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CACFP Administrative Manual Section 1.2

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.2: Responsible Principals.
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.

Table of Contents
Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

Section 1: Program Eligibility

Section 1.2 Responsible Principals

Per 7 CFR, Section 226.2, a responsible principal is defined as:

  • A principal, whether compensated or uncompensated, who the state agency or FNS determines to be responsible for an institution's serious deficiency;
  • Any other individual employed by, or under contract with, an institution or sponsored center, who the state agency or FNS determines to be responsible for an institution's serious deficiency; or
  • An uncompensated individual who the state agency or FNS determines to be responsible for an institution's serious deficiency.

Responsible principals are ultimately responsible for the administration of the CACFP and are accountable for their agency’s serious deficiencies. Agencies and unaffiliated sites under the sponsorship of an SOUC are required to submit a list of responsible principals to the CDE, before those responsible principals can participate in the program. Responsible principals vary depending on the agency’s business entity type. The CDE has determined the following agency representatives to be responsible principals:

  • Public, SFAs: Superintendent, accountant, and school food service director.
  • Public, non-SFAs: Highest agency official
  • Private, nonprofit agencies: Executive director and board chair
  • Private, nonprofit DCH agencies: All board members
  • Private, for-profit agencies: Owner(s)

Agencies must provide the CDE with the name, date of birth, and mailing address for all responsible principals. For all agencies (except for public agencies), the mailing address must be an address separate from the agency’s site or business address(es).

Responsible principal information is gathered in order for the CDE to: (1) ensure that responsible principals are not on the National Disqualified List (NDL), which lists individuals who have been disqualified from participating in the CACFP; and (2) provide the USDA with a list of responsible principals (to include name, date of birth, and mailing address) terminated from the CACFP. Further guidance on the serious deficiency process will be addressed in this manual.

References: 7 CFR, sections 226.2 and 226.6(b)(1)(xii); USDA Guidance for Management Plans and Budgets Handbook

Questions:   Child and Adult Care Food Programs Branch | 800-952-5609, Option 3
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 28, 2021
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