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Child Care Component of the CACFP

Information about a child care agency's participation in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, including a segment on sponsors who administer the program in independent centers and day care homes.

Program Information

What is the CACFP Child Care Component?

The CACFP child care component is a state and federally funded program that gives financial aid to licensed child care centers and day care homes. The objectives of the program are to:

  • Improve the diets of children under 13 years of age by providing the children with nutritious, well-balanced meals.
  • Develop good eating habits in children that will last through later years.

Who May Sponsor the CACFP Child Care Component?

Any public or private nonprofit institution providing nonresidential day care may be eligible to receive aid. The following requirements are also necessary:

  • Federal, state, or local government licensing or approval
  • Tax-exempt status - Federal and State
  • Provide organized child care

Any private for-profit institution providing non-residential day care to children. If 25 percent of the children enrolled are under Title XIX or Title XX subsidy or 25 percent of the children enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Examples of eligible institutions include:

  • Child care centers.
  • Sponsored day care homes.
  • Infant centers.
  • Preschool centers.
  • Head Start centers.
  • Outside-school hours care centers.

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Whom Does the CACFP Child Care Component Serve?

Children under 13 years of age, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, or political beliefs, may be served by the program, including the following:

  • Infants
  • Preschool children
  • School-age children
  • Enrollees of any age who are disabled, if the majority of enrollees are under 19 years of age
  • Migrant workers (children under 16 of age)
  • Children enrolled in after-school extended care centers
  • At-Risk after school children under 19 years of age

What Recordkeeping Is Required?

  • Facility license.
  • Enrollment form signed by parent.
  • Daily menus, including quantity served.
  • Daily attendance.
  • Number of meals, by type (breakfast, lunch, supper, or supplements), served to enrolled children each day.
  • Verification of children's eligibility category.
  • Civil rights data.
  • Internal control system.

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What Assistance Is Available?

  • State meal reimbursement.
  • Federal reimbursement for the number of breakfasts, lunches, suppers, and supplements served to enrolled children. The meals must meet the USDA minimum meal requirements.
  • Commodity (donated) foods or cash in lieu of commodities.
  • Technical assistance for food service operation, program management, and recordkeeping.
  • One time startup funds (day care homes only).
  • Claim instructions.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, January 13, 2020
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