CACFP Sponsor Information for the ECR Program
The federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement (ECR) Program is a voluntary program that provides one-time additional CACFP reimbursement for sites and providers that experienced operational losses from March–June 2020, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This communication is intended to provide you, the CACFP sponsor, with an overview of your role in the program and to share with you tools that can assist you in fulfilling those roles, including a reimbursement calculations worksheet and an assurances statement template.
Overview of Sponsor Role
As a sponsoring agency, you are required to support site and provider participation in this program in the following ways:
- Determine the eligibility status of each of your providers or sites.
- Conduct outreach to closed providers and sites to determine whether or not they wish to participate and plan to resume meal service.
- If providers plan on resuming CACFP services, collect and maintain an assurance statement.
- Complete the Sponsor Calculations Worksheet and submit to the California Department of Education (CDE) by June 30, 2021. The Sponsor Calculations Worksheet will help you:
- Collect and maintain assurance statements
- Calculate reimbursement payments
- Track and report payments made to sites/providers
- Report on how ECR funds were spent at the completion of the program. The CDE will provide more details at a later date.
- Verification of funds disbursed to sites/providers:
- Resubmit the updated Sponsor Calculations Worksheet to the CDE by February 1, 2022. Specific instructions will be provided at a later date.
The CDE provided an overview of these requirements during two listening sessions held in March 2021. Additionally, the CDE also hosted two trainings in May 2021, outlining the process for sponsors to determine site/provider eligibility and reimbursement.
If you were unable to attend these trainings, please email your questions to the contact information listed below.
ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet
The ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet is a template Excel file that is available in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). The forms are customized by the agency type:
- Form ID CACFP 93: Day Care Home Sponsors and Center Sponsors
- Form ID CACFP 94: Sponsors of Unaffiliated Centers (SOUCs)
These files are required to be used by all CACFP Sponsoring Organizations. The ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet is used to track and determine eligibility of sites and providers, calculate reimbursement payments, and maintain assurance statements for those sites/providers who elect to submit an assurance statement (see Assurance Statements below).
This file must be completed and returned with your agency’s supporting documentation to the CDE by June 30, 2021. Supporting documentation for the meal claim reimbursements noted in the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet should be available upon request. Directions for submitting the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet will be provided in a follow-up email as the due date approaches.
The ECR Program requires that all CACFP Program Operators who have not yet resumed services, but who are otherwise eligible for the program, be given the opportunity to confirm their eligibility. If a provider or site operated any months March–June 2019, or January or February of 2020, they are potentially eligible for this voluntary program. Program Operators that provide assurance statements that they will resume CACFP operations and file a meal claim within 90 days of the end of the public health emergency will receive reimbursement through this program. For updates on the status of the public health emergency, please refer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Emergency web page.
Statements of assurances should be collected by sponsoring organizations prior to disbursement of ECR funds. All assurance statement documentation, including examples of outreach to closed centers or providers, should be kept on-site and readily available upon request. Statement of assurances must include the following criteria:
- Be in writing (all forms of written communication are acceptable, including web-based/digital formats)
- Be signed by the site/provider and contain their contact information
- Display the date on which the assurance was submitted to the sponsor
- Acknowledge that the state agency may seek recovery of funds from the CACFP sponsoring organization should the site/provider fail to resume operations within the applicable timeframe
For your convenience, the CDE has developed an assurance statement template you may use. If your agency prefers to customize a form, it must contain all the requirements listed above. Keep in mind you must collect all assurance statements and document them in the Sponsor Calculations Worksheet, which must be submitted to the CDE by June 30, 2021.
To access the CDE Assurance Statement Template (Form ID CACFP 92), visit the CNIPS Download Forms section.
This federal program includes administrative support for Day Care Home (DCH) Sponsors and Sponsors of Unaffiliated Centers (SOUC).
- Administrative reimbursements for DCH Sponsors will be automatically calculated and disbursed to DCH Sponsors by the CDE.
- SOUCs can retain up to 15 percent of total site meal reimbursement amounts per their agreement for sponsor administrative costs. The Sponsor Calculations Worksheet will assist SOUCs with calculating the administrative fees they can retain from reimbursements generated through this program.
- The ECR Program does not provide administrative reimbursement for Independent Centers (CACFP agencies overseeing one site).
For additional information on the ECR program, visit the COVID-19 Guidance in the Child Nutrition Programs web page Reimbursements tab.
If you have questions or concerns about the ECR Program Assurance Statement or the ECR Programs, please contact the Nutrition Services Division by email at ECR@cde.ca.gov.