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CACFP Administrative Manual Section 14.1

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 14.1: Recordkeeping for Centers.
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 14 Recordkeeping

Section 14.1 Recordkeeping for Centers

Accurate recordkeeping and proper documentation are extremely important for agencies participating in the CACFP because they are the basis for all claims for reimbursement, audits, and administrative reviews.

Centers must retain all records for a minimum of three years after the end of the program year to which they pertain or until audit and administrative review issues are resolved. For example, agencies must keep records for Program Year (PY) 2017–18 (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018) until at least October 1, 2021.These records may then be disposed of only if there are no unresolved audit findings, administrative review issues, or the center’s program is not under investigation.

In the event of an earthquake, flood, or fire, or other disaster type event, evidence of enrollment documentation, eligibility, and meal counts is required. Centers must keep these records even if they are illegible from water, fire, or other type of damage. If the documents are completely lost, centers must have a record of the disaster to document their loss, such as an insurance or police report. If the records are lost or damaged, centers must immediately notify their sponsor, and the sponsor must immediately notify their assigned CACFP Specialist.

Failure to maintain records to support claims may result in the denial of reimbursement and jeopardize a center or center sponsor’s participation in the CACFP.

There are several different types of records that need to be kept for the CACFP:

  • Administrative records
  • Financial records
  • Meal records
  • Participant records
  • Procurement records

The following list includes records that centers must maintain. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of required records. For more information, please contact your CACFP Specialist. A list of CACFP Specialists by county is on the CDE CACFP Contact web page.

Administrative records include:

  • Center license status or documentation for license-exempt sites (i.e., annual health permit and fire inspection)

  • Training records:
    • CACFP annual center staff training log
    • Certificate of Completion for the NSD annual mandatory training

  • CACFP job descriptions

  • Civil rights records:
    • Complaint log
    • Compliant procedures
    • Procedure to collect racial and ethnic data

  • Center sponsors only:
    • Edit checks
    • Household contacts, if applicable 
    • Monitoring review reports
    • Preapproval visit documentation
    • Sponsor-to-site preapproval visit documentation

Financial records include:

  • All financial records as required by the FNS 796-2, Revision 4 and Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200
  • Copies of all documentation to support the claims for reimbursement
  • Invoices, receipts, and allocation plans for costs charged to the CACFP
  • Personnel activity reports
  • Receipts from all program payments received from the CDE

Meal records include:

  • Meal count records
  • Required meal records as noted in MB CACFP-02-2018 Documentation Requirements for the CACFP Meal Patterns located on the CDE CACFP MB web page

Participant records include:

  • ADC centers only: Plan of care for functionally impaired participants 
  • Attendance records or sign-in and sign-out sheets
  • Eligibility rosters—does not apply to ARA centers
  • Enrollment records—does not apply to ARA centers, SA centers, and emergency shelters
  • Meal Benefit Forms (or automatic eligibility documentation for CC/SA centers) for all participants claimed at the free or reduced-price reimbursement category—does not apply to ARA centers and emergency shelters

Procurement records include:

  • Bids and solicitations, if applicable
  • Contracts (i.e., food service vending agreements)
  • Procurement Code of Conduct
  • Procurement procedures
  • Quotes, if applicable
  • Receipts and invoices for all purchases

References: 7 CFR, sections 226.6(b)(1)(xviii)(C)(3), 226.10(d), 226.11(e), 226.15(e), 226.16(e), 226.17(c), 226.17a(o), 226.19(c) 226.19a(c); MB CACFP-02-2018 Documentation Requirements for the CACFP Meal Patterns; USDA ADC Handbook, USDA At-risk Afterschool Care Handbook, and USDA Independent CC Centers Handbook

Questions:   Child and Adult Care Food Programs Branch | 800-952-5609, Option 3
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 30, 2021
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    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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