Introducing is our way to give back to you!  You have given us such great success and we wanted to say thank you.  We released a survey to providers to find out what might help them and we released one to you to see how we could help you.  Therefore, was born.  We have been developing this free community and resource site since August and will be officially launched in April.  Our mission with this site is to bridge the gap of communication in the child care profession by enabling child care professionals, organizations and parents to interact with one another, building a cohesive knowledge base through information sharing and ultimately making that information easily accessible to the child care community as a whole.  These are some of the ways we are going to achieve our mission:

1) a “craigslist” for child care (Child Care Classifieds)

2) a “Network” which is like a Facebook focused only on child care.  This will be live next week!!!!

3) a “Child Care Directory” which includes providers, associations AND all of your information so it is easy for child care providers to find your information.  Send us your websites and contact information so you can be the first listed!  This will go live in April!

4) information about CACFP in an effort to educate all people that touch child care about CACFP and its importance in the quality of child care

5) a place for Sponsors to communicate with each other and share all of the new and wonderful things are you doing.  We want to feature you and the great work you are doing for excellence in child care.  (You  have to be registered as a sponsor to view this page)

6) provide free web resources and professional skill information focused on you and your needs as well as child care providers

7) make it easier for you and your providers to find relevant state and federal information and web pages

Those are the highlights but there is so much more!  We are excited to share this resource and provide an opportunity for CACFP to be featured in the child care community among the other organizations that are trying to reach the same goals, excellence in child care!  This site is dynamic and is meant to be built with the community that is using it.  Please share with us your thoughts, ideas and perspectives.  We want to create a resource that you want to use, it is for you after all!

Don’t forget to send us your websites and contact information so we can place you in the directory!

Minute Menu Assists with CNIPS State Upload System in CA

Over the past two years, Minute Menu has collaborated closely with the California Department of Education to greatly reduce the headache associated with the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) rollout for both sponsors of family child care providers and child care center organizations.  Much of our work was behind the scenes with the state, to help ensure that sponsors would not have to manually enter information into the new CNIPS database.  We are grateful to the state for giving us the opportunity to assist them on ways to streamline the process.  And the state has also provided us with a way to ensure Minute Menu customers can automatically upload claim and provider/center data each month… saving time for our customers each & every month.  We have also worked closely with reviewers and auditors in the state to help them answer questions about specific reports and software best practices, and have provided training to the state agency as well.  Many thanks and much kudos to the state agency, and the sponsors and center organizations who’ve worked closely with us and the state throughout this process.  This kind of collaborative process goes a long way toward helping everyone achieve the mission of feeding kids with lower administrative costs.  For those in other states who would like our assistance with similar information systems projects in those states, or would like similar training for state agencies, please let us know.