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ECR Funds Available for Eligible CACFP Operators


The California Department of Education (CDE) has disbursed the Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement (ECR) Program funds to all eligible Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Operators through the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS)External link opens in new window or tab..

Payment Details

Payment details are reflected within the 2020–21 Payment Summary section of the CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab.. You should receive your ECR payment in the mail within 30 days of the Warrant Issue Date listed. If you do not receive a check within this timeframe, please contact your CDE Claims Analyst. The Claims Analyst contact list is available in the Download Forms section of CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab., Form CACFP 01.

Use of Funds

All funds must be deposited into the CACFP nonprofit food service account where they can be used in two ways:

  • First, the ECR funds can be used to reimburse local sources of funds (examples: Non-CACFP bank account, Head Start funding, etc.) that supported the CACFP during the months of March–June 2020.

    • If ECR funds are used in this manner, you will need to maintain documentation for future CACFP Administrative Reviews.

  • Second, the ECR funds can be used as you would any other funds in the nonprofit food service account and are subject to the same cost principles.

    • If ECR funds are used in this manner, you do not need to track them separately from other CACFP reimbursement.
Accounting

As mentioned above, if ECR funds are used to reimburse local sources of funds that supported the CACFP during March–June 2020, program operators must track and maintain documentation of the use of these ECR funds separately from CACFP reimbursement.

If your agency uses the California School Accounting Manual resource codes to report and maintain financial data, the CDE created a new standardized resource code to record CACFP ECR funds. Please ensure the revenue is first deposited into the CACFP nonprofit food service account using the resource code below:

  • Resource Code 5460, Child Nutrition: CACFP COVID-19 Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement

  • Revenue Object Code 8220 (Child Nutrition Programs)

Please note: Once deposited into the CACFP nonprofit food service account, ECR funds do not need to be tracked separately from CACFP reimbursement unless they are used to reimburse a local funding source as described above.

Reporting Use of Funds

As a condition of accepting ECR Program funds, CACFP Operators must report their use of these funds to the CDE. To fulfill this requirement, participating CACFP Operators must complete a short, online survey which will be sent to all participating CACFP Operators no later than January 2022.

For Program Operators of Both the School Nutrition Programs and the CACFP

For agencies that operate both the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) and the CACFP, there are three additional updates:

  • For each child nutrition program, payment details are reflected within their respective 2020–21 Payment Summary section of CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab. . You will need to log in and view the 2020–21 Payment Summary section in CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab. for the CACFP and then separately log into the School Meals Program 2020–21 Payment Summary section to view those payment details.

  • Funds may only be used for the child nutrition program for which they were awarded. SNP ECR funds must be used for the operation of the SNPs, and likewise, CACFP ECR funds can only be used to support the operation of the CACFP. These funds cannot be combined across programs or be used for purposes other than supporting the child nutrition program for which they were awarded.

  • The CDE has created two new standardized account code structure (SACS) resource codes to record SNP ECR funds. These were provided in a similar communication sent directly to the SNP contact on file in CNIPS.
Returning Funds to the CDE

If you are no longer participating in the CACFP or if you do not want to participate in the ECR Program, please:

  1. Email your assigned CDE Claims Analyst (contact list available in the Download Forms section of CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab., Form CACFP 01) and copy or cc the ECR Team at ECR@CDE.ca.gov

  2. Return the warrant by mail to:
    Attn: Najith Cabezas
    California Department of Education
    1430 N Street, Room 2213
    Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Contact Information

For questions, please email the ECR Team at ECR@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
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