Child and Adult Care Food Program
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The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program that provides meal reimbursement to child care centers, adult day care centers, emergency shelters, before and afterschool programs, and child development homes. The objectives of CACFP are to:
- Provide a subsidy to eligible child and adult care institutions for serving nutritious meals
- Serve nutritious meals and snacks to children and adults in care
- Foster lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits
The program serves:
- Children age 0–12 years in child care centers and family day care homes
- Children through age 18 in At Risk afterschool programs and emergency shelters
- Children of migrant workers, through age 15
- Functionally impaired disabled persons receiving care in a center or home where most children are 18 years old and younger, and in emergency shelters serving children
- Adults age 60 or older or impaired adults of any age in non-residential day care settings
See the links below for additional information, including eligibility requirements:
Stay connected! Iowa CACFP is on Facebook! Use #IowaCACFP in social media posts.
CACFP Participation in Iowa – This story map was developed in partnership with Nemours, Child Care Aware® of America, and the Iowa Departments of Public Health and Education to better understand and promote CACFP participation in child care programs across the state.
Become a CACFP Provider Postcard Template – Postcards to share with other child care providers in your community.
To increase CACFP participation, a childcare center or home provider currently participating in CACFP can apply to receive an Ambassador Stipend ($300 for centers or $150 for home providers) by mentoring a center or home provider who does not participate in CACFP and assisting them with applying to participate in the food program. Application due date is June 30, 2021.
Ambassador Application for Centers
Ambassador Application for Home Providers
CACFP Peer to Peer Mentoring Flyer – Provides information for centers and home providers about what is expected of a CACFP Ambassador.
Resources for CACFP Participants
- Steps to CACFP Success Online Workshop
- Feeding Infants (10 lessons)
- CACFP Wellness Modules: Farm to CACFP, Meaningful Mealtimes, Trying New Foods, Opportunities for Active Play, Nutrition Education, Smarter Mealtime Scorecard, CACFP Meal Pattern Best Practices, Healthy Food Purchasing, and Updated Healthy Menu Makeover.
Meal Pattern Implementation
- Infants, Children, Adults
- Best Practices (English, Spanish)
- Iowa Center Handy Guide to Creditable Food
- Iowa Home Provider Handy Guide to Creditable Foods
- CACFP Menu with Best Practices
- CACFP Best Practices Checklist
- Cooking Up Healthy Habits Guide to CACFP Meals – Includes 4 two-week cycle menus, recipes and shopping lists.
- Feeding Infants in the Child and Adult Care Food Program – Covers topics such as handling and storing breastmilk and formula, readiness, hunger and fullness cues, solid foods, and parent communication.
- Breastfed Babies Welcome Here – Contains communication tools CACFP operators can use to let mothers and families know that breastfed babies are welcome.
Healthier Childcare Environment
- Go NAP SACC – An online tool that can assess childcare wellness environment practices, set action plans, and access to online resources and trainings. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for an account and contact Erin Olson at email@example.com to obtain the registration code.
- Iowa Smarter Mealtime Scorecard – An assessment tool to help improve menu planning, parent communication and involvement, mealtime experience, mealtime environment, and provider involvement.
- CACFP Menu Templates – Can be customized with center or home weekly menus. MyPlate Theme, Spring Theme, Summer Theme, Fall Theme, and Winter Theme
- Healthier CACFP Award – Recognizes childcare programs for making outstanding efforts in the areas of menus, physical activity, professional development, nutrition and wellness environment and infant care.
Public Notice: CACFP Waiver Requests
The Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services submitted a waiver request to USDA Food and Nutrition Service for a child care center that lost required Program records following a water main break. For more information contact Robin Holz, Lead CACFP Consultant – Centers, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted and Not Currently Approved Waiver Requests
The Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services submitted a waiver request to USDA Food and Nutrition Service for a streamlined application and recordkeeping for child care centers approved by DHS to provide care for essential workers. For more information contact Robin Holz, Lead CACFP Consultant - Centers, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services at email@example.com.
Iowa Waiver Request - CACFP Streamlined Application COVID-19