I used to work at day care center as one of the assistants. A change that was made while I worked there was that the center began serving breakfast to the children who were brought in early in the morning. The reason for this change was that there was a problem with getting parents to give their little ones breakfast prior to bringing them to the day care center. Often, the children would arrive without having eaten and they would then become very cranky and hard to manage.
In order to facilitate an easy change over, the day care administration polled parents that brought their children in early through the use of a form that was sent home with the children. The majority of the parents wanted the change since most were in a rush to drop the kids off in the morning so that they could get to work on time. Having the day care center serve a breakfast would make it easier for the parents. Once the breakfast in the center program began, both parents and staff members alike saw the benefit that getting a breakfast does for the little ones that we were in charge of.
Children ranged in age from 9 months old to 4 years or older and having breakfast at the center meant that we knew the children were eating. There was a decrease in the amount of crankiness that the toddlers exhibited after we started serving breakfast. Parents were asked to communicate any problems that they felt needed to be fixed. One example of this was that parents asked to have a choice of white or chocolate milk be presented to students. We only started the program out by serving chocolate milk.
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The parents were worried that their children were not being offered enough choices. The change was made the third week of breakfast in the center. Staff members were also encouraged to give input on the program. Administration for the center monitored as the children ate their breakfast periodically and asked staff members how they felt the program was going. We as a staff during that third week of the program had to inform the principal that having white milk wasn’t working.
None of the children were drinking the white milk, so it was being wasted since it had to be thrown out. At our staff meeting during that week the administration at the center asked us to give the white/chocolate milk one more week. It was suggested that parents that wanted their child to drink only white milk be asked to fill out a form that stated that preference. To this date, breakfast in the center was a success. The children were more alert and were able to pay attention.
There were fewer fights because the children had full tummies and were less inclined to become cranky with one another. The parents also reported feeling less stress because they had more time in the morning with their child as they drove them to the center. They didn’t have to scurry around trying to get them breakfast and then trying to get to work on time. The parents reported that the drive to the day care center was much more pleasant since they had more time and were not as stressed.