could see this working. Poorer income areas won't really care.
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Unregistered 12:49 PM 02-27-2016
I serve mostly organic or minimally treated foods. I do not live in an affluent area, but it is a value for lots of people here regardless of income. It does cost more but I offset by using the farmers market and our own gardens, fruit trees and bushes.
My rate is higher to reflect the expense but I don't have a problem finding families.

Will you also do cloth diapering and wipes? That is popular here.
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Unregistered 12:51 PM 02-27-2016
Also you want to see if chickens are allowed with your license. Animals are restricted here.
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Thriftylady 02:36 PM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I serve mostly organic or minimally treated foods. I do not live in an affluent area, but it is a value for lots of people here regardless of income. It does cost more but I offset by using the farmers market and our own gardens, fruit trees and bushes.
My rate is higher to reflect the expense but I don't have a problem finding families.

Will you also do cloth diapering and wipes? That is popular here.
I also do a small garden. And I have a farmer's stand I use. The one good thing last year about the farmer's stand was the kids couldn't wait to try what we got at the farmers! We get eggs there also. She has meat but I just can't afford it very often.
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midaycare 03:15 PM 02-27-2016
I do mostly organic, and all natural cleaners. I don't even allow parents to leave their cars running in my driveway. Many would try this in the winter... Remote starters are big here.

You will find that parents will choose you for what you offer, and then feed their child all processed. I have a mix right now. Out of 9 families, 3 eat very healthy, 2 kind of healthy, 2 occasionally healthy, and 2 all processed.
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RayofSun 05:57 PM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Thriftylady:
I just don't get the processed food thing either. I mean we are low income (adjusted gross for 2015 was a hair over 30,000 filing jointly). But we eat minimal processed foods. Now I do sometimes make hamburger helper from scratch, so it is the same thing, only a healthier version. And we don't eat steak, chicken and pork every night (daycare kids wouldn't eat it anyway). I do make homemade chicken strips (fried so not uber healthy). But I try to get in plenty of veggies. Of course this time of year I use a lot of canned and frozen, but I just couldn't feed my family processed foods all the time and feel good about myself.... Coming from the person who took my DD to McD's for breakfast this morning.
I know the life, all too well actually, haha. Growing up I wasn't the family that had much money. I can remember eating roman noodles for almost a whole month because they were so cheap. I've never been the crazy health fanatic until I had my first child, my son to be exact, he's only 2 now but when he was a baby the doctor told us he was allergic to lactose, and gluten so my whole world kind of flipped upside down. I realized I had no idea how i was going to feed my baby once he was off of special formula so I took to the internet and learned how to cook vegan and vegetarian. I havent looked back since he's growing healthy like any little boy should and I havent had to take him to the hospital for allergic reactions, and my wife and I actually have become healthy eating the way that we do now. It's not that I never take him out to eat in fact I think he's had more mcdonalds (yes they are gluten free, cooked in peanut oil) fries this week than meals at home. And when we go to the store he much rather me buy eggs than tofu patties so the only reason I changed my ways was for my baby honestly if Rayden didn't have these intolerance's I know I wouldn't be where I am today. I think its wonderful that you do what you can with what you have, and honestly I think that's all that matters, so long as the kids are happy and healthy, who cares what they eat? Of course it's hard this time of year to get fresh produce at a price that doesnt break the bank. Home made anything is healthier than its processed alternative, and a lot of times tastes better. sorry this was so long!
All the best,
Beth
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RayofSun 06:00 PM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Also you want to see if chickens are allowed with your license. Animals are restricted here.
It's a separate license so it is a bit of a hassle but one I think will prove to be worth it.
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RayofSun 06:03 PM 02-27-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I serve mostly organic or minimally treated foods. I do not live in an affluent area, but it is a value for lots of people here regardless of income. It does cost more but I offset by using the farmers market and our own gardens, fruit trees and bushes.
My rate is higher to reflect the expense but I don't have a problem finding families.

Will you also do cloth diapering and wipes? That is popular here.
Most certainty on the cloth diapering and wipes, I'm allergic to latex and more often than not disposable baby diapers contain latex. We have a farmers market take comes through here on Saturdays in the summer which will defiantly help with costs
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Blackcat31 09:27 AM 02-28-2016
If you join a food program, it is difficult to coordinate healthy eating and their requirements.

You can't serve the kids eggs from your chickens or serve them any wild game that is not processed/approved by a USDA stamp or approved facility. The eggs and milk from farms (or your own) must be pasteurized.

Most families in my area want ME to serve organic, healthy foods but take their kids to McDonald's and/or other fast food joints or serve 100% processed diets on their time.

I also welcome and support cloth diapering (which lends itself to issues in and of itself depending on the parent) but again, most parents want convenience. It's okay if YOU use cloth on your time but they want convenience and easy on their time.

I've found that most parents in my area that believe and practice vegan, vegetarian, organic diets etc are also baby wearing, co-sleeping, extended nursing, type parents that usually don't "believe" in group child care so those types of parents usually don't make good clients in my experience.

Hopefully, it's different in your area but honestly the whole idea/concept isn't new. It's unique, specific and more than likely difficult to do (not saying impossible) unless you are not really looking to use the income as a sole source of family income/support.

I've just seen alot of providers advertise to this specific type of parent and from what I've seen those particular programs aren't doing any better than the next one that serves, boxed mac and cheese and Speghetti-O's. kwim?

Here, when you limit your clientele you limit your business growth too.
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Unregistered 09:59 AM 02-28-2016
The small city (60,00) I live close to has an in-home provider that has done this with a great amount success! Lots of demand in some parts of that community (especially near the university) for this type of care. She has had so much success she is considering expanding to group care.

I've been in other areas where it's considered "strange". You have to know your demographics.
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MunchkinWrangler 08:49 AM 02-29-2016
I am organic because you can't make it if you're not in my area. All the centers in my area grow their own food and have chefs that prepare the children's food. They charge a high rate for this but I live in a financially affluent area. I do organic because I wouldn't have business if I didn't. It happens to be just where I live and I have to base my childcare services on that. I also have to run a preschool/ece type of program in my county, it's a requirement of my license. I'm required to have a somewhat structured day that requires certain activities for each age group.

At times, I wish to move because it eats up a lot of expense but I knew what I was getting myself into. Because of all of this I will only be doing childcare in the short term, because as other threads have stated, it gets overboard, especially when parents are flippant about things at home. But I've learned I can only control what I do at my home, so I let it go. Otherwise, in the meantime, I will be putting my blood, sweat, and tears into making my program successful while I'm doing it.
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Ariana 09:01 AM 02-29-2016
I am also mainly Organic. I provide as much organic food as possible and focus on natural products and toys.

I get parents who really appreciate this and are very invested in their childs' nutrition which is great. I really enjoy the type of clientele I attract because they have similar parenting philosophies and values, although i am probably a lot more hard core than they are

I also agree with a lot of what BlackCat is saying. Some of these parents want you to take care of it for them. A child shows up in disposables but is expected to be cloth diapered at your house. Kids going to McDonalds on their time and some kids won't eat healthy food because they aren't exposed to it at home so you throw a lot away (which I have mitigated by making less and serving leftovers from my own family meals). I also find baby wearing and co-sleeping to be a big problem with this type of parent. I see some providers advertising that they will do all of that with children but I don't understand how they can possibly do this unless they are limiting their numbers to 1-2 kids at most.

I am also legally unlicensed and I know that licensed daycares can't do half the things these parents want so that is a huge factor as well.
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Unregistered 09:26 AM 02-29-2016
Originally Posted by Ariana:

Some of these parents want you to take care of it for them. A child shows up in disposables but is expected to be cloth diapered at your house. Kids going to McDonalds on their time
I think of this the same way I think of screen time, or sugar. I think parents should have the basic say over how much their children have, so I use them sparingly.
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Snowmom 09:46 AM 02-29-2016
I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, but my advice would be to see what your competition offers and how they fair with it.

I consider myself an organic provider. My grandparents were farmers and the love of good, healthy food passed on to me.

We grow some fruits and veggies. I also frequent farmers markets whenever I can and buy locally.
However, food expenses cut BIG time into my profit every week. My grocery bills make some people faint. But, it was important to me.
You could cut some expenses by only buying organic when it comes to "the dirty dozen": http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214

I also make most of my cleaning products with essential oils, vinegar/water (floor cleaner, glass cleaners, etc), but still use a bleach solution on toilets and changing pads.

I don't know very much about organic toys that you previously mentioned. But, I can imagine that would be a little harder to supply and cost more. In general, I don't think that would make much of a difference to parents in my area. Preschool curriculum is one of the big pushes here.
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Blackcat31 10:02 AM 02-29-2016
Originally Posted by Snowmom:
Preschool curriculum is one of the big pushes here.
that is #1 one thing talked about, discussed and looked for in my experience. Especially now that QRIS has made it's appearance.
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Annalee 10:36 AM 02-29-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
If you join a food program, it is difficult to coordinate healthy eating and their requirements.

You can't serve the kids eggs from your chickens or serve them any wild game that is not processed/approved by a USDA stamp or approved facility. The eggs and milk from farms (or your own) must be pasteurized.

Most families in my area want ME to serve organic, healthy foods but take their kids to McDonald's and/or other fast food joints or serve 100% processed diets on their time.

I also welcome and support cloth diapering (which lends itself to issues in and of itself depending on the parent) but again, most parents want convenience. It's okay if YOU use cloth on your time but they want convenience and easy on their time.

I've found that most parents in my area that believe and practice vegan, vegetarian, organic diets etc are also baby wearing, co-sleeping, extended nursing, type parents that usually don't "believe" in group child care so those types of parents usually don't make good clients in my experience.

Hopefully, it's different in your area but honestly the whole idea/concept isn't new. It's unique, specific and more than likely difficult to do (not saying impossible) unless you are not really looking to use the income as a sole source of family income/support.

I've just seen alot of providers advertise to this specific type of parent and from what I've seen those particular programs aren't doing any better than the next one that serves, boxed mac and cheese and Speghetti-O's. kwim?

Here, when you limit your clientele you limit your business growth too.
I have a couple parents that investigate my menu every morning and then all the kids talk about is going to McD's all the time.
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Annalee 10:39 AM 02-29-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
that is #1 one thing talked about, discussed and looked for in my experience. Especially now that QRIS has made it's appearance.
And it is getting harder to combat when the provider tries to explain the play-based learning theory....clients want to visualize preschool learning with worksheets or computer-based programs.
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Ariana 10:43 AM 02-29-2016
Originally Posted by Annalee:
I have a couple parents that investigate my menu every morning and then all the kids talk about is going to McD's all the time.
It definitely happens! This doesn't bother me though because I just serve them healthy food and they either eat it or they don't. It really depends on how you feel about it. I have no issues with whether a kid eats at my house or not or if they go home hungry. The parents are paying for my healthy food so I deliver that as part of my service.
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RayofSun 05:51 PM 02-29-2016
WOW so many great replies and so so much to think about! Well I was talking to the chief (the wife), and she says that education (shes an early childhood development major) is what I should really be focusing on in addition to being organic while I can offer accommodations for vegan families, at a slightly higher tuition to cover the individual child's food costs or ask the parent to supply snacks meals ect. I think a be health/live health curriculum could work with the values we have in place for food toys ect. I'll teach shapes, colors, along with animals and simple science with fun activities like planting/watching the garden grow, and learning simple life-cycles by raising the chicks. Recreational activities would include yoga to teach healthy mind and body, and of course arts and crafts/dramatic play/storytime/sing-a-long. Sorry this post was long, this has been my dream for a very very long time, I can see my daycare so clearly in my mind now it's all about execution. Haha, well hope you are all well,
-Beth
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Thriftylady 06:20 PM 02-29-2016
Originally Posted by RayofSun:
WOW so many great replies and so so much to think about! Well I was talking to the chief (the wife), and she says that education (shes an early childhood development major) is what I should really be focusing on in addition to being organic while I can offer accommodations for vegan families, at a slightly higher tuition to cover the individual child's food costs or ask the parent to supply snacks meals ect. I think a be health/live health curriculum could work with the values we have in place for food toys ect. I'll teach shapes, colors, along with animals and simple science with fun activities like planting/watching the garden grow, and learning simple life-cycles by raising the chicks. Recreational activities would include yoga to teach healthy mind and body, and of course arts and crafts/dramatic play/storytime/sing-a-long. Sorry this post was long, this has been my dream for a very very long time, I can see my daycare so clearly in my mind now it's all about execution. Haha, well hope you are all well,
-Beth
I do some preschool teaching but not a ton of actual "teaching". Remember that kids learn the most through play. Now we can offer play that leads to more learning also! Just playing and exploring teaches them so much.
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hoopinglady 06:55 PM 03-01-2016
We are as natural as possible in my program. Our parents have called us "crunchy childcare". (ugh...lol)

It can be challenging working with attachment parents. Sometimes, it seems, parents want to be attached but are ultimately sabotaging their children for success in group care. These are what we call, "read all the books but have very little common sense" parents. (a whole other thread!)

We provide mostly organic and very little processed foods ( we make exceptions for birthday parties and such). Cloth diapers, natural cleaners, breast milk friendly. We have specialty diets and try to accommodate them or ask them to bring supplements. We find that plenty of healthy meals can fit the vegan criteria, for example (but we do find it challenging to cook without eggs and dairy!). We have families that send raw milk and fermented foods. It can be a bit tricky to juggle it all but it's not terrible. You have to decide what you're willing to accommodate in that regard.

In my area, we're an asset and an exception. We spend a goodly amount on food but we eat well and can do a lot with simple beans/tofu, etc and seasonal vegetables.

We do not participate in the food program.

I personally think play based and relationship based learning is part of being "organic" or "crunchy". We spend time educating parents on how our activities are meeting academic standards though they may look quite different from a traditional preschool.

Anyway, it's been rewarding and well worth it for me.

Good luck!
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Dilley Beans 10:53 AM 03-02-2016
I will start out by saying I do not charge more for my services than standard in the area. I also am feeding 7 children and 2 adults daily and keeping within the reimbursements that the USDA food program pays.

I feed primarily organic food, I specifically try to avoid high fructose corn syrup, rbgh, msg, and other processed food things. I never feed chicken nuggets, boxed mac and cheese, etc. I am with the food program and never go over the standard rate. My meals have never been denied either. I have been commended by my food program rep for my creativity and dedication to well rounded, colorful, and varying meals as well as impressed with my use of organic foods.

You just have to know how to shop be, menu plan, have storage space and know where to cut corners. We have a store called Grocery Outlet on the west coast, they do a great job of getting in interesting organic and healthier option foods, sometimes they are funky and don't go over well but they stand by their food and guarantee to refund you if you just plain don't like it. I know there is something "Lion" in the mid west that may be similar. My local grocery stores also mark down meat, dairy and sometimes even bananas as it gets closer to expiring, you can freeze this and use it as normal. I go through bananas so fast, getting spotted organic bananas for $.39/lb and using a bunch for the next day's breakfast is perfect, saving $.50/lb off organic ones or even just $.20 off of conventional. I can get organic meats for cheaper than the conventional with sale prices sometimes, but you have to freezer space and grab when the getting is good. Tuesday is the most likely day. Sometimes organic milk is 50% off. Its usually 5 days from best by date and I can go through a gallon in 2 days so I'll pick one up and save a few cents over the conventional.

Know your "dirty dozen" - the items you should always buy organic, know your "clean 15" or whatever phrase they use for the items that are going to be pretty pesticide free. Grow a garden, what can you preserve in the freezer for the winter months, etc.

I'm going to be growing a carrot garden with the kids. Basically we're going to be planting carrots throughout the summer and I can blanch and freeze sliced carrots for our year round lunches. I go through a lot of carrot juice in my family so we'll be juicing and freezing that. We also have a strawberry patch out of reach for little ones, grapes and berries. I live on a farm and have space to do this, but it can be done on the small scale too. I have a friend who ripped up her front lawn and instead has a garden there, it's beautiful year round due to kale and winter veggies as well as bed covered in straw for mulch and weed barrier.

Some places I do compromise: Chicken - I can get fabulous boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.69/lb from Zaycon Fresh a couple times a year and do. It is conventionally grown with corn and soy in typical factory housing, but we use it about 3-4 meals a week for DCKs and family so the savings really adds up and allows for me to spend more on other meal components. I also buy my black beans that I use in at least 1 meal per week by the 50lb bag. It lasts forever at 1-2 c of beans per week. I do buy conventional milk because it is half the cost and our store only carries rbst/rbgh free milk so we're avoiding that hormone even if not organic. Cheese: most of the time the bricks/shredded I get say they are rbst free but I can't find an organic source that isn't too freaking high. Costco carries huge bags of string cheese that don't list it as being rgbh free and if I can't find them at the local retail at a good price, I get those. $.095 per oz on cheese sticks is an awesome price and I can't beat that. I usually pair it in the summer with pears or other fruit from the farmer's market.

If you want to to talk cleaners, etc. I can go on and on for days about that too. PM me
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Tags:day care center, daycare - bucket list, daycare - non-religious, start up help, starting a child care
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