Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CACFP Administrative Manual Section 4.2

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Section 4.2 Determining Area Eligibility.

Table of Contents
Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

Section 4: Day Care Home Reimbursement Determination

4.2 Determining Area Eligibility

Providers that are located in low-income areas qualify for Tier I reimbursement based on area eligibility.

School Data

A provider can be categorized as Tier I if the home is located within the attendance area of an elementary, middle, or high school at which at least 50 percent of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals (FRPM). The school must be the assigned elementary, middle or high school for the attendance area. In order to document a provider’s eligibility for Tier I reimbursement using school data, sponsors must perform the following procedure:

  • Obtain current, official school boundary-identifying maps or lists of addresses, either electronically from the district’s website or in hard copy, located within a school’s attendance area. Match the provider’s address to the maps’ boundaries or lists. (If maps or lists are unavailable, contact school officials to verify the attendance area of the elementary, middle, or high schools that serve the provider. Request either a letter from school officials on school or district letterhead identifying provider addresses that fall within the school’s attendance area, or prepare a memorandum documenting phone contacts with school officials. Include the official’s name, title, and contact information. Date and sign or initial the memorandum.); and 

  • Consult the most recent FRPM data issued by the CDE to find the percentage of enrolled students that are eligible for FRPMs at the appropriate school.

If more than 50 percent of enrolled students are eligible for FRPMs at the elementary, middle, or high school, then the home can be categorized as Tier I.

Census Data

The FNS provides current census data to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Sponsors may use this data to make area eligibility determinations by accessing the FRAC CACFP Mapper Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Duration of Area Eligibility Determination

Determinations of area eligibility for Tier I reimbursement, either by school or census data, are valid from the first day of the month in which they are made and are valid for five years, (i.e., 60 calendar months), from the original date of determination. For example, if a sponsor certifies a provider’s eligibility on March 29, 2017, the determination is valid effective March 1, 2017 to February 28, 2022.

A sponsor must retain documentation of the method used to make the determination of area eligibility for Tier I reimbursement.

Reference: 7 CFR Sections 226.2, Tier I day care home (b), 226.4(e), 226.23(e)(1), 226.13(c), 226.15(e)(3), 226.15(f); MB CNP-02-2014 Census Data Release: Federal Fiscal Year 2014 and Use of School and Census Data, MB NSD-CACFP-07-2013 Free and Reduced-price Meals Data File, MB USDA-CACFP-05-2011 School Data Area Eligibility for Day Care Home Providers; and USDA’s Eligibility Guidance for Family Day Care Homes

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.