Calcasieu Parish sponsors day care food program for in home providers

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education, has announced it will again sponsor the Family Day Care Home Food Program.

Keeping children healthy is a priority for many childcare providers, but it comes at a price. Part of that price is the cost associated with keeping kids well fed. The parish is working to lift some of that cost burden off those providing child care in their homes.

“They do have to follow some guidelines set forth by the USDA,” Sara Boudreaux, the program’s case manager for the parish, said. “It, basically, just helps them to get a better understanding - to eat better at a younger age. And it helps to establish good eating habits.”

The grant money reimburses the cost to the provider of two meals and one snack per child, per day of care.

“Everyone will be eligible if you are 18 or over, you keep kids - you only can keep up to six children in your home,” Boudreaux said.

The daycare provider must be approved for participation in the program, and the home must meet state fire and safety standards.

“Not only is it providing these meals, but it’s also an entrepreneurial opportunity for some individuals as well,” Tarek Polite, director of human services for the parish, said.

Polite said the grant money can help encourage those wanting to start a small business in child care.

“They may not have to charge the people who need the service as much per week, because they are being reimbursed by the police jury,” Polite said. “So, they can actually take that money that we’re paying for the meals, and reduce that off the weekly charge.”

Polite adds that the program already serves around 45 providers in Calcasieu Parish.

In addition to Calcasieu Parish, the food program is also offered to providers in Allen, Beauregard, and Jeff Davis. To apply, you may reach out to your parish’s police jury directly.

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