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Varied Timing of Unannounced CACFP Reviews

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Sponsoring Organizations

Number: USDA-CACFP-10-2011

Attention: Food Program Director

Date: May 2011

Subject: Varied Timing of Unannounced Reviews in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture Policy Memo CACFP 16-2011; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations parts 226.16(d)(4)(iii))

This Management Bulletin provides guidance on the modification of requirements pertaining to sponsoring organization (sponsors of centers and family day care homes) facility reviews in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Previous regulations required sponsoring organizations to conduct three reviews per year, two of which must be unannounced. New regulations now require sponsoring organizations to vary the timing of unannounced reviews to ensure they are unpredictable to the facility.


Unannounced reviews are an effective tool in ensuring program integrity. They give sponsors the opportunity to document how the facility operates on any given day and to offer technical assistance. In addition, they offer a first-hand opportunity to detect and identify areas of mismanagement, such as inaccurate meal counts, problems with recordkeeping, menu and enrollment discrepancies, and they allow sponsors to initiate immediate corrective action.

However, unannounced reviews that follow a consistent pattern (for example, unannounced reviews that always occur during the third week of January, the third week of May, and the third week of September, or reviews that never occur during the first week of the month when claims are processed) undermine the intent of the program’s unannounced review requirements. Sponsors are less likely to uncover management deficiencies and program abuse if facilities anticipate when their “unannounced” sponsor review is due to occur.


President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Act) on December 13, 2010. The Act requires that sponsoring organizations vary the timing of unannounced reviews so they are unpredictable to sponsored facilities.

The NSD will begin evaluating the timing of unannounced sponsor reviews during upcoming CACFP administrative reviews.

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the CACFP specialist assigned to your agency in the Child Nutrition Information Payment System (CNIPS). Contact information for specialists is located in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. You may also contact the CNIPS Help Desk by phone at 800-952-5609, option 6.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, July 24, 2014

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