Is anyone else's DayCareCentre removing food
and not lowering fees?
, Mar 06 2012 10:08 AM
29 replies to this topic
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:08 AM
DSs day care centre have informed is that they will no longer be supplying food and we need to pack lunch for our children.
Their reason is that the cost of keeping food in is too expensive due to the changes in legislation and that they're going to be focusing on more natural environments such as veggie gardens.
I told them our centre already had a veggie patch and I didn't understand why if they were removing a service fees wouldn't go down or some sort of compensation, especially since we already have the garden they speak of.
I can't really afford to supply lunch for DS both time wise and cost wise and told them it may lead me to change centres. I was told that I will find ALL centres will be removing food due to the cost of the new legislation being met.
Is anyone else's removing food? Are they lowering cost? If I move will I just end up in a centre that removes food soon anyway?
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:11 AM
If they are removing food in lieu of increasing fees, there's your compensation.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:14 AM
No, but ours increased fees due to the new legislation.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:16 AM
We use two centres, neither has increased their fees, one supplies food(long day centre) other doesn't supply food anyway(short day childcare/preschool)
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:19 AM
ours haven't mentioned anything about removing food, the fees increased by $5/day but i assumed that was an inflation thing as they never mentioned it had anything to do with legislation changes...
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:20 AM
I live in SA and the child care centre my DS goes to supplies all food. They have changed over to a health eating menu and I get it emailed to me every Friday afternoon for the following week.
I would hate to supply his food, he only really eats when he's at child care, I don't know if it's the food or being with his friends.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:21 AM
I am on the management committee of a community daycare centre, so have insight into running costs etc.
The funding changes have made a massive difference to the bottom line for daycare centres. As an example, in 2011 our centre received $120,000 in government funding, this year we will get around $30,000. The difference has to be made up somehow - in the case of my centre we have kept the provision of food, but raised fees by close to 10%. Obviously in the case of your centre they are making up the shortfall in government funding by dropping the provision of food.
You will probably be able to find another centre that provides food, but I would suspect their fees will be more than you're paying at your current centre.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:29 AM
The daycare DS2 attends has increased prices, no changes to providing food. Thankgod as he eats a lot so it is cheaper for me not to have to supply food.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:38 AM
Our DC supplies all food and just did their annual increase in fees, which was just CPI.
There is no way I would/could match the diversity in food and snacks that the DC provides. There is enough time for that when she starts full time school.
I would check the neighbouring DC centres to see what their policies are and will be. I wouldn't take the word of anyone working in your current centre as they would want to keep you there.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:39 AM
The new legislative changes have related to changes to the ratios of staff and some states are more affected than others - depending on what previous ratios were in that state. Some centres need to employ extra staff to meet the ratios each day. The money for that typically comes from increasing fees. The funding changes have also had an impact on centres so this has to be made up somewhere else - as per PP's explanation.
OP, your centre hasn't articulated it very well, but there is a need for centres to review their practice and balance funding with costs for extra staff etc.
Your centre's vegie patch has nothing to do with the funding changes - centres are now required to provide awareness of sustainable practice in their programs. This has nothing to do with cutting food out - its a separate issue. They haven't explained it well obviously.
No, it is absolutely not the case that all centres are dropping food service from their program, especially those who employ a cook.
You are getting "compensation" in the form of your fees not being increased.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:39 AM
My LDC centre supplies food, but many around me don't now, mainly because they didn't want to have to meet the accreditation regulations in regards to storing and preparing food. Most of them didn't drop their fees though which I think was pretty ordinary - some of them even put their fees up at the same time
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:45 AM
Ours doesn't provide food anyway and we pay $64 a day which , as it is in a small country town, I assume is okay. I wouldn't want food provided due to DS's allergies so am happy to make the time and spend the money on food that I would choose for him and that is okay for him to eat.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:47 AM
There hasn't been any annoucements at DS's daycare, I know they reviewed the cost for the beginning of the year, my cost is $79/day with all meals provided, they have a qualified chef. DS has been going for 2mths 2days/wk and at lunch he has something different every week so far, when DD went there they had sandwhiches a fair bit.
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:48 AM
Just by way of interest, my centre's budget (which results in an excellent, diverse and nutritious menu) comes down to $1.30 per child per day. If we did drop food it wouldn't be worth the drop in fees.
Most centres are just trying to improve staffing with as little impact to families as possible..
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:50 AM
We had fees go up due to the legislation change in regards to ratio and training.
I pay $65 a day and while I get 50% back I'm thinking maybe it's cheaper for me to quit my job and keep him at home
Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:57 AM
No... what state are you in?
I would rather pay more than have to provide food - that's very time consuming!
Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:09 AM
I was told that I will find ALL centres will be removing food due to the cost of the new legislation being met.
I know that ours is not removing food but did think about it. Providing food can be a big extra cost (staff, facilities, food) and administrative hassle to the centre, they need to ensure they have staff with appropriate training in food handling, meet the (ever increasing) requirements, have inspections etc. If it wasn't for the fact that most parents felt strongly that the meals were a very positive aspect then the centre would have stopped providing it.
The new legislation about staff qualifications and ratios is forcing centres to increase fees, sometimes by quite a bit. I wouldn't be surprised if some centres decide to drop food to keep fees lower.
Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:58 AM
DD centre raised their fees by $10 per day. This bring the fees up to $120 per day in the toddler room. It's insane & I am contemplating pulling her out for a few reasons but this is certainly one of them.
They still offer food but last year DD ate the food this year she hasn't eaten one of the lunches as they are "yuck, Mum". I am guessing the quality has gone down hill. They also make a lot of cakes together and have at morning or afternoon tea which annoys me as well. This is supposedly a well run centre with agood reputation. I'd hate to see a cheap crappy centre!
The staff ratios & CPI were the reasons cited for the price increase.
edited: weird triple post happened
Edited by BadKitteh, 07 March 2012 - 10:00 AM.
Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:06 AM
No, I haven't heard anything about DD#2's long daycare "removing" food.
I guess because this is her last year at daycare (she starts 'big school' next year) IF they did - I would just supply her with food - I wouldn't go out of my way to change centres as I am very happy with the daycare she goes to.
Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:42 PM
No but they did increase their fees by $6 per day.
Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:11 PM
Our community run centre has always provided morning and afternoon tea, but never lunch. And I think our fees would be a good $7 less than the next cheapest centre. I prefer to pay less and provide my own food. They also heat up food. A left overs bowl of pasta or a sandwich would not cost more than $1 and does not take long to make. My child also has allergies, so we always pack morning and afternoon tea for him incase the menu items are not suitable.
I've used a centre before that provided all food and whilst it was convenient, I'd rather pay less.
Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:16 PM
It's strange that they didn't do a survey of parents before making this decision.
Ours did a survey about the need to meet increased kinder hours.
I haven't heard of any other centres doing this.
Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:51 PM
I'm very new to the child care thing. DD has only been going a couple of months. They provide all nappies, breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon tea and a late afternoon snack. I love that! It makes getting out the door so much easier. When we started fees were $63/day and they went up to $70 recently. We are in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. I am surprised that fees vary so much. I love our centre. It is a great family run place with chooks and herb/veggie patches and staff that are always smiling and seem to actually really enjoy their jobs. That was one of the reasons I chose that centre. When I went to have a look, every staff member that walked past stopped to say hello to my daughter with a great big smile. And they all still do the same now. Totally off topic now but will check with them to see that they're not considering removing their meals.
Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:01 PM
Our LDC provides all food & nappies, and have made no mention of removing food or increasing fees - but I suppose that is because it is a privately owned centre and they already covered the new staffing ratios so they had no increase in costs.
I would not be happy with removing food, and if it were an option I would take an increase in fees over removing the food. I think your centre should put it to a vote!
Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:33 PM
Yes ours have advised us that they will be doing the same as at the 2nd April, I dare say we are with the same company, they have a few centres around seq, our notification letter sounds similar to what you have said. We also had a small fee increase a couple of months ago along with the removal of food.
As much as I am not looking forward to working out what to prepare and finding the time to do it I would be happier they drop the food than the quality of other things being erroded due the financial/time/red tape constraints of the staff.
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