In June 2018, the ministère de la Famille du Québec asked Breakfast Club of Canada to take on a special task: setting up a pilot project to bring breakfast programs to young children.
The three-year project involved 15 educational childcare facilities (early childcare centres (CPEs) and daycares) located in urban, rural and Indigenous communities. Together, the 15 selected centres serve over 400 children aged 5 and under.
Three years later, we are proud to report on the results of this unique and very meaningful project.
A Big Win for Kids
In September 2021, we met with the team at the Chapeaux Ronds et Bottillons childcare centre to get their feedback and learn more about what a breakfast program has meant for their young charges.
With 108 babies, toddlers and preschoolers enrolled in the program, Chapeaux Ronds et Bottillons could not be more pleased.
“With the Club, we can offer a wide variety [of food]. The fruit we used to give in the morning has now been moved to lunch. So it didn’t just improve our breakfast selection, but also all the other food we provide in the centre,” said General Director Martine Desjardins.
Daphnée St-François, an experienced educator who works at the centre, added that breakfast is a heartwarming moment for her and her group. The children can take all the time they like to eat, and she says the experience has been a positive one in every respect.
Less Rushed Mornings, Less Stressed Families
Staff aren’t the only ones to have noticed the benefits of a breakfast program. Audrey Jacob, whose daughter attends Chapeaux Ronds et Bottillons, has seen first-hand the impact on her and the whole family.
“The breakfast service offered at the centre really eases the parents’ burdens. […] We really feel that there’s a collaboration between the centre, the breakfast program and our own family routine. My daughter is always very excited to go to daycare, not only to see her friends and her educator, but also to share an enjoyable breakfast.”
A Helping Hand that Makes all the Difference
“It was easy to utilize [the Club’s] 27 years of experience from primary and secondary schools [in educational childcare centres],” said Claudine Dessureault, National Senior Advisor, Purchasing and Inventory.
Claudine has been working on this project from the outset, providing support and guidance to centres in setting up their programs. Over the three-year span of the pilot project, she has also been able to better define the part BCC plays in the operation.
She explained that “[BCC’s role] is to work alongside the community, to advise on nutrition and to offer products suitable for children that also meet the quality standards of both childcare centres and Canada’s Food Guide.”
Getting a program of this nature off the ground has allowed BCC to broaden its reach to encompass the entire spectrum of childhood, from 0 to 18, and instil healthy eating habits early in life. It also ensures consistency in the services offered by BCC.
The success of the pilot project is excellent news. We are proud it will continue and hope to expand our services to even more children in this age group.
Be sure to watch the video of our visit to learn more about the pilot project and its positive repercussions.