Re: egg allergy and daycare-Long Response
I run an early childhood program that serves breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. I can share some of what we do and hopefully offer some advice about finding a good place to take your child.
Here is what I do. Children are not allowed to bring any outside food (or toys) into the facilities. This rule if for the children's safety as well as for the classroom management. All parents are informed of this before they begin school and it is strictly enforced. We always ask the parents during the registration process and during an initial home visit about any allergy or health problems the children have. (You would be surprised how many parents "forget" to tell us about dangerous conditions.) If a parent identifies an an allergy, we immediately ask the parent to provide us with documentation from a health professional. That official information is used to create a health plan and/or nutrition plan with the parent to accommodate the child's needs. If it is a life threatening condition, we hang 8 1/2 x 11 florescent red signs in key places in the facility warning that there is a child in the class with ____ condition. We use this most frequently for asthma, but severe allergies are also posted (not the child's name-we do follow HIPPA). All staff who are in that class or who interact with that child are then trained by a health professional we contract with to write the appropriate health plan. If there is a sub in the class on any day, the health person is contacted to come to the class to train that person also. Also, a contracted nutritionist and kitchen make sure all appropriate accommodations are made for the food that is prepared and all precautions are taken in serving the food. In severe cases, we may offer the parent the option to provide the food if they choose. That is up to the parent as part of the health plan.
My best advice to you is to make sure you ensure the child care you use is state licensed. Both centers and family child care programs licensed. When you register your child, ask what the child to caregiver ratio is. I have visited many programs in the past who didn't follow the regulated ratios. When they have too many children, they can't appropriately keep an eye on all children. Make sure all providers caring for your child are current with their food handler's permits, first aid training and CPR training. Also ask to see copies of the menus they use so you can get an idea of the food they serve. To find a licensed child care in your center you can try your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency. They are located in all 50 states. They are operated with federal grants and don't recommend specific centers, but they can give you a list of all state licensed programs in your area and what their rates are. Many states also have rating systems that have strict guidelines to regulate the level of quality for that center. Look for you state child care bureau and inquire if your state has something in place. This might help you find somewhere comfortable to take your child. It sounds like a family childcare may be a good option. Most of these programs usually have only 4-8 children depending on their age.
As for the centers where you had problems, did you call state licensing to inform them of the incident? There is a requirement for programs to report any emergency incidents to the state immediately so it can be investigated.
I hope I have given you some new things to think about. There is NOTHING more important than the safety of a child. And I am truly touched that you are willing to fight for your child's needs. I don't see that happen very often.
Let me know if you have any further questions in this area.
Good luck finding a solution for your care.
Last edited by MountainReader; 12-15-2006 at 10:36 PM.