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CACFP Administrative Manual Section 2.1

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 2.1: Enrollment Requirements.
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 2: Participant Eligibility

Section 2.1: Enrollment

To claim reimbursement for meals and snacks served:           

  • DCH providers and center staff must have complete and current documentation verifying that participants are enrolled for care; and 
  • DCH sponsors and center staff must have the complete, current, signed and dated documentation on file for each participant prior to submitting the claim for reimbursement to the CDE.

Meals served to children or adults who do not have complete and current enrollment documents on file with the sponsor or independent center are not eligible for reimbursement.

Definition of Enrollment

An enrolled child is a child whose parent or guardian must have submitted a signed document to an agency that indicates the child is enrolled for child care.

An enrolled adult means a person enrolled in an ADC who must have submitted a document, signed either by them or an adult household member, to an agency that indicates the adult is enrolled for adult care.

Collecting Enrollment Documentation

Day Care Homes and Child Care Centers

DCH providers and CC centers staff must collect and maintain documentation of enrollment from parents/guardians. Program regulations state that a child’s enrollment document must

  • Be updated annually—the enrollment form is valid from the original date the parent/guardian signs the document until the end of the 12 month period (i.e., if a child enrolls on August 15, the enrollment form is valid from August 15 of the current year to August 31 of the following year).

  • Be signed and dated by the child’s parent or guardian.

  • Include information about each child’s normal days and hours of care and the meals the child usually receives while in care.

If a CC center or DCH maintains accurate, daily sign-in/sign-out sheets that identify the time a child arrives and leaves the center or home (as certified by the parent or authorized representative of the parent), enrollment forms do not have to state the normal days and hours that a child is in care or meals consumed at the center or home. For more information, please refer to MB CACFP-11-2017: Enrollment Documentation in CC Centers and DCHs located on the CDE CACFP MB web page. Emergency shelters, SA centers, and sites participating in the At-risk Afterschool Meals Component of the CACFP, are exempt from the enrollment requirements.

Adult Day Care Centers

ADC centers must collect and maintain documentation of the enrollment of each adult. Enrollment documents for adults enrolled in ADC centers are valid from the time they are signed by the adult/adult household member and are valid so long as the adult participant is enrolled for care. The requirement to update enrollment documents annually does not apply to ADC centers.

Program regulations state that an adult’s enrollment documentation must:

  • Record the age of each participant;
  • Show that each participant under the age of 60 meets the functional impairment eligibility requirements (see Section 2.2); and
  • Record whether a participant resides in his or her own home or in a group living arrangement.


DCH Sponsors must ensure that providers are collecting documentation of enrollment as required. The sponsor may keep duplicate copies of documentation to store at a central location.

Center sponsors may collect and maintain these required enrollment forms, or ensure that center staff are collecting and maintaining documentation. Regardless of whether these documents are stored at the site or sponsor’s office, they must be readily available during a review or audit.

Eligibility Roster

All enrolled children and eligible enrolled adults must be included on the eligibility roster. Refer to Section 3 for more information.

Drop-in Care in Day Care Homes

Children who receive care on a drop-in basis in DCHs must have a current enrollment form on file in order to be claimed for reimbursement. Drop-in care children might include older siblings who are only cared for during school vacations, or any eligible child who is typically cared for by the parent or guardian, but is occasionally brought to the DCH.

References: 7 CFR, sections 226.2, 226.13, 226.15(e)(2), 226.15(e)(3), 226.17(b)(8), 226.18(e), 226.19a(b)(8), and 226.19a(b)(10); MB CACFP-11-2017 Enrollment Documentation in Child Care Centers and Day Care Homes, and MB 06-221 Second Interim Rule: Enrollment Records and Block Claiming

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