Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CACFP Administrative Manual Section 1.5

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.5: Additional Center Requirements.

Table of Contents
Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

Section 1: Program Eligibility

Section 1.5: Additional Center Requirements

At-risk Afterschool Care Centers  

The At-risk Afterschool Meals Component of the CACFP was authorized by the federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998 in recognition of the need for afterschool programs to provide nutritious foods to the children in care, particularly because many of the children may be at-risk. As a result, children through the age of 18 years (and turning 19 during the school year) are eligible. The federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 expanded this program to allow one meal (typically supper) and/or one snack to be claimed per child, per day.

An ARA center qualifies for participation in the CACFP if it:

  • Is area eligible—the center must be located within the attendance area of a school in which at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Area eligibility is valid for five years and must be recertified every five years.
  • Provides educational and enrichment activities—ARA centers must provide educational and enrichment activities to the participants in care. A wide range of activities may meet this requirement (i.e., tutoring, homework help, or structured learning activities).
  • Is licensed or, if license-exempt, meets local health and safety standards. See Section 1.4 for more information.

Free and reduced-price meal data is located in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID CACFP FRPM Data.

ARA centers may claim meals served afterschool, on weekends, or on holidays (for example, spring break) during the regular school year. If an ARA center plans to serve meals on weekends and/or school holidays, this must be reflected and approved in the agency’s CNIPS site application (contact your CACFP Specialist for more information). An ARA center may not claim meals during the summer months when school is not in session unless it is located in the attendance area of a year-round school and serves children from the year-round school.

Adult Day Care Centers

An ADC center may serve and claim up to two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal per participant, per day. In addition to licensing requirements, ADC centers must provide:

  • Services to adults who are functionally impaired or over the age of 60;
  • Community-based programs;
  • Health and social support services to enrolled participants; and
  • Nonresidential services.

More guidance on these requirements is available in the USDA ADC Handbook located on the USDA CACFP Handbook Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Emergency Shelters

The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998 permitted the participation of emergency/homeless shelters in the CACFP. An emergency shelter is defined as a public or private nonprofit organization that provides temporary shelter and food services to homeless children and their parents or guardians. The shelter may provide daytime services only, or it may provide overnight accommodations. Residential facilities that provide services to children under court or state custody are not eligible unless the residential child care institution provides a distinct program for homeless families.

A shelter may serve and claim up to three meals per child per day while the child is a resident at the shelter. All meals must be consumed under supervision and in a congregate meal setting. The child may be from age 0 (less than one year old) through eighteen years. In addition, a shelter may claim meal reimbursement for residents of any age who have mental or physical disabilities, provided that the shelter:

  • Serves a majority of residents who are eighteen years of age or younger; and
  • There is documentation of the adult participant's disability. This may be self-reported by the participant in writing (i.e., through a shelter intake form) or by other means.

References: 7 CFR, Section 226.17a; MB USDA-CACFP-02-2011 Expansion of At-Risk Afterschool Meals in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, MB 06-210 Interim Rule: Emergency Shelters, and MB 99-203 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998; and USDA Participation of Emergency Shelters in the Child and Adult Care Food Program—Questions and Answers, March 2000, and USDA At-risk Afterschool Meals Handbook and USDA Adult Day Care Handbook

Questions:   Kayla Christensen | | 916-324-6153
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 12, 2020
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 Eligibility, Guidance, Manuals, & Resources
    The most recent child care center, day care home, and adult day care sponsor eligibility materials, guidance, manuals, and resources needed for proper administration of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
  • 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.
Trending in Nutrition
No Trending items
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • New Off-Site Monitoring Best Practices Fact Sheets (added 03-Dec-2020)
    California Department of Education Nutrition Services Division is pleased to share eight best practices fact sheets for conducting off-site monitoring of Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Now in Spanish: Multicultural Child Care Recipes (added 03-Dec-2020)
    The California Department of Education is pleased to inform you that the following resource from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Nutrition (TN) is now available in Spanish.
  • CDFA Seeking Public Comment on Farm to School RFA (added 30-Nov-2020)
    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Office of Farm to Fork (F2F) is now seeking public comments regarding the 2021 Farm to School (F2S) Incubator Grant Program’s Request for Applications (RFA).
  • USDA Proposed Rule on Meal Flexibilities (added 30-Nov-2020)
    On November 24, 2020 the federal code of regulations was updated to restore the 2012 meal pattern guidelines and the USDA announced a proposed rule to reinstate those meal pattern flexibilities that were just vacated.
  • Tip Sheet: CACFP Meal Service During COVID-19 (added 24-Nov-2020)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division has created a new tip sheet to assist Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Operators who are conducting meal service during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Use of FRPM Data for Funding Purposes 2020–21 (added 24-Nov-2020)
    This letter provides guidance to Local Education Agencies on the use of Free and Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM) applications for meal eligibility and funding purposes during the 2020–21 school year.
  • FRMP Requirements School Year 2020–21 (added 24-Nov-2020)
    Attachment to the Use of FRPM Data for Funding Purposes letter. Provides requirements for collecting free and reduced-price meal eligibility data used to determine supplemental and concentration grant funding based on meal program type.
  • COVID-19 Required Reporting CNP Assessment (added 20-Nov-2020)
    The USDA requires assessment information on the effectiveness of the waivers in providing improved services to program participants. The CDE NSD is requiring that program operators complete the CDE COVID-19 CNP Waivers Assessment survey.
  • 2020–21 CACFP Mandatory Training (added 20-Nov-2020)
    Announcement for the 2020–21 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Mandatory Training.
  • Annual Sponsor Verification Report for 2020–21 (added 20-Nov-2020)
    On November 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the School Food Authority (SFA) deadline to complete verification to February 28, 2021.