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TO MAKE NUTRITION A PRIORITY FOR CHILDREN IN
DAYCARE BY EDUCATING CHILDCARE PROVIDERS
TO BE THE PRINCIPAL FOOD AND NUTRITION RESOURCE FOR A TRANSFORMED GENERATION
TO BE ACCOUNTABLE, ACCESSIBLE, MAINTAIN INTEGRITY, BEST PRACTICES,
WELLNESS, HEALTH AND SAFETY AND BE COMMITTED TO OUR PURPOSE
Thank you for the opportunity to submit this project proposal for the renovation of the Alpha & Omega Nutrition Training and Resource Center. We are excited about the success to be achieved with the help of volunteers, donors and grantees.
Alpha & Omega Nutrition Program Incorporation commend in 2011 as a 501 (C)3 non-profit public organization and a sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food program (CACFP), which was organized in response to the National School Lunch Act and nutritional needs in children. Our effort is to help serve meals and snacks to the underserved children and make daycare more affordable for families in our community.
The organization assists child care providers serving USDA-approved meals in their facilities. Our program provides a monthly reimbursement stipend for each sponsored family day home and daycare center to help cover the cost of the daily meals. In addition, we provide nutritional training and resources to bring awareness to caregivers concerning health, safety, sanitation, and other best practices that will help our children achieve.
Our mission is to make nutrition a priority for children in daycare by educating childcare providers.
The primary goal of the CACFP is to ensure that well-balanced, nutritious meals are served to children attending family day care homes and centers and to help children learn to eat a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet especially those from lower economic circumstances. Proper nutrition is vital to the physical, intellectual and emotional development of young children. Secondary goals of the CACFP are: the establishment of lifelong, positive eating habits, reduction of future health care and education costs due to lack of proper early development and training and support of local child care personnel.
BENEFITS OF THE CHILD & ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM IN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE
BENEFITS FOR THE CHILD
The Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) offers lifetime benefits. Proper nutrition during the early years of childhood ensures appropriate development and reduces physical and educational problems later in life. The preschool years are when eating patterns and habits are being established that may determine the quality of one’s diet throughout life. Children who are in child care with providers who participate on the CACFP are given the opportunity of nutrition education by providers who understand their role in shaping attitudes toward the acceptance of nutritious foods. Providers create an atmosphere that instills a positive, curious attitude about food from the earliest years.
BENEFITS FOR THE PARENTS
Parents are assured that their children will be served high quality meals. The benefit is children are less likely to experience fatigue and illness, and less time a parent must be absent from work. The child is also more likely to be healthy, happy and develop at a normal physical, emotional and intellectual pace. The children are also sharing with the parent some of the fun and easy recipes through handouts that they can make together at home.
BENEFITS FOR THE FAMILY CHILD CARE PROVIDER
Providers receive valuable nutrition education that helps them identify the proper foods to feed children in amounts appropriate for these young age groups. They receive help through nutrition education and personal visits from CACFP staff in understanding how to encourage positive eating habits that will benefit a child throughout life. They help children make healthy food choices for their meals and snacks that will last a lifetime. The financial reimbursement helps them to be able to afford to serve complete nutritionally approved USDA meals.
BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY
Because of the CACFP, federal tax monies are returned to the provider’s state and invested in the health of the community’s children. The added revenue is a means of helping to keep child care costs down for parents working in the community. Licensed and unregulated providers are eligible to participate in the program moreover; this provides an incentive for unlicensed providers to comply with local child care ordinances. Within our Sponsorship, (75 Providers) are enrolled in the CACFP, with approximately (700 Children Enrolled) children directly benefiting from the food program. The CACFP in Tennessee meets the nutritional needs of young children while they are in out-of-home care, resulting in significant enrichment and improvement of the quality of
childcare provided in our community. In 1997, welfare reform legislation was implemented that made significant cuts in the
Child and adult care food program (CACFP). This resulted in a reduction of participation by family child care providers and thus reduced the number of children benefiting from nutritionally complete meals. We must all work together to assure children in poverty stricken areas receive the nutritious meals they need to grow and eat well for a lifetime.
The CACFP has grown throughout the years. Nationwide approximately 1.8 million children are served each working day in family day care homes and thousands more participate in child care centers and Head Start Programs.
THE CACFP SERVES:
Children under the age of 13.
Migrant workers’ children, age 15 and under.
Physically or mentally disabled persons receiving care in a family day care home or child care center where most participants are 18 years old or younger.
Adults who are functionally impaired or over the age of 60, and unable to care for themselves.
DAY CARE HOME PARTICIPATION:
Family day care homes must follow the state licensing requirements.
Family day care homes must participate through a sponsoring organization.
Sponsors must be either private or public non-profit agencies or state and local government, and have the staff and expertise necessary to provide nutrition and services to the family day care home community.
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