Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CACFP Administrative Manual Section 1.6

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 1.6: Performance Standards.

Table of Contents
Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

Section 1: Program Eligibility

1.6 Performance Standards

Sponsors and independent centers must be prepared to manage the CACFP according to the CACFP regulations and policies and accept all financial and administrative responsibilities for program operation. The CACFP regulations require that the NSD ensure agencies are financially viable, administratively capable of operating the program, and have internal controls to ensure accountability.

Financial Viability

Agencies must ensure that CACFP funds are expended and accounted for in accordance with regulatory requirements and the requirements in FNS Instruction

796-2, Revision 4. To demonstrate financial viability, agencies must document that they have adequate financial resources to continue to pay employees and suppliers during periods of temporary interruptions in program payments and/or to pay debts when fiscal claims have been assessed against the agency. Agencies must also submit a budget for approval documenting necessary, reasonable, and allowable expenses.

Prospective CACFP centers must provide one full year of financial documents to assist the CDE in assessing their financial viability. These financials include a recent tax return and/or a profit and loss and balance sheet outlining current and total assets and liabilities. Once the CDE approves these centers to participate in the CACFP, they must complete and submit Form # CACFP 87: Financial Viability Worksheet, found in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. These existing centers must submit this form during the annual update process. Further guidance on the annual update process will be addressed in this manual.

Prospective DCH sponsors must provide at least two years’ worth of audited financial statements and have at least two years’ experience administering a Community-Based Organization (CBO). A CBO is a nonprofit organization that works at a local level to improve the life of residents. Sponsors may only knowingly recruit providers that are not currently enrolled with another sponsor.

Administrative Capability

Agencies must ensure that they follow appropriate and effective management practices in operating the CACFP. To demonstrate administrative capability, agencies must document that they:

  • Have an adequate number and type of qualified staff to ensure CACFP operations
  • Have sufficient staff to meet the ratio of monitors to facilities, taking into account the factors that the NSD considers in determining a sponsor’s staffing needs
  • Have written policies and procedures that assign CACFP responsibilities and duties and ensure compliance with civil rights requirements

Program Accountability

Agencies must ensure fiscal accountability and that the CACFP will operate in accordance with regulatory requirements. To demonstrate program accountability, agencies will document that they:

  • Have adequate oversight of the CACFP by an independent governing board of directors
  • Have a financial management system with management controls specified in writing that ensure:
    • Fiscal integrity and accountability for all funds and property received, held, and disbursed
    • The integrity and accountability of all expenses incurred
    • That claims will be processed accurately and in a timely manner
    • That funds and property are properly safeguarded and used only for authorized CACFP uses
    • That a system of safeguards and controls is in place to prevent and detect improper financial activities by employees
  • Maintain appropriate records to document compliance with CACFP requirements, including budgets, approved budget amendments, accounting records, management plans, and, for DCH sponsors, appropriate records on provider operations
  • Provide adequate and regular training of sponsor staff
  • Perform monitoring as required by federal regulations to appropriately operate the CACFP
  • For DCH sponsors, accurately classify providers as Tier I or Tier II
  • Have a system in place to ensure that administrative costs funded by the CACFP reimbursement do not exceed regulatory limits
  • Ensure that approved sites and homes offer meals that meet meal pattern requirements, comply with licensing requirements, have a food service that complies with state and local health and sanitation requirements, comply with civil rights requirements, maintain complete and appropriate records, and claim reimbursement only for eligible meals

Many of these requirements will be covered extensively throughout this manual.

References: 7 CFR, sections 226.6(b)(1)(xviii), 226.6(b)(1)(xviii)(A), 226.6(b)(1)(xviii)(B), 226.6(b)(1)(xviii)(C), 226.6(b)(2)(vii)(A), 226.6(b)(2)(vii)(B), 226.6(b)(2)(vii)(C), and 226.15(c); MB NSD-CACFP-05-2013 Contracting Out for Management Functions

Questions:   Kayla Christensen | kchristensen@cde.ca.gov | 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.