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Professional Development for CNP Personnel

Information on professional standards, professional development, and California Department of Education (CDE) sponsored trainings opportunities for child nutrition program (CNP) personnel.

School Nutrition Program

Professional Standards in the School Nutrition Program

Pursuant to Section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established professional standards for School Nutrition Program (SNP) professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. For more information visit:

Professional Standards for School Nutrition Personnel
Includes information, regulations, and resources for SNP personnel to implement the professional standards.

Professional Development in the School Nutrition Program

School Nutrition Association (SNA) Education and Professional Development External link opens in new window or tab.
Information about the SNA Certificate in School Nutrition and School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Credentialing program to help school nutrition personnel advance their career, earn continuing education units and get credit towards the annual training hours specified in the professional standards.

  • Certificate Program External link opens in new window or tab.
    Consists of three levels of certification and a trainer certification, each requiring a specific level of education and training.

  • Credentialing External link opens in new window or tab.
    Enhances the professional image of school nutrition personnel. The SNS Credentialing Exam evaluates knowledge and skills required to perform specific job activities related to managing or directing SNPs.

Child and Adult Care Food Program

Professional Development in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Resources for professional development of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) personnel are listed below:

California Department of Education (CDE)-funded California Professional Nutrition Education and Training (Cal-Pro-NET) Center —Fresno External link opens in new window or tab.
Offers training programs tailored to the needs of early child care nutrition professionals.

  • CACFP Elective Training External link opens in new window or tab.
    Elective courses designed to assist CACFP staff in learning key skills necessary for operating a successful and efficient program.

  • CACFP Management Course for Directors of Child Care Centers (CCC)—Promoting Integrity Now (PIN) External link opens in new window or tab.
    Free two-day training developed to strengthen managerial and operational practices, and provide regulatory and nutritional information to CACFP child care center staff.

  • CACFP Mandatory Training External link opens in new window or tab.
    Annual mandatory training required for all agencies participating in the CACFP. The training topic changes annually and may be completed in person, online, or through self-study packets.

  • Healthy and Active Preschoolers web site External link opens in new window or tab.
    Online nutrition education learning center for early childhood educators in child care and development programs. It contains four online courses and a variety of resources for child care professionals to improve the nutrition and physical activity environment in child care programs (CCP).

CDE Early Learning and Care Division California Early Childhood Online (CECO) External link opens in new window or tab.
Includes modules in one centralized location that enable early care and education (ECE) staff to increase content knowledge and the ability to provide developmentally appropriate experiences for children in their care.

CDE NSD Child Care Meal Quality Forums External link opens in new window or tab.
In-person workshops that focus on enhancing the nutrition environment of ECE programs by highlighting healthy meal planning, food purchasing, food preparation, culinary skills, recipe development, and safety.

CDE NSD Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity Forums External link opens in new window or tab.
In-person trainings that highlight and demonstrate methods for integrating nutrition education, edible gardens, wellness policies, and physical activity into ECE programs. Participants learn ways to create learning environments that maximize opportunities for children to develop healthy eating habits and to move their bodies to learn.

CDE NSD Child Nutrition Programs Course Catalog
Online training courses to assist ECE staff with professional standards requirements, professional development, and compliance needs. The online courses are grouped by program and organized by the key areas of nutrition, operations, administration, and communication and marketing.

California Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE)
In-person trainings for early childhood educators and food service personnel on enhancing the nutrition and wellness environment of early CCPs through improved meal quality, implementation of nutrition and physical activity practices, professional development opportunities, and development of wellness policies.

California Department of Social Services Child Care Licensing External link opens in new window or tab.
Web site with videos that explain licensing topics relevant to families and licensed child care providers and guidance on how family child care homes and centers can protect and promote children’s health and safety.

California Preschool Instructional Network External link opens in new window or tab.
Professional development opportunities for preschool administrators and teachers highlighting current research-based information, resources, and effective instructional practices which are focused on preparing children to flourish in early childhood and succeed in elementary school and beyond.

Caring for our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards and Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Guide of national standards that represent the best practices, policies, expertise, and experience in the nation on quality health and food safety practices for today's early care and education settings.

Child Care Food Program Roundtable External link opens in new window or tab.
Information to help make food programs more effective and improve the health and well-being of children. Includes a CACFP meal pattern implementation library with materials, trainings, ideas, and tools being used for implementation of the meal patterns.

Institute of Child Nutrition Child Care Online Training External link opens in new window or tab.
Online courses to learn about the CACFP, providing quality care for children, and meeting the challenges of the day-to-day operations of CCPs.

Nemour's Healthy Kids, Healthy Future External link opens in new window or tab. (formerly Let’s Move! Child Care)
Resources, ideas, and advice about early childhood nutrition and physical activity.

National Farm to School Network External link opens in new window or tab.
Information to connect early care programs to local food producers with the objectives of serving locally-grown healthy foods to young children, improving child nutrition, and providing related educational opportunities.

PennState Extension Better Kid Care External link opens in new window or tab.
On-demand education system that provides online professional development and continuing education units for early learning and family child care professionals.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service CACFP Resources External link opens in new window or tab.
Ideas for recipes, menu planning, food preparation, or nutrition education to help providers prepare high quality meals to improve health and nutrition, promote a healthy lifestyle.

USDA Team Nutrition CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursday Webinars External link opens in new window or tab.
Team nutrition hosts monthly webinars on hot topics related to the CACFP meal patterns. Webinars are held on the third Thursday of every month and are recorded for viewing at a later date.

Western Growers Foundation External link opens in new window or tab.
Resources on establishing edible gardens and applying for grants for eligible ECE programs.

Questions:   Education and Nutrition Policy Unit | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 4, 2019
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