Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

How to Apply to the CACFP

Information on how to begin the application process for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Thank you for your interest in participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and providing healthy and delicious meals to the children of California!

How to Apply

  1. Contact a CACFP specialist by phone at CACFP Contact List.
  2. The specialist will complete a prescreening questionnaire with you over the phone and follow-up with an e-mail request for information.
  3. Once the specialist has received and reviewed the requested information, they will provide you with access to the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), where you will complete and submit an online application for your agency.
  4. When your application is complete, a specialist will schedule a preapproval visit to your center. This visit includes training for your staff on all program requirements.

The CACFP application process generally takes between 4-6 weeks from the initial application date until a final determination is made.

More Program Information

Child Care Component

Adult Day Care Center Component

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • Unused Federal Administrative Payments (added 27-Apr-2017)
    Management Bulletin CACFP-04-2017: Child and Adult Care Food Program Procedures for Retaining or Returning Unused Federal Administrative Payments.
  • Income Eligibility Scales for 2017-18 (added 19-Apr-2017)
    Income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price meals or free milk in Child Nutrition Programs.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.4: Licensing Requirements.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.5: Additional Center Requirements.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.5: Performance Standards.

  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.1: Business Entity Type.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.2: Responsible Principals.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.3: Program Agreement Type.
  • CACFP Administrative Manual (added 05-Apr-2017)
    A guide to the Child and Adult Care Food Program critical compliance standards for centers and day care home sponsors.