Get Started Today!
Schedule a meeting with a monitor and learn about how the food program works.
Find a sponsor that administers the Food Program in your county.
Frequently Asked Questions about CACFP
How does participation in the CACFP benefit a provider?
Providers receive valuable nutrition education that helps them know the proper foods to feed children in amounts appropriate for these young age groups. They receive help through nutrition education and personal visits from CACFP staff in understanding how to encourage positive eating habits that will benefit a child throughout life.
What children can be claimed on the food program?
All children from birth through age 12 can be claimed. You will need to send an enrollment form, signed by the parent, to your sponsor for each child in your care. You may claim your own children for meals at which other non-resident children that are enrolled in the Food Program are present, and if you qualify by your income level. Foster children may also be claimed for meals at which other non-resident children are claimed.
How much paperwork is involved and how often?
Each day you will need to make a record of attendance, menus and meal counts by midnight. This may sound like a daunting task, however it takes very little time. Current providers in the program state that recording menus and meal counts daily takes approximately five to ten minutes! Your monitor will provide you with forms or online access to input claim information and submit the claims monthly.
What happens if I am not in compliance with the regulations when a representative visits?
Monitors check several things when they conduct a home visit. Many times, they will provide additional technical assistance to make sure you know exactly what you are required to do to be in compliance. If you have repeated difficulty keeping daily records, an improvement plan will be started. If you are over numbers or if there is a health or safety issue, your representative will send a report to your regulator.
Do I have to offer an iron fortified infant formula (IFIF)?
You have to offer to supply an IFIF to infants enrolled in your care. If the parent refuses the brand of IFIF you offer, the infant may still be enrolled in the Food Program as long as you are willing to supply one component of the infant's meal when they are developmentally ready to eat additional foods.
What if a parent refuses to enroll their child?
Parents may choose not to enroll their child on the Food Program, and will need to send a written statement to a sponsor to say they will not participate. You will not be reimbursed for meals you serve that child.
When do I have to obtain a diet statement?
Any time a child is not able to follow the meal pattern requirements, a doctor's statement must be on file in order for the child to be claimed on the Food Program. If the child's inability to follow the meal pattern is based on a disability, you must provide the alternate food the child requires.
Where can I find menus, recipes, and other resources?
Your CACFP sponsor has many ideas that you can use when serving children. Recipes are available from many online sources, but keep in mind that simple foods with few ingredients are often the healthiest option.
How do I sign up?
In order to join the Food Program, find a sponsor that administers the Food Program in your county. Contact a sponsor by phone or email and arrange for an orientation meeting. You'll be up and running in no time!
Maintain regulation (license or certification)
Daily: Record the meals you serve and the children that ate it. The meals must meet the meal pattern requirements.
Monthly: Submit meal counts and new enrollment forms to your local agency to receive your reimbursement.
Yearly: Attend a CACFP training session or complete a home study packet.
Yearly: Enroll the children in your care.
Three Times Yearly: Meet with a CACFP monitor in your home to receive support, new education materials, and updates on program regulations.
In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.