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Hi
My 2.5 yr old has been attending Creative World daycare for last 6 months.
She was automatically given a veggie option (like a Bocaburger) when the other kids got meat. However, I was told today that I need to pay $5 per week to continue to provide her a varied vegetarian meal.

If I dont pay, they say she will get the regular meal without the meat. For e.g., if they serve pasta with meat sauce, she will just get the pasta (and whatever sides) they have. -> Obviously, this means she may not get any protein as USDA/State requirements state apart from the meal being totally bland (plain pasta?)

I am very miffed about it.
. I feel we are being penalized for having different beliefs. It is only $5 but I feel the fundamental policy is so wrong.Can you suggest what I can do? I checked IL state daycare standards which say veg options and adequate protein have to be provided.

Are there any precedents? Any advice will be appreciated.
Deepa
 

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That sounds wrong but I don't think there is any law against it?

I would pay if I were faced with that, because it sounds like it would be cheaper than packing a protein to go with her lunch. Packing a tofurkey and rice cheese sandwich one day, and a side of lentil pasta sauce another day, and so on can get more costly than $5 per week.

Maybe let them know you will be looking into another daycare that is more vegetarian friendly, and they might change their policy
 

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My sister works in a nursary, and to be honest Id take their side on this.
Veggie kids are rare, so they tend not to order veggie options for meals, therefore they will have to order something special for your child. Adding to the cost of their outgoings. Unfortunately bulk buying minced beef and making pasta sauce with it is more economical to them because they will have to supply maybe 100s of meals a day for other places too.(my sisters nursary caterers also send meals to the local primary school).
If a child has a milk allergy for example, that would be the same. The parent would need to pay for the special order.
 

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The daycare my son is in only has meat as a special Friday lunch, so I just bring in his own lunch that day. It probably costs about $5, but it's worth it for my son to be able to eat veggie food. Charging you a little extra and saving you the effort sounds like a deal to me. At least they're willing to make the exception for your child, I imagine there are a lot of daycares that would refuse.
 

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We tried two daycares so far. We're happy with the second one because ALL the children bring their own lunches and so there's no issue of what they feed our son. The only issue that's come up so far is that sometimes they will hold back on giving him an item that the other children might want! Like I packed chocolate almond milk pudding for lunch dessert or afternoon snack and they explained that if he ate it some other kids would have thrown a fit so they just kept it in the lunch bag. I let him eat it in the car before we drove home
The same thing happened with an oatmeal cookie I packed for an after-lunch snack.

The other daycare would not provide vegan or vegetarian meals at all. But they were happy to accomodate the meals we brought for him. They didn't charge any extra but nor did they give us a discount for providing our own food. The issues there were more about the quality of care than about the food, although sometimes food issues came up (like lots of times they gave him treats that are not vegan and they never bothered to ask or tell me). So that's why we found another daycare.

In doing my research, I found that all the schools/ daycares in my area claimed to accept vegan children, no problem. But in practice it really seems like it's a case-by-case matter. I'm happy with our current situation because I feel good knowing exactly what my son is eating each day. But yeah, even just doing tours and asking questions you can't always tell how it's going to work out. You kind of just have to try them out to see.

If I were you, I would explain that what they're asking for is highly unusual and you don't think you should pay the extra money. You may want to offer to bring your own food for your kiddo or just find a new daycare.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

My sister works in a nursary, and to be honest Id take their side on this.
Veggie kids are rare, so they tend not to order veggie options for meals, therefore they will have to order something special for your child. Adding to the cost of their outgoings. Unfortunately bulk buying minced beef and making pasta sauce with it is more economical to them because they will have to supply maybe 100s of meals a day for other places too.(my sisters nursary caterers also send meals to the local primary school).
If a child has a milk allergy for example, that would be the same. The parent would need to pay for the special order.
I agree .... from a business standpoint, it just wouldn't be cost-effective to order veggie options in bulk, as these particular kids would be a relatively small percentage.

That being said ... you'd think for what most day care centers charge, that they could absorb the additional $5 per week charge (that the OP mentioned) into their OWN operating expenses.
 

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Yeah unfortunately I have to agree that if vegetarian food costs them more then it will in turn cost you more as well. I realize that this isn't necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison but if there are gluten-free or dairy-free children in the class then they will also have to pay more. It sucks but that's just the way it goes right now. I think the extra five dollars is worth it.
 

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Is there no government or local financial aid for this kind if cases ? if not i would strongly suggest to try to make the steps to create one and demonstrate clearly the health advantages of a vegan diet.
Good for bringing the problem to the ignorant public and to help those who cannot affort to spend more money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowmoon1969 View Post

I agree .... from a business standpoint, it just wouldn't be cost-effective to order veggie options in bulk, as these particular kids would be a relatively small percentage.

That being said ... you'd think for what most day care centers charge, that they could absorb the additional $5 per week charge (that the OP mentioned) into their OWN operating expenses.
Running a daycare is not cheap, I've never known anyone to get rich or even moderately wealthy running one. Most struggle to pay the bills. If a customer is costing the daycare more, then the customer should pay the additional cost.
 

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I don't think the day care is being out of line and $5 a week is not a lot. An alternative would be to purchase a bunch of items that they can use for your child like spagetti sauce, meatless patties, etc. and then leave them at the school or just pack your own lunch and snacks. For my daughter with severe food allergies I both pack her lunch and snacks but also leave treats at her school for the surprise birthday party. It is much more expensive to pack a lunch, but I like to do it because I know exactly what my child is eating.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

We tried two daycares so far. We're happy with the second one because ALL the children bring their own lunches and so there's no issue of what they feed our son. The only issue that's come up so far is that sometimes they will hold back on giving him an item that the other children might want! Like I packed chocolate almond milk pudding for lunch dessert or afternoon snack and they explained that if he ate it some other kids would have thrown a fit so they just kept it in the lunch bag. I let him eat it in the car before we drove home
The same thing happened with an oatmeal cookie I packed for an after-lunch snack.

The other daycare would not provide vegan or vegetarian meals at all. But they were happy to accomodate the meals we brought for him. They didn't charge any extra but nor did they give us a discount for providing our own food. The issues there were more about the quality of care than about the food, although sometimes food issues came up (like lots of times they gave him treats that are not vegan and they never bothered to ask or tell me). So that's why we found another daycare.

In doing my research, I found that all the schools/ daycares in my area claimed to accept vegan children, no problem. But in practice it really seems like it's a case-by-case matter. I'm happy with our current situation because I feel good knowing exactly what my son is eating each day. But yeah, even just doing tours and asking questions you can't always tell how it's going to work out. You kind of just have to try them out to see.

If I were you, I would explain that what they're asking for is highly unusual and you don't think you should pay the extra money. You may want to offer to bring your own food for your kiddo or just find a new daycare.
I'd really take them to task on this. What if it wasn't simply being raised veg*an, but an allergy that prevented him from eating things with eggs, dairy, etc.? Having multiple allergies in my family, including a pretty severe one (BIL with soy reaction that mimics heart attack) they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit, especially if they aren't aware, or telling their employees, "Little ElaineV can't have those Chocolate chip cookies because they have egg in them, and she's allergic to eggs."
 

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Honestly, the $5 doesn't seem so bad since they have to get something special for just your kid.
 

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Is your child there 5 days a week? I'd gladly pay $1 per day to have my preferences met. In fact, I'd pay a dollar extra per day to guarantee a hot veg lunch at my hospital cafeteria every day! I take my veg*nism very seriously, but it is a choice for me. I would not expect a daycare to pay more out of their pocket for my choices.

Allergies are a different thing all together.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purp View Post

I'd really take them to task on this.
It wasn't even so much that they were feeding nonvegan food. I let them given him some snacks that weren't vegan like those cheddar fish crackers and some other things. So they knew I was flexible because at the time it was really important to me to make sure everyone understood that I wasn't this super-strict vegan lady. And I was honest and told them that he's not technically allergic. But the thing is, they wouldn't ever tell me at the end of the day when I picked him up "Oh, by the way, he ate 3 cookies in addition to his lunch and snacks so he might not be hungry for dinner." They didn't even think it was important to share that kind of information. Or, more likely, they were just overwhelmed with too many kids.

Anyway, we switched to a new place and things are MUCH better now
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsalem View Post

I am very miffed about it.
. I feel we are being penalized for having different beliefs. It is only $5 but I feel the fundamental policy is so wrong.Can you suggest what I can do? I checked IL state daycare standards which say veg options and adequate protein have to be provided.
I took a look at the laws and here are the relevant parts:

Quote:
407.330 g2
Menu planning shall reflect consideration for cultural and ethnic patterns

407.330 j
a child requiring a special diet due to medical reasons, allergic reactions or religious beliefs shall be provided with meals and snacks according to the written instructions of the child's parents, clergy and/or the child's medical provider.

407.330 j3
When providing a special diet causes undue hardship or expense for the child care center, meals or portions of meals shall be provided by the parent upon written agreement of the parent and the center. The parent shall be responsible for the safety of food brought into the center.

407.330 k3
Vegetarian meals that meet protein requirements may be served. The main dish shall contain one or more of the following: cheese, eggs, legumes, or peanut butter.
http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/...70G03300R.html

If you really want to avoid the fee and you're OK with angering the people who care for your child then you can push the issue. If you're veg for religious reasons then make that clear. Same as if it's for cultural or medical reasons. Also bring up the fact that a significant portion of children (arguably growing in number) are veg so there's no way it can be considered an "undue hardship or expense". Use the specific word "discrimination". Also, speak directly to the chef to convince him or her how to easily modify their current foods to fit your family.

I think you have a strong case and personally I might be willing to push the issue if it weren't for worrying that they'd dislike me and take it out on my kid. That is honestly my only reason I wouldn't make a fuss. Perhaps it makes more sense to find a better daycare and then explain why you took your business elsewhere.

Note: I'm not a lawyer. I don't even pretend to be one on TV. This is not legal advice
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsalem View Post

Hi
I checked IL state daycare standards which say veg options and adequate protein have to be provided.
If that is what is said in the standards then do what is necessary to make them comply.
 

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Yes, they should comply. It's easy to say it's only $5 a week, but firstly, they are duty bound to provide this for your child and others. 2ndly, I know what it's like to be poor and $5 is food money. 3rdly, you are clearing the way for other parents who feel afraid to ask for what is fair for their children.
They may get angered by this, but if so, that is their character flaw.
Sometimes we ask or argue for fairness with agencies and even businesses, who at first protest and do not understand. However, some of these same people end up listening, learning and really appreciating that we educated them politely, but firmly. I love it when someone resistant turns around and expresses genuine appreciation. It feels really good. I even got offensive advertising taken down once this way. (It looked like a child on the playground swing in the ad for booze.)
I hope you get treated fairly, just like the rules Elaine posted require.
All the Best!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezydreams View Post

Yes, they should comply. It's easy to say it's only $5 a week, but firstly, they are duty bound to provide this for your child and others.
No they're not
Quote:
2ndly, I know what it's like to be poor and $5 is food money.
Yes it is, luckily, it will be going to the kid's food.
Quote:
3rdly, you are clearing the way for other parents who feel afraid to ask for what is fair for their children.
They may get angered by this, but if so, that is their character flaw.
Sometimes we ask or argue for fairness with agencies and even businesses, who at first protest and do not understand. However, some of these same people end up listening, learning and really appreciating that we educated them politely, but firmly. I love it when someone resistant turns around and expresses genuine appreciation. It feels really good. I even got offensive advertising taken down once this way. (It looked like a child on the playground swing in the ad for booze.)
I hope you get treated fairly, just like the rules Elaine posted require.
All the Best!
Good clean daycares often have a waiting list, they don't care if they lose the OP's business. $5 isn't a lot to ask for providing special good for a children, i'm honestly surprised it's not a bit more.
 

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just pack your kid a low cost healthy meal like brown rice with some beans, with a nice sauce or something? some yummy roasted veggies, sweet fruits, but of course, always go easy on salt and sugar, yes?
I'm sure they won't mind (as long as you keep to any allergy rules they have)
 
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