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Eligibility Requirements

Child Care Centers: Public or Private Non-profit

Any child care organization in Iowa providing non-residential care for children may participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program if the following requirements are met:

  • The center is licensed by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) or is exempted from licensing by the Iowa DHS and has had the proper health and safety inspections or accreditation.
  • The organization is a public institution, or the organization is a private non-profit organization with tax-exempt state [(501(c)(3)] as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Code of 1986.

A private non-profit or a public organization can operate a preschool, full day child care center, an outside school hours child care, an At Risk After School snack program or an emergency shelter program.

A Board of Directors governs the private non-profit organization. Voting board of directors should not have a vested interest in the center(s) or be a paid center employee.

Child Care Centers: Private For-Profit

A private for-profit child care organization in Iowa providing non-residential care for children may participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program if the following requirements are met:

  • The center is licensed by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) or is specifically exempted from licensing by the Iowa DHS and has had the proper health and safety inspections or accreditation.
  • The center has at least 25% free and reduced-price eligible children enrolled relative to the total enrollment or the license capacity.

25% Documentation Survey

To determine CACFP eligibility, distribute the income eligibility form (with a cover letter) to parents, and complete the 25% documentation form.

Emergency Shelters
An emergency shelter must provide residential care and food services to homeless children. It must be a public or private nonprofit institution. Unlike most other CACFP facilities, a shelter does not have to be licensed to provide child care. However, it must meet any health and safety codes that are required by state or local law.  A shelter may complete an application and sign an agreement with the State administering agency, or it may participate as a facility under an existing public or non-profit CACFP sponsoring organization.

At Risk After School Snack Program

At Risk After School sites must be located in a school attendance area where at least 50 percent of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced price meals (area eligible). At Risk programs can use free and reduced price meal data from elementary, middle, or high schools to document a site as "area eligible". Regularly scheduled educational or enrichment activities must also be provided in a supervised environment. There are no federal licensing requirements; however, after school care programs are required to meet State or local licensing requirements. If the organization is exempt from licensing, the program must meet State or local health and safety requirements.

Reimbursement

What Meals Can be Reimbursed?

Child Care Centers are paid reimbursement for meals served to eligible children and infants that follow CACFP meal pattern requirements. Centers may request approval for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks. Reimbursement is allowed for two meals and one snack or one meal and two snacks per child per day. Meals served to supervising adults, volunteers and visitors cannot be claimed for CACFP reimbursement.

Outside School Hours Care Centers may claim breakfasts and snacks. Lunches may be claimed only when school is not in session such as on weekends, holidays or school vacations or when the school does not have a lunch program.

At Risk meals must be served after the end of the school day or on vacation days or holidays (during school year only). If the school has an extended school day, the snack may be served before the end of the school day. If the Program is open on non-school days any one meal and one snack may be claimed per child per day. All snacks are reimbursed at the "free" rate. Income applications are not required.

Homeless and Emergency Shelters may claim breakfast, lunch and supper or two of these meals and a snack. All meals are reimbursed at the "free" rate. Income applications are not required.

When income applications are collected, reimbursement is based on the income level of participants (free, reduced-price or paid). Meals served to lower income participants are reimbursed at a higher (free or reduced-price) rate. Click here for CACFP reimbursement rates.

Application Procedures

How do I apply for the CACFP center program in Iowa?

Centers,Outside School Hours Care Centers, At Risk Programs and Emergency Shelters:

Contact Robin Holz at 515-281-3484

Attendance at a CACFP Steps to Success Workshop is required to learn Program rules and recordkeeping requirements. A CACFP application must be requested from the State agency and completed. A pre-approval visit will be conducted by a State agency CACFP consultant to review the application and CACFP records.

 

CACFP Menu Ideas

Wisconsin CACFP Healthy Menu Planning Guide
This toolkit is intended to serve as a practical, how-to guide to following Meal Planning at your child care home or center. Materials include:

  • The CACFP Meal Pattern
  • Information on choking hazards and allergies
  • 16 weeks of menus
  • 120 CACFP-reimbursable recipes with nutritional information
  • 8 shopping lists of items needed for every two-week menu cycle

Institute of Child Nutrition Menus for Child Care
Menus for Child Care #1 offers eight complete weekly menus, including breakfast, lunch or supper, and snack meeting the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Pattern requirements for 3-5 year olds. Portion sizes can be adjusted for other age groups.
Menus for Child Care #2 offers four sets of four-week cycle menus that also meet the USDA CACFP Meal Pattern requirements for 3-5 year olds.

Menus for Child Care #3 meets the same requirements in two sets of four-week cycle menus.

These healthful and appealing menus can be used as cycle menus offering variety and moderation for balanced nutrition in the child care setting. The menus have been analyzed for major nutrients. Crediting information appears in parentheses after each item on the menu.

West Virginia’s Leap of Taste Menu Planning Guide
This resource include:

  • 16 weeks of menus
  • 120 CACFP-reimbursable recipes with nutritional information
  • 8 shopping lists of items needed for every two-week cycle menu

Nutrition and Physical Activity Resources
These award-winning resources were developed with Team Nutrition grant funding in partnership with several agencies and organizations. Designed to be an early intervention strategy to address childhood obesity, the resources provide hands on tools to help childcare providers implement the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

365 Days of Snacks
A list of 365 creditable snacks offers an idea for every day of the year! Credit: Community Action of Southeast Iowa CACFP, Burlington, IA.

Texas Snacks That Count: Recipes for Nutritious Snacks
This recipe booklet includes 31 recipes that are easy to prepare without extra fat, sugar, and salt. The recipes meet the snack requirements of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), for children one through five years of age. The introduction includes tips to involve children in fun and safe food preparation activities.

 

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on September 19, 2017 at 7:22pm.