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CACFP Administrative Manual

A guide to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) critical compliance standards for centers and day care home (DCH) sponsors.
Important Notice: CACFP Program Moved to CDSS

The Early Childhood Development Act of 2020 (Senate Bill (SB) 98, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) authorized the transfer of child care and development programs administered by the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) effective July 1, 2021. The content on this page may not be current and involves the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that has moved to CDSS. Visit the CDSS CACFP web page External link opens in new window or tab. or call 1-833-559-2420 for more information.

Child and Adult Food Care Program Main Web page

Overview

The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) developed the CACFP Administrative Manual which provides state and federal guidance on critical compliance areas of the CACFP. Requirements outlined in this manual apply to all CACFP agencies, except where noted. The CDE revises the CACFP Administrative Manual as program updates take place; agencies are ultimately responsible for complying with all current federal regulations, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Instructions, USDA policy memoranda, and CDE management bulletins.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Program Eligibility

1.1 Business Entity Type

1.2 Responsible Principals

1.3 Program Agreement Type

1.4 Licensing Requirements

1.5 Additional Facility Requirements

1.6 Performance Standards

Section 2: Participant/Provider Eligibility

2.1 Enrollment Requirements

2.2 Age and Residency Requirements of Participants

2.3 DCH Provider Eligibility and Recruitment

Section 3: Centers Reimbursement Determination

3.1 Child Care Centers Reimbursement Determination

3.2 At-risk Afterschool Center and Emergency Shelter Reimbursement Determinations

3.3 Adult Day Care Centers Reimbursement Determination

Section 4: DCH Reimbursement Determination

4.1 Steps for Determining Tiering Rate

4.2 Determining Area Eligibility

4.3 Meal Benefit Form (MBF) for Providers

4.4 Meal Benefit Form (MBF) for Parents (Tier II Homes)    

Section 5: Claims for Reimbursement

5.1: Claims for Reimbursement

Section 6: Financial Management

6.1 Centers Budgets

6.2 Centers Allowable Expenses

6.3 Centers Expenditure Tracking and Nonprofit Food Service Status

6.4 DCH Financial Management

Section 7: Procurement

7.1: Procurement

Section 8: Meal Pattern

8.1 Meal Pattern

Section 9: Documenting, Crediting, and Preparing Meals

9.1 Documenting and Crediting Meals

9.2 Preparing Meals

Section 10: Meal Service

10.1 Meal Service

Section 11: Civil Rights

11.1 Civil Rights

Section 12: Training

12.1 Training Requirements

Section 13: DCH and Center Sponsor Responsibilities

13.1 Monitoring, Preapproval Visits, and Edit Checks

Section 14: Recordkeeping

14.1 Recordkeeping for Centers

14.2 DCH Sponsor Recordkeeping

Section 15: Serious Deficiency Process

15.1 Serious Deficiency Process for Centers and DCH Sponsors

15.2 Serious Deficiency Process for DCH Providers

Section 16: Administrative Review Process for Compliance with the CACFP Meal Patterns

16.1 Analyzing the Menu for the Administrative Review Month

16.2 Analyzing Meals Served on the Day of the Onsite Meal Observation

Questions:   Child and Adult Care Food Programs Branch | 800-952-5609, Option 3
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 10, 2021
Related Content
  • CACFP Administrative Manual
    A guide to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) critical compliance standards for centers and day care home (DCH) sponsors.
  • CACFP Manual Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms
    Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
    This web page includes background information, steps on how to apply, the Administrative Manual, meal pattern requirements, claiming information, policy guidance, compliance, trainings, resources, and contacts for program operators.
  • How to Apply to the CACFP
    Information on how to begin the application process for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
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