Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CACFP Manual Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms

Child and Adult Care Food Program Administrative Manual Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms.
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

The following key terms and acronyms appear throughout this manual.

7 CFR—Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations—this is the part and/or section of federal regulations that includes regulations for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

ADC Center— adult day care center—a licensed adult day care center approved to provide nonresidential adult day care services to adults that are 60 years or older and/or functionally impaired.

Agency—the general term for any organization that has a Child and Adult Care Food Program agreement with the Nutrition Services Division. This includes day care home sponsors, child care centers, and adult day care centers.

ARA Center—at-risk afterschool center—a licensed or license-exempt center that administers the At-risk Afterschool Meals Component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

CACFP—Child and Adult Care Food Program; may also be referred to as the program.

CDE—California Department of Education.                                      

Center—a child care center, school-age center, at-risk afterschool center, adult day care center, or emergency shelter.

CC Center—a child care center, school-age center, at-risk afterschool center, or emergency shelter. This does not include day care homes.

CNIPS—Child Nutrition Information and Payment System—the online database used by the Nutrition Services Division to receive and maintain agency applications and to process claims for reimbursement.

DCH—day care home.

DCH Provider—day care home provider—an approved day care home provider that participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program under the auspices of a day care home sponsor.

DCH Sponsor—day care home sponsor—an approved nonprofit or public agency that has a current, valid program agreement with the Nutrition Services Division to participate as a sponsor in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Independent Center—an agency that operates a center at one single physical site. Independent centers enter into an agreement with the California Department of Education to assume financial and administrative responsibility for program operations.

MB—Management Bulletin—policy issued by the California Department of Education.

NSD—Nutrition Services Division—the division within the California Department of Education that is responsible for administering the Child and Adult Care Food Program in California.

NSLP—National School Lunch Program—the program that assists schools and other agencies to provide nutritious lunches to children at reasonable prices.

SA Center—school-age center—also known as outside-school-hours care center; a licensed or license-exempt center that provides organized nonresidential child care services to children during hours outside of school.

SBP—School Breakfast Program—the program that assists schools and other agencies in providing nutritious breakfasts to children at reasonable prices.

SFA—school food authority—the governing body that is responsible for the administration of one or more schools and has the legal authority to operate the National School Lunch Program or be otherwise approved to operate the National School Lunch Program, may also be a public center.

SNP—School Nutrition Programs—within California, any of the following programs: the California Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Seamless Summer Feeding Option, or Special Milk Program.

SOUC—sponsors of unaffiliated centers—a sponsoring organization of one or more centers that are unaffiliated with the sponsor. Sponsors of unaffiliated centers enter into an agreement with the California Department of Education to assume financial and administrative responsibility for program operations.

Sponsors—sponsoring organizations that are entirely responsible for the administration of the food program for: (a) one or more day care homes; (b) two or more centers (see definition of centers); (c) a center that is a legally distinct entity from the sponsoring organization (see definition of sponsor of unaffiliated centers) or (d) any combination of the above.

USDA, FNS—U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service—the federal oversight agency for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Questions:   Child and Adult Care Food Programs Branch | 800-952-5609, Option 3
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 28, 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
  • CNAC Minutes for the May 9, 2022 Meeting (added 29-Nov-2022)
    Meeting minutes for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) on May 9, 2022.
  • November 15, 2022 Tuesday at 2 Town Hall Resources (added 29-Nov-2022)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) hosted the monthly Tuesday @ 2 School Nutrition Town Hall webinar October 25, 2022 for school food service operators, chief business officials, and community partners.
  • P-EBT Benefits and Resources for Households (added 21-Nov-2022)
    This message provides resources to school food authorities on the upcoming California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) for School Year (SY) 2021-22 and Summer 2022.
  • 2022 KIT Guidance and Deadline Extension (added 21-Nov-2022)
    The CDE/NSD is extending the deadline to submit the 2022 KIT Funds online registration form to December 9, 2022 and providing additional guidance regarding the definition of “freshly prepared onsite meals” and regarding vended meals.
  • Pandemic EBT Local Administrative Grant (added 17-Nov-2022)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided the California Department of Education $2.8 million grant for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) allowable administrative costs reimbursement.

  • Annual Sponsor Verification Report for 2022–23 (added 15-Nov-2022)
    The information provides guidance to school food authorities on how to complete the 2022-23 Verification Report, which must be completed by January 17, 2023.
  • USDA Foods Strawberry & Apricot Cup Natural Defect (added 15-Nov-2022)
    Out of an abundance of caution the CDE FDP would like inform recipient agencies about a small number of complaints we received regarding larva found in the popular USDA Foods Frozen Strawberry Cup and the USDA Foods Frozen Apricot Cup.
  • P-EBT 3.0 and Summer 2022 P-EBT Coming Soon (added 08-Nov-2022)
    This communication is to encourage program operators to prepare for School Year 2021–22 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), known as P-EBT 3.0, and Summer 2022 P-EBT.
  • October 25, 2022 Tuesday at 2 Town Hall Resources (added 08-Nov-2022)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) hosted the monthly Tuesday @ 2 School Nutrition Town Hall webinar October 25, 2022 for school food service operators, chief business officials, and community partners.
  • 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Funds (added 04-Nov-2022)
    The CDE/NSD is announcing the availability of the 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funds. Assembly Bill 181 provides an additional $600 million for equipment, infrastructure and training.