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Nourishing Choices

Why We've Decided to Opt Out of the Childcare USDA Food Program


Lunch time at Hour Kids
Infant feeding time!

We've recently made an important decision we've made at Hour Kids that reflects our commitment to providing the best care and nutrition for the children we serve. After careful consideration, we have decided to no longer participate in the Childcare USDA Food Program. This decision wasn't made lightly, and we believe it is the right step forward for the well-being, cultural enrichment and nourishment of our young learners.


Increased Operating Costs to Parents


One of the primary factors influencing our decision is the increased operating costs passed on to parents. As we strive to maintain the highest quality of care, the rising expenses associated with the program have become a reality to all families utilizing childcare. We have found that the quantities and ingredients of foods required for the Food Program created much waste and disallowed us from reusing ingredients we already had on hand, due to variety rules. We believe in creating an affordable menu for our programs was the correct decision that allows us to better align with what our families want and expect.


Food Children Won't Eat

Children are unique individuals with varying tastes and preferences. There is a delicate and fine line between introducing new, healthy foods and only expecting them to eat the mandated food items provided in menus [required] by the USDA. We've found they fell short of meeting the diverse palates of our little ones. We've observed that the food provided often went uneaten, leading to unnecessary waste and, more importantly, missed opportunities to nourish our children with meals they enjoy and are familiar with.


Freedom to Choose Culturally Relevant Food

Every culture has its own rich culinary traditions, and we believe in celebrating and preserving these traditions. Opting out of the USDA Food Program grants us the freedom to curate menus that reflect the diverse backgrounds of the children we serve. This ensures that our meals are not only nutritious but also culturally relevant and enjoyable for every child.


Requiring You to Share Personal Information

You may have noticed the forms at enrollment that asked for SSN's and family size and income information. This information is required of childcare provider's to be obtained so they can verify demographic eligibility for their food program participation. We have always found this to be incredibly intrusive and off-putting to new families. While we have always handled this personal information confidentially and correctly, we are glad to no longer be required to handle the sensitive information of our customers, unnecessarily.


We understand that this decision may raise questions, and we are more than happy to address any concerns or provide additional information. Our commitment to the well-being and happiness of the children at Hour Kids remains our priority. Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we embark on this new chapter.


Warm regards,

Krissy and Marneka



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