Where The Best Is Provided
Baby Led Weaning or Pureed Foods
I have many, many years of feeding infants pureed foods; however, a few years ago I was introduced to baby led weaning. I'm so excited to offer baby led weaning in my home setting. Parents will have a choice of baby led weaning or pureed foods, but let's at least have a discussion about baby led weaning. I will provide pureed baby foods, but some pureed foods will be homemade from what the other children are having since majority of the foods will be fresh or frozen, and if from a can it will be in natural juice and no added syrup or sugar.
Paced Bottle Feeding
I've been using paced bottle feeding for a few years and have seen such an improvement in infants demand for breast milk and formula. It allows nursing moms to be able to keep up with their infants feeding needs and formula families aren't having to purchase such large amounts of formula.
Disposable Diapers and Wipes Provided
Cloth Diapers Encouraged
Disposable diapers are included in tuition. After a lot of research, the brands I'll be using are Seventh Generation, Honest, Mama Bear, or Hello Bello. I will purchase what is the best price at each purchase.
Cloth diapers are encouraged; however, it will be the parents responsibility to provide, wash, and return diapers as needed, as well as provide liners and a waterproof bag.
You will decide when signing the contract if you would prefer to have disposable diapers provided or if you will bring your own disposables or cloth.
Water wipes will be on hand, but small wash cloths will be used majority of the time. You will not need to provide wipes.
NO Infant Confining Equipment Used
Our infants are either in a pack'n play to sleep, in our arms as much as possible, or on an activity mat having floor time. The only somewhat confining equipment that will be used is a boppy pillow for tummy time and learning to sit, and eventually a high chair strictly for eating, art, or table play along with other children. Okay, well maybe a stroller to get outside, or they may possibly be worn. However, we don't have any swings, bouncy seats, exersaucers, etc.
Extra Clothes and Nap Blanket
Each child is to bring 3 sets of extra clothes that will stay at my home. A nap blanket will be provided or you can bring one. Clothes will be washed as needed and nap blankets will be washed at least once a week. These will be washed in Seventh Generation or other gentle detergent to help avoid any skin reactions.
FREE Child Care for a Night Out & Christmas Shopping
Each currently enrolled family will receive FREE child care for three additional hours one night out of a year for an anniversary or birthday. You choose and arrange in advance when contract is signed or as desired. Each currently enrolled family will also receive FREE child care from 8am-5pm on a Saturday in December to use for Christmas shopping. If slots are available, other families may pay for their child to attend this day. This year it will be December 10, 2022.
Helena's Early Learning Playhouse participates in CACFP, Child Adult Care Food Program. This program not only regulates what foods can be served and how it is served, but they reimburse a small portion of food costs so that I can provide meals at no cost to the families. A nutritious breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack is served each day. Children will be served meals that fall during their contracted times in care. A 5 week cycle menu is used. There is a good variety of foods, a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, canned fruits are in 100% juice or water, and plenty of food will be prepared for children to have extra if they would like. We will incorporate as much family style dining as possible around minor illnesses. With family style dining, children learn to serve themselves, use their manners to ask for more and pass the food, help to set the table and even clean up after meals as much as possible and dependent on children's ages in care. Children will also be asked often to help prepare foods as they are able and even rinse dishes or help clean up.
Infants are fed on their demand until they turn a year old and/or ready to be on the same schedule as the older children. I encourage breastfeeding, but I also offer Parents Choice formula at no extra cost. I prefer to make formula bottles, no matter who provides the formula and bottles, to cut out the extra step of heating in a bottle warmer. I have an organizational system to keep track of things for each child, whether it stays here to be washed and sanitized or sent home to be cleaned. See below for more information on infant feeding.