Child and Adult Care Nutrition Standards: Homes

If you operate a family child care home in the state of Connecticut and you currently serve meals and/or snacks or are considering adding food service, you’ve come to the right place.

If you operate a licensed child care center or group child care home in the state of Connecticut, click here.

 This website provides information on the nutrition standards of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federally funded food assistance program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the CT State Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition.

The goal of the CACFP is to ensure that eligible children receive nutritious meals. To accomplish this, CACFP provides reimbursements (cash assistance) to qualified care providers who serve meals and snacks that meet CACFP nutrition standards. The CACFP nutrition standards for meals and snacks are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which encourage a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and limited added sugar and saturated fat.

What Are the CACFP Nutrition Standards?

Highlights include:
  • Breakfast must include milk, vegetables or fruit, and grains (i.e., 3 components; grains could be replaced with meat/meat alternates up to 3 times per week)
  • Lunch must include milk, meat/meat alternates, vegetables, fruit and grains (i.e., 5 components)
  • Snack must include any 2 of the following 5 components: milk, meat/meat alternates, vegetables, fruit or grains
For All Meals and Snacks:
  • Serve unflavored 1% or skim milk to children ages 2 and older, and unflavored whole milk to 1-year-olds
  • Encourage whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Limit added sugars and 100% juice
  • No deep-fat frying; limit purchased pre-fried food 
  • Make water available and offer throughout the day
To learn more about nutrition standards and to seek guidance and support, contact us at or 860-380-1283.
For the CT State Department of Education’s Meal Pattern Requirements for CACFP Child Care Programs (revised Dec. 2017), click here.
For the complete USDA CACFP meal patterns for children, click here.
For the complete USDA CACFP meal patterns for infants, click here.
One-page summaries of the USDA CACFP meal patterns:

Who Can Participate in CACFP?

Licensed family child care homes serving children ages 12 and younger can participate in CACFP and be reimbursed for up to two meals and one snack, or one meal and two snacks per day for each child in their care. Family day care providers must enter into agreements with a sponsoring organization that will assume administrative and financial responsibility for CACFP operations. Sponsors recruit, train, monitor, and reimburse family child care providers. Connecticut’s five sponsoring organizations include Providers Nutrition Network, TEAM, Inc., ACCESS Agency, Inc., Saugatuck Child Care Services, Inc., and the City of Hartford Department of Families, Children, Youth & Recreation.

The CACFP provides reimbursements for the serving of nutritious meals and snacks to all enrolled children at rates determined based on the income level of the local area, the child care provider, or the children in care. Children from families not eligible for free or reduced-price meals/snacks, or over-income children, will receive subsidized meals and snacks as well, just at reduced reimbursement rates.

How is Reimbursement Determined?

CACFP reimburses family child care homes for meals and snacks that meet the CACFP nutrition standards served to children at rates based on the food service payment set by the USDA (Tier 1 or Tier 2). Reimbursement rates are revised annually for the cost of living adjustment. The rates below are the same for all contiguous states.

What are the Current Reimbursement Rates?

Effective July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020
  • Tier 1: $1.31
  • Tier 2: $0.48   
  • Tier 1: $2.46
  • Tier 2: $1.48
  • Tier 1: $0.73
  • Tier 2: $0.20
Administrative Rates
  • 1-50 Homes: $118.00
  • 51-200 Homes: $90.00
  • 201-1000 Homes: $70.00
  • Each Home over 1000: $62.00

Additional Resources

Online Training Information provides links to online training in nutrition, the CACFP program, and Go NAPSACC. Some of the opportunities may also count toward OEC licensing professional development.
Child Care Outreach Flyer provides strategies for promoting healthy eating and physical activity in child care centers and offers training resources for professional development. 
Accommodating Special Diets in CACFP Child Care Programs developed by the CT State Dept. of Education provides guidance on meal modifications for children and infants with special dietary needs, based on the federal nondiscrimination laws and USDA regulations. This guide applies to CACFP child care centers (including at-[SM1]  risk afterschool care centers and emergency shelters) and family day care homes.
USDA Food and Nutrition Service CACFP Meal Pattern Training Tools (flyers available in English and Spanish). Short, two-page worksheets on the CACFP Meal Patterns.
USDA Thirty on Thursdays Trainings (available in English and Spanish). Monthly training webinars on hot topics related to the CACFP Meal Pattern requirements.

This resource was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU58DP004797-05-01, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.