Educating Children: Doing What Comes Naturally

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Provider Janet Wade of Knoxville, TN, featured by National CACFP Sponsors Association

Many young children play school and pretend to be a teacher. Janet Wade knew from her early years, she not only wanted to play school, but be an actual teacher when she grew up. She has now been in education for almost 30 years, first as a paraprofessional in the local school district and then moving on to owning her own home child care. 

At Janet’s child care, the children prepare for Kindergarten through themed teaching. She tries to incorporate many lessons around one centralized theme, including nutrition. For example, on St. Patrick’s Day, the children participate in a green taste test. Any kind of green fruit or vegetable that you can imagine is on the menu. Many times, the testers might say they don’t like something, but all have to participate in “1-2-3 – BITE!” with everyone taking at least a small bite on the count. 

"This just comes naturally to me. I love it and I enjoy working hard, encouraging the children to be creative and to continually create new ideas and opportunities so that learning is fun."

Janet Wade, Child Care Provider

Within the themed units, children are given the opportunity for physical activity. Some days, they pretend to be snowflakes falling gently to the ground or dancing through the air. Other days, the children are the wind, hissing like a snake or fluttering like a butterfly. 

In addition to learning opportunities through themed units, the children experience the community around them. During the Christmas season, children make cards for older patrons at Janet’s church, and every year they visit St. Jude’s Hospital. They also work together as a child care community to plant a garden each spring and study good citizenship traits such as kindness, sharing and respectfulness daily. Any parent will know that not only is their child going to be well-cared for, but they also have rewarding learning experiences to take with them to the next stage in life.

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 our Member Showcase at our 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). We provide education and support to thousands of members in the CACFP community and in particular to sponsors of all sizes from across the country. We strive to improve communication between families, caregivers, sponsors, and their supervising government agencies.

Source: National CACFP Sponsors Association

About National CACFP Sponsors Association

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

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