Building a Foundation for Learning With Natural Nutrition

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Provider Adrian and Ruby Abascal of Austin, TX featured by National CACFP Sponsors Association

​​​​Finding an organic and chemical-free child care environment for their son proved to be a difficult challenge for Adrian and Ruby Abascal. However, this difficult challenge turned into a new adventure. Using Adrian’s background in medicine and Ruby’s background in teaching, they opened their own child care, Green Monkey Day Care. Their hope is to provide a naturally clean, chemical-free environment focused on nutrition while building lifelong relationships with both the children in their care and their families.

“When the body and mind are taken care of, the learning happens organically and spontaneously.”

Ruby teaches essential skills daily through a different style of pedagogy, Respectful Infant Education. Ruby strives to make real connections with the children in her care, much like she would a peer. Through mindful modeling and behaviors, the children are developing their minds in social emotional learning. They are finding that children, even at the early age of three, start to interact with each other on more of a peer-to-peer level and are able to help each other instead of always relying on an adult. 

Nutrition builds the foundation for learning. Beginning with the garden in the backyard, Adrian teaches the children about using fresh ingredients and scratch cooking. The children learn to cook pasta and even make cheese. Adrian and Ruby believe the true learning of nutrition is through experiencing the process and enjoying homemade dishes and new foods. The Abascals make a healthy connection at home sharing menus and educational nutritional notes.

Not only has this been a new career adventure, it has also turned into a lifelong vision. The Abascal’s goal is to educate other home care providers and help them become an organic, chemical-free child care while teaching through pedagogy Ruby has developed. They feel their dream is so much bigger than just their personal home child care. They want to see a change in children’s nutrition and believe they can be part of the solution. ‘If you want to change the world, it has to start with you.’ 

CACFP is an indicator of quality child care. When children are cared for by providers who are part of the CACFP program they are receiving the best nutrition available. Learn more about other CACFP providers featured in the Member Showcase at CACFP's website,

Since 1986, the National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) is the leading national organization for sponsors who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). It provides education and support to thousands of members in the CACFP community and in particular to sponsors of all sizes from across the country. CACFP strives to improve communication between families, caregivers, sponsors and their supervising government agencies.

Source: National CACFP Sponsors Association


Categories: Pre-School

Tags: CACFP, CACFP Sponsor, early child care, food bank, food program, home child care provider, nutrition, preschool, summerfood

About National CACFP Sponsors Association

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The National CACFP Sponsors Association serves as a national platform which provides education, support, and resources to organizations who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program to the CACFP community.

National CACFP Sponsors Association
PO Box 1748
Round Rock, TX 78680