Kids in day care should eat healthy, too

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Family Day Care Home Food Program launched Monday. It's an effort to help those who provide child care in their homes pay for the cost of feeding the children.

Tameka Nelson is a home day care provider for six children. And feeding the children is part of her responsibility.

"For breakfast, it can be something as simple as: Milk, a biscuit and a fruit," said Nelson.

Nelson bases her grocery shopping on menus that follow the pyramid. Besides being healthy, it helps her financially, thanks to the Family Day Care Home Food Program.

"This program pays for two meals and a snack per day to a provider that's actually keeping children in their home," said Family Day Care Home Case Manager, Glory Callihan.

Providers are reimbursed each month, as long as they stick to healthy food choices.

And for home day care providers like Tameka, this program can save them a lot of money.

"With food going up, we spend a lot. We spend almost 700 dollars a month," said Nelson.

All providers have to do is keep track of what they feed the children each day.

"They're paid according to the menus and the attendance that they turn in each month," said Callihan.

"You fill out a menu and turn it in on time. Breakfast, lunch, p.m. snack and that's about it. It's very easy because you're gonna feed the kids anyway so writing it down and turning it in on time is not the hardest part," explained Nelson.

The program is funded through the Louisiana Department of Education under the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Human Services Department.

So far, the program is helping 50 home care providers, like Nelson, who said she's thankful for the help.

"I love this program and I hope we continue with it because we really need it,"she said.

Providers must be approved for participation in the program.

Any resident of Calcasieu, Allen, Jefferson Davis and Beauregard parishes are eligible to participate in the program if they are currently providing child care services to children from birth to 12 years of age in their home. Their home must also meet fire and safety standards as established by the State of Louisiana.

If you would like to participate in the program, call Glory Callihan at 337-721-4030.

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