Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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.
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.

Child and Adult Food Care Program Main Web page

Overview

The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) developed the CACFP Administrative Manual which provides state and federal guidance on critical compliance areas of the CACFP. Requirements outlined in this manual apply to all CACFP agencies, except where noted. The CDE revises the CACFP Administrative Manual as program updates take place; agencies are ultimately responsible for complying with all current federal regulations, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Instructions, USDA policy memoranda, and CDE management bulletins.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Program Eligibility

1.1 Business Entity Type

1.2 Responsible Principals

1.3 Program Agreement Type

1.4 Licensing Requirements

1.5 Additional Facility Requirements

1.6 Performance Standards

Section 2: Participant/Provider Eligibility

2.1 Enrollment Requirements

2.2 Age and Residency Requirements of Participants

2.3 DCH Provider Eligibility and Recruitment

Section 3: Centers Reimbursement Determination

3.1 Child Care Centers Reimbursement Determination

3.2 At-risk Afterschool Center and Emergency Shelter Reimbursement Determinations

3.3 Adult Day Care Centers Reimbursement Determination

Section 4: DCH Reimbursement Determination

4.1 Steps for Determining Tiering Rate

4.2 Determining Area Eligibility

4.3 Meal Benefit Form (MBF) for Providers

4.4 Meal Benefit Form (MBF) for Parents (Tier II Homes)    

Section 5: Claims for Reimbursement

5.1: Claims for Reimbursement

Section 6: Financial Management

6.1 Centers Budgets

6.2 Centers Allowable Expenses

6.3 Centers Expenditure Tracking and Nonprofit Food Service Status

6.4 DCH Financial Management

Section 7: Procurement

7.1: Procurement

Section 8: Meal Pattern

8.1 Meal Pattern

Section 9: Documenting, Crediting, and Preparing Meals

9.1 Documenting and Crediting Meals

9.2 Preparing Meals

Section 10: Meal Service

10.1 Meal Service

Section 11: Civil Rights

11.1 Civil Rights

Section 12: Training

12.1 Training Requirements

Section 13: DCH and Center Sponsor Responsibilities

13.1 Monitoring, Preapproval Visits, and Edit Checks

Section 14: Recordkeeping

14.1 Recordkeeping for Centers

14.2 DCH Sponsor Recordkeeping

Section 15: Serious Deficiency Process

15.1 Serious Deficiency Process for Centers and DCH Sponsors

15.2 Serious Deficiency Process for DCH Providers

Section 16: Administrative Review Process for Compliance with the CACFP Meal Patterns

16.1 Analyzing the Menu for the Administrative Review Month

16.2 Analyzing Meals Served on the Day of the Onsite Meal Observation

Questions:   Child and Adult Care Food Programs Branch | 800-952-5609, Option 3
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 10, 2021
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 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.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • 2022 KIT Funds for Eligible Program Operators (added 28-Sep-2022)
    This information is about the availability of the 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training funds. It includes information on the timing of payment, accounting information, use of funds, and how to return funds.
  • ISNPA Webinar: Competitive Foods and Beverages (added 28-Sep-2022)
    This Introduction to School Nutrition Program Administration (ISNPA) webinar will focus on understanding the competitive food and beverage requirements.
  • School Year 2021–22 P-EBT Data Collection Reminder (added 27-Sep-2022)
    School Year 2021–22 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) data reporting. P-EBT daily benefits for depend on the number of days a student was enrolled in independent study or had excused absences of five or more days in a month.
  • Waivers for SFAs in Three Counties (added 23-Sep-2022)
    This information announces waivers for El Dorado, Placer, and Riverside County SFAs in response to the Mosquito and Fairview fires.
  • CA Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program 2022 (added 23-Sep-2022)
    The purpose of this program is to honor excellence in whole-school sustainability while spotlighting replicable best practices.

  • USDA Foods Entitlement Rate for SY 2022–23 (added 21-Sep-2022)
    The U.S. Department if Agriculture (USDA) published the new USDA Foods meal rate for SY 2022-23 on July 14 and the new effective rate is 43 cents for National School Lunch Program recipient agencies.
  • Webinar: USDA TN Meal Talk: Taste Test Events (added 21-Sep-2022)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is hosting a Taste Test Events Webinar to share success stories, tools, and best practices for taste test events.
  • State of Emergency Due to Fires (added 21-Sep-2022)
    Governor Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency in Madera, Modoc, and Siskiyou Counties Due to Fires.
  • Paid Lunch Equity and Meal Charge Policy Guidance (added 21-Sep-2022)
    Paid Lunch Equity Exemption Guidance has been updated to make an adjustment for the implementation of the California Universal Meals Program. In addition, a meal charge policy will no longer be required from SFAs in which all sites are non-pricing.
  • Flexibilities for Siskiyou County SFAs (added 16-Sep-2022)
    Information related to flexibilities for school food authorities in Siskiyou County in response to the Mill and Mountain fires.