Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
|Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information|
To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Day Care Home Sponsors, and Summer Food Service Program Sponsors
Attention: Food Program Director
Date: April 2012
Subject: Eligibility Based on Census Data
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memo CACFP 07-2012, SFSP 09-2012; Title 42, United States Code sections 1761 and 1766
|Supersedes: Management Bulletin 03-221 (October 2003)|
This Management Bulletin (MB) provides new guidance on the use of census data for area eligibility determinations in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s intent of this policy is to reduce the administrative burden and maintain consistency within the programs.
Previously, the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, allowed the use of 10-year census data to determine eligibility for both CACFP Day Care Homes (DCH) and the SFSP sites [42 United States Code, sections 1766(f)(3)(A)(ii) and 1761(a)(1)(A)(i)].
In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau began an annual process to estimate household income using the American Community Survey (ACS). This ongoing survey generates more accurate community census information than the census collected every 10 years. The first five-year estimates from the ACS were released in 2009 and are considered the most reliable and precise data, especially for small areas such as Census Block Groups (groups). For each group, the U.S. Census Bureau developed Geographic Identifier codes (GEOID).
New Eligibility Policy
The new USDA policy now mandates that the CACFP DCH and the SFSP sites that establish eligibility using census data use the most recent data available [Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 226.6(f) and 225.6(c)]. Sponsors must use the GEOID codes as the geographical unit to assess eligibility for the CACFP and the SFSP when using census data.
In order for a CACFP DCH to be eligible as a Tier I provider, or an SFSP site to be eligible, 50 percent or more of the children in the GEOID must be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. If the GEOID code is 50 percent or greater for either the SFSP or the CACFP, the SFSP site is eligible for participation and the DCH site is eligible for participation as a Tier I DCH provider. Reflecting the USDA’s intent to reduce the administrative burden, site eligibility determination based on census data is now effective for five years.
Child and Adult Care Food Program—Day Care Home
Effective immediately, DCH sponsors may no longer use the 2000 census data to determine Tier I eligibility status for the CACFP DCH provider. DCH sponsors are now required to use the current Census Eligibility Excel spreadsheet (included in the “Instructions for Determining Program Eligibility” section of this MB). DCH sponsors may reconsider the eligibility of all Tier II DCH providers based on the new census data.
If a DCH provider currently qualifies as Tier II, but the most recent GEOID data demonstrates that the site now qualifies as Tier I, the DCH sponsor may change the status of the DCH provider to Tier I. The DCH sponsor must select “Census (Area Eligible)” in item ‘G2’ of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) provider application. The DCH sponsor may then pay the higher rate of reimbursement to the provider beginning the first day of the current month and the next 59 months, for a total of five years. The DCH sponsor is not authorized to approve retroactive reimbursement at the higher Tier I rates for any previous months.
Sponsors must annually inform Tier II DCH providers that they may ask for reclassification to Tier I when the new annual census data becomes available.
DCH sponsors must review all Tier I DCH providers currently eligible based on census data and make a new determination using the newly available census data, as well as other available methods (school data, income, or categorical). DCH sponsors may choose to reconsider DCH classification during the next scheduled on-site review. Sponsors must conduct review and reclassification of Tier I DCH providers by September 30, 2012.
Summer Food Service Programs
Effective immediately, SFSP sponsors that use census data to establish eligibility must use only the current census data to qualify open and closed-enrolled sites. Current sponsors that operate the SFSP on a year-round basis (October–April) must update their census data by June 1, 2012. Sponsors that operate the SFSP only during the summer months must update the CNIPS Sponsor and Site Application prior to approval. The new census eligibility status is effective for a five-year period. Sponsors that established sites by using the census data from the year 2000 must obtain new census data to ensure the site still qualifies to participate in the SFSP.
Instructions for Determining Program Eligibility
Instructions for using the new census data to determine CACFP DCH or SFSP site eligibility are located in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. The Census Eligibility Excel Spreadsheet is also located in the download forms section of the CNIPS.
If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the CACFP or SFSP Specialist.
CACFP: The CACFP Specialist Contact List is located in the CNIPS Download Forms section or on the California Department of Education CACFP Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/cc/. You may also contact Robin Kraus, CACFP Secretary, by phone at 916-327-2991, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
SFSP: The SFSP Specialist Contact List is located in the CNIPS Download Forms section. You may also reach the SFSP by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 6, or call 916-445-0850 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff person.