What is the Child and Adult Care Food Program?
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a Federal program that sets standards and provides reimbursement for healthy meals and snacks served to eligible children and adults. The program plays a vital role in improving the quality of daycare and makes daycare more affordable for many low-income families.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers CACFP through grants to States. The program is administered within most States by the State educational agency. In a few states, it is administered by an alternate agency, such as the State health or social services department. The child care component and the adult day care component of CACFP may be administered by different agencies within a State, at the discretion of the Governor.
Independent centers and sponsoring organizations can receive CACFP reimbursement for serving meals that meet Federal nutritional guidelines to enrolled children and adults. CACFP reimbursement is based on the number of eligible meals served. Sponsoring organizations operate a "non-profit food service" meaning that all reimbursement received for the CACFP must be used for the CACFP or other federal Child Nutrition Programs.
For more information on the comparison between being a Center sponsor and a FDCH provider on the CACFP, please see the chart in the link below.
Comparison Chart of Operating the CACFP as a Family Day Care Home Provider and a Center Sponsor
How do I apply if I am a Center?
Centers that may become a CACFP Sponsor include: Certified/Licensed Child Care Centers (Commercial), Head Starts, At-risk Afterschool Programs, Adult Day Cares, Outside School Hours Centers, and Homeless/Emergency Shelters with residents 18 years old or younger.