Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program, created in 1968, serves more than 800,000 children in family child care settings each day.  In the 2010 reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, Congress acknowledged the role of CACFP for wellness, healthy growth and development of young children in child care. The United States Department of Agriculture is building on the success of CACFP with the October 2017 implementation of the new Meal Pattern standards for health and nutrition.  

Are we ready for the new CACFP Meal Pattern?  

In 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture released the final CACFP Meal Pattern, and since then we've all been working to get ready for the change. CACFP centers and family child care homes must comply with the new meal standards by October 1, 2017. 

NAFCC and our members were actively involved in shaping the new meal pattern - and thanks to your teamwork, we continue to shape the details. Let's keep working together to make a good program even better. 

Ready, set, go! Tips, Tools and Official Guidance:   

 

USDA reimbursement rates for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Each year, as directed by Congress in a detail in the Child Nutrition Act, the rates for reimbursement for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are adjusted for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index.

The new rates will be in effect July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. All family child care Tier I rates remain unchanged; Tier II breakfast and snack rates remain unchanged and the lunch and supper rate decreased by 1 cent. 

USDA is required to use the Consumer Price Index for “food away from home” to adjust child care center rates and “food at home” to adjust family child care rates. The Consumer Price Index for “food away from home” went up, resulting in higher reimbursement rates for centers. The Consumer Price Index for “food at home” was nearly unchanged, with only a slight decrease.

Get the details:

"Food at home? But the children enrolled in family child care are away from home…"

NAFCC not only seeks a rate increase through a Child Nutrition Act reauthorization, but also seek to improve the policy and consider family child care and centers in the same way: food away from home. Legislation introduced in March has a provision to do this very thing, thanks to Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY). 

 

Food Program Action on Capitol Hill

Legislation introduced to make a good program even better 

Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act in March 2017. NAFCC supports this legislation because it seeks to strengthen CACFP to meet the health and nutrition needs of young children and support provider success in the program. 

The Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act would:

  • Offer an additional meal or snack in child care
  • Improve the status of family child care while reducing program complexity
  • Create a review and guidance for the Serious Deficiency Process
  • Create a Paperwork Reduction Advisory Committee to reduce paperwork for families and providers

Read more about the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act, and ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor the legislation! 

Let's make a good program even better

Although meals served at CACFP-participating facilities help combat hunger, support good nutrition, and prevent obesity, the challenges of complying with the program have contributed to a 45 percent decline in participation among family child care homes. These providers have seen their participation drop from nearly 200,000 homes in 1996 to approximately 108,000 homes in 2016—jeopardizing access to quality care for working families in many communities.