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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
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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.
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    Information on how to begin the application process for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
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