If you provide childcare in your home, you may be eligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
CACFP is also available in day care centers and afterschool enrichment programs. Click here to learn more.
CACFP is a reimbursement-based program. Approved providers buy and serve healthy meals and/or snacks, then request reimbursement on a monthly basis. Providers also benefit from free training and resources to support their efforts to provide quality nutrition.
CACFP is federally funded through the United States Department of Agriculture and is administered at the state level through the New York State Department of Health.
Most day care home providers are eligible to participate in CACFP, including:
- Registered family day care providers.
- Licensed group family day care providers.
- Legally exempt, or informal, providers that receive child care payments from a county or city agency.
The NYS Department of Health’s CACFP prescreening tool can help you determine if your home-based day care is eligible for CACFP. You can also contact our partner Early Care and Learning Council or your local CACFP sponsoring agency for more information.
CACFP reimburses providers for each creditable meal or snack served, up to two meals and one snack per child per day.
The two levels, or tiers, of CACFP reimbursements for day care homes are listed below. Providers who serve low-income children, live in a low-income area, or live in a household that meets income guidelines may be eligible for the higher reimbursement rates (Tier 1). Providers who do not qualify for Tier 1 rates are reimbursed using Tier 2 rates. For more information about reimbursement rate tiers or for assistance determining which tier applies to your day care, contact Early Care and Learning Council or the NYS Department of Health.
CACFP reimbursements can make a big difference in your food budget, even if you serve a small number of children. For example, a provider in a low-income area serving five children a morning snack, lunch, and supper twenty days per month could receive up to $565 per month in reimbursement.
Meals reimbursed through CACFP must meet the NYS Department of Health's meal patterns, which specify required food components and minimum serving sizes for different age groups. Follow the links below to view CACFP meal patterns and sample menus for infants and children.
Getting Started with CACFP
Day care home providers who participate in CACFP do so through a local sponsoring agency, often a Child Care Resource and Referral Center. Sponsoring agencies offer application assistance, ongoing support, and technical assistance to providers.
For further assistance or to find a local CACFP sponsoring agency, contact the Early Care and Learning Council.