Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

What is CACFP?

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), is a federally funded program that is administered by the states that pays for healthy meals and snacks for children and adults in day care. CACFP improves the quality of the programs participating in it.

Beyond child being served nutritious meals CACFP supports:

  • The establishment of positive eating habits at the earliest stages of development.
  • With proper nutrition, a child is less likely to experience illness and fatigue and will develop at a normal physical and intellectual pace. 
  • Providers receive nutrition education and financial resources from their CACFP sponsor.

How does CACFP work for family child care homes?

The Family Child Care Homes portion of CACFP is for those who meet their state’s legal definition and requirements. In Maine that all licensed family child care programs can participate. Child care homes receive money for serving nutritious meals. Up to 2 meals and 1 snack per child per day are reimbursable through CACFP. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees CACFP. States approve sponsors and centers to operate the program. States also monitor and provide training and guidance to make sure CACFP runs right. Sponsoring organizations support child care homes with training and monitoring. All child care programs participate in CACFP through a sponsor.

What kinds of meals are served?

CACFP meals follow USDA nutrition standards:

  • Breakfast consists of milk, fruits or vegetables, and grains.
  • Lunch and Supper require milk, grains, meat or other proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Snacks include two different servings from the five components: milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, or meat or other proteins.

The CACFP nutrition standards for meals and snacks served in the CACFP are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Under these standards, meals and snacks served include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. In addition, the standards encourage breastfeeding and better align the CACFP with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and with other child nutrition programs.

USDA provides guidance, resources, best practices, and training for CACFP centers and day care homes to support them in providing healthy, balanced meals and snacks to the children and adults they serve.

One-Page Summaries of the Meal Patterns

Need a form for a meal count worksheet, portion menu, meal pattern guidelines? Maine government’s CACFP forms page has those any many others that providers can use to monitor and track their CACFP information.

Claims

Complete claims for reimbursement are submitted monthly on the proper reimbursement forms. Reimbursement is calculated using the number of reimbursable meals by type (breakfast, lunch, supper and snack) multiplied by the applicable income eligibility based rate per meal. Congress set the reimbursement rates which are updated yearly.

CACFP Reimbursement Rates 2020-2021. Rates are adjusted annually each July.


If you are not participating in CACFP and want more information about it contact the sponsor for your county.

Posted in ECE Information

CACFP Daycare Home Sponsors by County

Androscoggin

Androscoggin Head Start & Child Care      207-795-4046

Catholic Charities      207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Community Concepts, Inc.      207-739-6615

Family Focus      207-406-4573 ext. 125

Western Maine Community Action (Livermore Falls Area)    207-860-4485 or 207-645-3764  ext. 5272

Aroostook

Aroostook County Action Program      207-768-3026 ext. 325

Horizons Unlimited, Inc.     207-764-6659

Cumberland

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Family Focus      207-406-4573 ext. 125

Midcoast Maine Community Action      207-442-7963

Franklin

Catholic Charities      207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Community Concepts, Inc.      207-739-6615

Western Maine Community Action     207-860-4485 or 207-645-3764  ext. 5272

Hancock

Downeast Community Partners     207-667-2995 ext. 224

Kennebec

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

So Kennebec Child Development Corp.      207-582-3110 ext. 36

Knox

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Penquis      207-973-3506

So Kennebec Child Development Corp.      207-582-3110 ext. 36

Lincoln

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Family Focus      207-386-1662

Midcoast Maine Community Action      207-442-7963

Penquis       207-973-3506

So Kennebec Child Development Corp.       207-582-3110 ext. 36

Oxford

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Community Concepts, Inc      207-739-6615

Penobscot

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Downeast Community Partners       207-667-2995 ext. 224

Penquis       207-973-3506

Piscataquis

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Penquis      207-973-3506

Sagadahoc

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Family Focus       207-386-1662

Midcoast Maine Community Action       207-442-7963

Somerset

Catholic Charities        207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Penquis       207-973-3506

So Kennebec Child Development Corp.       207-582-3110 ext. 36

Waldo

Catholic Charities       207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Downeast Community Partners       207-667-2995 ext. 224

Penquis       207-973-3506

So Kennebec Child Development Corp.      207-582-3110 ext. 36

Waldo Community Action Partners       207-338-6809

Washington

Downeast Community Partners       207-667-2995 ext. 224

York

Catholic Charities        207-786-0925 or 1-800-784-0157

Posted in ECE Information

Nutrition Resources

Interested in learning more about bringing fresh and nutritious food into your childcare program?

Whether you provide snacks and lunches, or families send them in, as a family child care provider you have a large part to play in developing healthy habits in the children in your care. Did you know that whether you participate in CACFP or not, you can access resources from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service? These materials can be used to support your practices, directly with the children and shared with families.

Check out these resources to learn more about procuring local food, the new CACFP meal patterns, and nutrition education.

  • Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs
  • CACFP Best Practices ~ This best practices tip sheet further helps increase consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and reduce the consumption of added sugars and saturated fats.
  • Grow It, Try It, Like It! ~ This garden-themed nutrition education kit introduces children to: three fruits – peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables – spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash.
  • Wellness Tips for Young Children ~ Available to public as free PDF download or if participating in CACFP you can order a free print copy. Tips such as:
    • Build a Healthy Plate With Fruits 21839269649_58a611cf25_o
    • Meat and Meat Alternates: Build a Healthy Plate with Protein
    • Build a Healthy Plate With Less Salt and Sodium
    • Practice the Basics of Food Safety to Prevent Foodborne Illness
    • Promote Active Play Through Written Policies and Practices
    • Supplement B: Care for Children With Food Allergies
    • Supplement D: Create a Positive Meal Environment
    • Supplement E: Support Family Style Meals
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Another great opportunity is Farm to School, which now includes Farm to Early Childhood Programs. Check out this Step-by-Step guide for providers, from Michigan’s Farm to School, to find out how to get started with Farm to ECE.