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Old 07-30-2017, 03:38 AM
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Default Is The Food Program Worth It?

If we aren't on the food program, would we deduct the cost of everything we serve or is it better to use the standard rates they pay us as a guideline? And is it merely 'a wash' if we are on the program? Is one way(on or off the food program) more beneficial than another?

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Old 07-30-2017, 05:34 AM
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Here are the Deductions on Food threads http://daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=deduction+-+food
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:50 AM
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I use the food program's rates as a guideline for what my cost is just because I'm feeding my own children from the same pantry and separating that out would be a headache...my time is valuable too.

The food program can be a little bit of a pain, but I get about $550 a month from them so it's worth it for the bit of paperwork time I do (now that it's online).
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:51 AM
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If you aren't eating with the kids and don't have your own kids to feed...then sticking daycare food receipts in an envelope will likely get you more of a deduction.

However, the food program doesn't pay for every meal...just up to 3 per day, so if you feed them B, S, L, S, you can still deduct all 4 meals.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:42 AM
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When considering if it's worth it I asked myself.....

- Would my program qualify for Tier 1 or Tier 2?
- Does my approach to nutrition match the food program? In areas they do not match am I willing to compromise?
- How do I feel about having a food program rep come unannounced 2-3 times per year?
- How do I feel about giving notification anytime we want to eat in the park or at a different time, etc.?
- Do I need the food program money to help cover food cost on a monthly basis?
- Would I want a bigger break on the taxes at that point vs. a little each month?
- Does my actual spending match what the food program reimburses?

In my case I decided the Food Program was not worth it. My families bring their own lunch so I provide an AM & PM snack. I serve all organic and mostly local - I also right now am a water only program so I do not serve milk. Since my program would qualify for Tier 2 (which is not as much money) financially it made sense for me to claim it at the end. I do have a dedicated snack drawer in the refrigerator and a dedicated snack box in the pantry. I will go to the store and just separate my personal and dc foods in the cart and at check out. It is not difficult for me to keep it separate.
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:20 PM
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http://tomcopelandblog.com/is-the-food-program-worth-it
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:37 AM
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I was on the food program, but deducted the additional snacks/meals I served that weren't deductible. Worked well for me, I already have a ton of deductions so the monthly check was worth the inconvenience.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:37 AM
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For the last few years I compared the actual cost of daycare food bought to the standard deduction allowed on taxes . The standard deduction actually gave me a higher $ amount .

And I am not on the food program even though I follow the guidelines .
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Second Home View Post
For the last few years I compared the actual cost of daycare food bought to the standard deduction allowed on taxes . The standard deduction actually gave me a higher $ amount .

And I am not on the food program even though I follow the guidelines .
I do the same... plus with all babes under 18 months, how in the world can you set meals & snack times? My FP sponsor agreed it wasn't in my best interest for just 2-3 babes (my PT babe is BF only still @ 7 months) because they tend to flip flop naps & meals all the time - I don't have a windows computer so all my stuff would have to be paper too ( our program doesn't work with Macs) - I just deduct everything on taxes
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:26 AM
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Default Food Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
If we aren't on the food program, would we deduct the cost of everything we serve or is it better to use the standard rates they pay us as a guideline? And is it merely 'a wash' if we are on the program? Is one way(on or off the food program) more beneficial than another?

Thanks!!
This is a great misconception of the financial impact of the Food Program. When you join the food program you do not lose the ability to deduct your food expenses in the same way as before you were on the program. So, it's not a "wash". If you spent $5,000 on food before joining the food program, you would still deduct $5,000 in food expenses after being on the program. But, then you would be getting thousands of dollars from the food program!

You are always better off financially by being on the food program! You don't lose your food deductions when you do so.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:20 PM
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The WI licensing requirements for meals/snacks are the same as the food program's so I'm coming out ahead by being on the food program. On the food program I'm getting paid for providing the same foods I have to provide for licensing, so it makes sense.

Even if your licensing regulations aren't the same, why not be paid for providing food since you've got to feed them anyway?
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:58 PM
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Is it a pain in the rear to enter in all the components and keep up with the regulations? Yes. Definitely.

Is it nice to have the extra cash? Of course.

If I wasn't on Tier 1, I'd probably be questioning if I would continue on it.

But, then I think of the accounting aspect of it. I'm not talking about the "extra" stuff like payroll, accepting payments, etc. I'm talking about basic log in/log out.

I do have a paper sign in for parents. But... it's paper. It gets lost, misplaced and sometimes it's not used.

The KK computer program is easy, I have a log of every meal served (even the ones I don't get reimbursed for- because I enter those too so that I have a record).
At the end of the year, it's so simple to get a count! Plus, if I'm ever questioned about who was here on what day and if I was over capacity- I have a 2nd record.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LysesKids View Post
I do the same... plus with all babes under 18 months, how in the world can you set meals & snack times? My FP sponsor agreed it wasn't in my best interest for just 2-3 babes (my PT babe is BF only still @ 7 months) because they tend to flip flop naps & meals all the time - I don't have a windows computer so all my stuff would have to be paper too ( our program doesn't work with Macs) - I just deduct everything on taxes
Only solid meals need to be scheduled, bottles are on demand.
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:19 PM
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Who does tier two on here and is that worth it to you? At what point does one move from tier one to tier two? Our income and taxes might change next year. It's possible we'll change from tier one to tier two. We are not in a low income area, but we have had low income, but that might change next year.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:11 AM
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you can deduct ALL of the meals you feed the children.

The money you get from the food program is to be treated like any other income source. It goes into your accounts receivable side of your book keeping. The food you feed the kids is still an expense you get do deduct. And you deduct every meal you feed them, whether or not it's reimbursed by the food program.

The easiest way to look at it is to pretend the food program is another family paying you every month.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwichlaz View Post
Only solid meals need to be scheduled, bottles are on demand.
I realize that but all my babes still flip flop naps & meals quite a bit; still not worth the headache of the extra paperwork or having her show when kids are asleep instead of eating - I have only 2 babes right now that would actually be fed meals (I have a MacBook & here they work off Windows only online) and I only can have 4 kids total, no kids of my own still @ home. The one parent doesn't want breads or cereals fed either, so right there screws meals
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:38 AM
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Default Food Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
If we aren't on the food program, would we deduct the cost of everything we serve or is it better to use the standard rates they pay us as a guideline? And is it merely 'a wash' if we are on the program? Is one way(on or off the food program) more beneficial than another?

Thanks!!
Providers are always better off financially if they join the Food Program!
You can deduct food expenses in the same way whether or not you are on the Food Program. You can use the standard meal allowance method to claim food expenses whether or not you are on the Food Program.
It's not a wash!
If you spend $4,000 on food and are not on the Food Program, you have a $4,000 deduction.
If you join the Food Program and receive $3,000 in reimbursements, you still deduct the $4,000 in food expenses.
So, joining the Food Program gets you $3,000 in income in this example. You will pay taxes on the $3,000, but you will still have a lot more money after taxes than before.
Get on the Food Program!
See my article: http://tomcopelandblog.com/is-the-food-program-worth-it
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LysesKids View Post
I realize that but all my babes still flip flop naps & meals quite a bit; still not worth the headache of the extra paperwork or having her show when kids are asleep instead of eating - I have only 2 babes right now that would actually be fed meals (I have a MacBook & here they work off Windows only online) and I only can have 4 kids total, no kids of my own still @ home. The one parent doesn't want breads or cereals fed either, so right there screws meals
My sponsor doesn't expect me to wake sleeping kids for meals. Even big kids. The kids only need be present at the meal time, and the food needs to also be present. So if 4 are still napping because they have colds, and one is awake eating snack when she comes to inspect...it still counts. As long as she see that I have enough for the kids that are sleeping to have their snack when they wake up.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:07 AM
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Also, they only inspect 3 times per year with the food program. So if you have to wake them up for the meal...only three times in one year....that's a lot of money to turn down for 3 messed up nap times over 12 months.
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