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.
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?
- 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
- 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
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?
- Tier 1: $1.31
- Tier 2: $0.48
- Tier 1: $2.46
- Tier 2: $1.48
- Tier 1: $0.73
- Tier 2: $0.20
- 1-50 Homes: $118.00
- 51-200 Homes: $90.00
- 201-1000 Homes: $70.00
- Each Home over 1000: $62.00
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.