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Eligibility Requirements

Child Development Homes
Any child development home providing care for children in Iowa may participate in the Iowa Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) if the child development home:

  • is registered by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and
  • has an Iowa CACFP Home Sponsor.

The CACFP Home Sponsor disburses CACFP reimbursement received from the State Agency to participating child development homes for serving meals that meet the CACFP requirements.


Meals - What Meals Can be Reimbursed?

Child Development Homes are reimbursed for planning and serving meals that follow CACFP requirements for children 1-12 years and infants. Homes may request approval to claim breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks (morning, afternoon and evening). Reimbursement is paid for not more than two meals and one snack, two snacks and one meal or three snacks per child per day.

Reimbursement is based on the Tier 2 and/or Tier 2 rates. Contact the Home Sponsor to discuss Tier eligibility and meal reimbursement

Application Procedures

Child Development Homes

Contact the Child and Adult Care Food Program Home Sponsor in your county, (click on the list below.) Call the Home Sponsor and ask for the CACFP representative to schedule a visit in your home to explain the CACFP requirements.


General Resources

hawk-i Outreach Poster - Display poster where parents can see it.

Meal Patterns

Children 1 thru 12 Meal Pattern - These patterns must be followed for the ages specified in order for meals served to participants to be eligible for CACFP reimbursement.

Handy Guide to Creditable Foods - Lists food items that must be used to fulfill meal pattern requirements. Creditable foods are those that can be used to fulfill meal pattern requirements and non-creditable foods cannot be used to meet meal pattern requirements.

Infant Feeding

Infant Meal Pattern - Lists what must be served to infants at different ages in order for the meal to be eligible for CACFP reimbursement.

Infant Foods Tried at Home - Can be used to document in writing what foods an infant has been introduced to at home.

Reimbursable Foods for Infants - Lists infant foods that must be used to fulfill the infant meal pattern requirements.  Non-reimbursable foods are also listed.  Non-reimbursable foods may not be used to meet infant meal pattern requirements.

Infant Cereal Recipes - Two infant recipes (pancakes and muffins) using iron-fortified infant cereal may be used to meet the CACFP iron-fortified cereal requirement for 8-11 month olds at breakfast.

CACFP Menu Ideas

Montana Toolkit - This toolkit was designed for participants of the Montana Child and Adult Care Food Program; although the information is helpful to any child care provider. The menus (5 weeks of breakfast, lunch and one snack), with accompanying recipes and resources, are provided to assist childcare providers in serving healthy meals which are cost effective, easy to prepare, and appealing to children.

Best Practice Tips for Mealtime - The list of Best Practice Tips for Mealtime includes acceptable types of meal service (pre-dished, family style and transition) and step by step tips for successful mealtime offered by centers across Iowa. The tips are helpful for home providers when implementing family style meal service.

CACFP Snack Ideas - List of creditable CACFP Snacks for use by child care centers and homes.

Serving Size Chart - Used to assist center staff and home providers who prepare serving dishes for CACFP family style meals to ensure enough food is on the table for the number of participants sitting at the table.

Sample Menus to Meet 2010 Dietary Guidelines - Menus that meet CACFP requirements and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommendations for healthier meals.


Form that must be completed by a designated health care professional in order to claim meals for reimbursement when a participant cannot follow the CACFP meal pattern.  The form is recommended when a participant has a food allergy but can follow the meal pattern.

Allergy/Food Exception Statement
Allergy/Food Exception Statement - Spanish

What is QRS?

QRS stands for Iowa's Quality Rating System. It offers providers a guided way for childcare providers to improve the quality of child care they provide by achieving recognized "Levels".

What do the levels mean?

A provider who achieves Level 1 has met Iowa's registration or licensing standards. A provider who achieves Level 2 has completed additional training and steps to improve quality and participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Providers in Levels 3-5 have made significant steps in meeting key indicators of quality in the areas of professional development, health and safety, environment, family and community partnership and leadership and administration. Because participation in the CACFP has been shown to be an indicator of quality child care, a home provider must participate, if eligible, to achieve level 2.

For more information visit:

Home Sponsor Resources

List of Home Sponsors in Iowa

USDA FNS Instruction 796-2, Revision 4 - USDA's instruction describing CACFP allowable/non-allowable financial costs for CACFP Home Sponsor Administrative annual budget and monthly financial claims.


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on June 25, 2017 at 5:59am.