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Suggestions for Vegan/Vegan-Friendly Infant Childcare?

The mamas and I are well beyond the infant daycare stages so we don't even have suggestions for Marianna in her search for vegan/vegan-friendly childcare. She writes: "Do you have a list or know of a list of vegan/vegan friendly daycares that will take infants as young as six weeks old?Unfortunately I just moved up here and will more than likely only get that six weeks off that is required by law. An from my research most daycares that are vegan friendly only take babies that are 6 months/toddler ages. I really don't want to send my son to a commercial type daycare, because I've heard a lot of them won't let you bring your own food and I don't want to bounce him around all over the place once we start him on solids (I'm making his baby food). I'm not due until April but I've heard its very hard to find childcare for an infant and wanted to start sooner rather than later. I apologize I'm a first time mom and not sure where to start but your site is the only place where I've seen listings for alternative childcare. If you could give me any advice I would greatly appreciate it." Any suggestions?

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Probably someone has a better idea, but here goes. New Day School is a very holistic place that has preschool food in its preschool/kindy program. I would call them and ask if they are aware of any vegan care for littler kids. Sorry that's not much help.

Just to be clear, you may be entitled to 12 weeks of leave or more, though because it need not be paid, I know it's not an option for everyone.
http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/TA/Pages/T_FAQ_Oregon_Family_Leave_Act_01-2011.aspx

ChildRoots is veggie (mostly vegan and could probably accommodate) and has infant care, though sometimes has a wait list. Good luck!

Wild Lilac is wonderful. They take babies, definitely younger than 6 months and are vegetarian, with a wonderful kitchen program. (i'm sure they'd be open to a conversation re the vegan issue.) http://www.wildlilac.org/ good luck mama.

Joyful noise is vegetarian friendly and could be vegan friendly. Babies start at 6 weeks and parents bring in their own food up until the enter the wobbler room. Also, almost everything is homemade including soups, bread and pizza crust on pizza day. They've even made a zucchini crust for the pizza. They also tried to buy mostly organic, the milk is always organic. They are a nonprofit organization with 4 locations around Portland. Two downtown and two by the Lloyd center area. The CityKids location buys food from the farmers market during the summer. Plus I know that a lot of their teachers will bring in food from their personal gardens as well. Good luck on your search for the perfect school for your baby and family.

Childroots is vegetarian. You can bring alternative Milk if you don't want your child to drink cows milk.

Creative Minds Learning Center is great. Vegetarian, but likely accommodating to vegan as well. They have several locations, although not all offer infant care.

Wow. This post is SO portlandia. You've GOT to be kidding.

WHen my child started at the YMCA child care at at 3 months, we brought all our own milk and food until he was over a year old and thus a 'wobbler'. That YMCA ended up not so great for us for many reasons and that location is actually no longer in operations (I hear other locations are great), but my point is that even a 'big name' center did allow/encourage us to bring our own supplies. They would provide formula and later baby food (often cereal then crackers, etc) IF you didn't want to bring your own, but if you brought your own, that is what your child got until they got to the age of eating a 'group meal'.
Also, many people here offer 'in-home' case and surely could cater to anything.

Come on UM. This blog is so disappointing lately. I don't even know why I bother even coming here anymore.

Wow, hiding behind anonymous names to be unkind. Ugh.

To the original poster, there are many things that you will hear as a soon-to-be parent that are patently untrue, but live on as "Things people said are true" -- as in, center won't allow you to bring your own food, or no one will take babies.

Most infants in care aren't eating center food -- they are consuming bottles brought from home that are either breast milk or formula. Because 6 week olds aren't eating solids. And although people will "say" that it's not good to move kids around, the fact is that what works for you & your family at 6 weeks may or may not be what works for you & your family at 6 months or 16 months. We moved our daughter at 14 months for a variety of reasons & the center we moved to was wonderful & our center until she started kindergarten. She never had problems adjusting to the move (any more than normal movement from classroom to classroom that she did as she aged up through the center). Having a plan for when you return to work is not being weird -- it's incredibly stressful to return to work, especially with a young infant, and some of those plans come together at the last minute. I recall comparing notes with my best mommy friend at the time on a daily basis as our anxiety mounted close to returning to work. I decided I needed a firm plan more than I needed "the perfect center" -- because I knew that I could make that change later if necessary. And we did.
Best wishes to you, Marianna, & please don't judge this community by a few cranky anonymous rude posters.

FMLA covers allows for 12 weeks leave, though not requirement for pay of course. Have you considered a nanny share? That can be really nice especially for little babies that aren't getting much socially from daycare. Your baby gets more attention, fewer daycare colds, home setting, whatever food you want and often for similar money as infant daycare rates. UM is a great place to find another family to work with.

I was a "shared" nanny for two families and it seemed rather affordable for them since they were sharing the cost and they paid me under the table. The babies were both three months old when I started and it was as close to being at home with mom as it gets. One of them hosted most days, but we would occasionally be at the other family's house. Plus since they were both only children at the time, it gave them a chance to know what it's like to have a sibling. With only two babies in my care, fixing them exactly what they wanted to eat when they were hungry was a breeze.

Nanny shares are great when they work and flat out stink when they don't.

That said, I think our daycare, Tiny Revolution has vegan options for snack and lunch and enrollment starts young - probably 3 months. Best of luck!

Our son is vegan and went to two different in-home child care settings (at infant and toddler ages). We were always allowed to send our own vegan foods of choice and they supplemented with soy or rice milk instead of cows milk (there were also other kids with dairy sensitivities). He has been in a preschool for two years now. We provide a meat alternative each day (tofu, smart dog, etc) and they supplement with whatever the other kids are having (pasta, rice, vegetable, fruit, etc). I have never found it hard to find care with a vegan child. In fact, all of the providers that I had interviewed over the years seemed very open as long as we helped fill in any gaps. Good luck!

I've had my kids in three different day cares, all commercial, and every one was in sync to vegan/veggie options. You should look up what works for your schedule, and actually talk to the people there rather than assume the larger enterprises are bad.

I am a vegetarian/aspiring vegan nanny. They can email me :)

I don't think I caught what part of the city you are in. Hillsboro Arts Preschool & Day School is amazing. When both my husband and I exhausted our FMLA our son entered care at six months old. The owner, Apolina, runs a wonderful and warm in-home care environment that fosters my son's physical, emotional and social development. She feeds him a wide array of vegan and gluten-free foods. Most days he eats a better menu than I do!

Here's her website: http://hillsboroartspreschool.blogspot.com/

Thank you all so much for your support and suggestions! We're still doing interviews and on the hunt, but you ladies gave me a great place to start. As I said in my email, I'm a FTM and totally new to the area/State period so I was completely unsure of where to start. again thank you so much, and anymore suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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