Nutrition Program FAQ’s
- What is the Child and Adult Care Food program?
- How do I sign up?
- What do I have to do?
- Who can I claim?
- Am I reimbursed for infants?
- Why should I participate?
- How will I know what to serve and how much?
- How is this program better than having the parents bring food for their children?
- What if I have a child in the program with food allergies who cannot eat the same foods as some of the other children?
Answers to FAQ’s
1. What is the Child and Adult Care Food program?
Answer: The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a nutrition education and reimbursement program for licensed child care providers or TrustLine cleared providers. In addition to receiving information and tips on nutrition and meal planning, 4Cs provides per meal/snack reimbursements to enrolled providers. Reimbursement is based on rates set by the state and is received monthly for each child and meal that you serve.
2. How do I sign up?
Answer: We schedule an appointment to enroll you in the 4Cs Food Program at your convenience. Please contact us at (707) 544-3077 for more details and to schedule an appointment. We have English- and Spanish-speaking staff to assist you.
3. What do I have to do?
Answer: USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulates the program and requires that providers complete paperwork daily. That means each day you must document the attendance of the children to whom you have served meals or snacks, as well as the foods you have served. Records can be kept through an on-line program or on paper.
When you initially sign a child up for care in your home, the parents will complete an enrollment form to enroll their child on 4Cs Food Program. Then at least once a year the parent will re-enroll their child to verify they are still in your care and are being fed the meals you are claiming.
At the end of each month, you submit your claim (electronically or on paper) with any new enrollment forms to our office. We process those forms, and you are reimbursed for the meals and snacks you have served, as long as they meet the guidelines. We provide you with forms or you may claim on-line. We train you in the best way to keep your paperwork up-to-date to ensure maximum reimbursement.
4. Who can I claim?
Answer: Providers may claim any child for meals, from newborn infants through 12 years with a completed enrollment form. Special needs children may be claimed up to the age of 18 with appropriate documentation.
You may claim your own children under the age of 13 on the food program if you are eligible (based on your family size and total family income) and once you complete an eligibility form. If you have your own foster children, they are always eligible with a completed eligibility form up to the age of 13. Your own children and foster children can be claimed for meals only when another day care child is present during the same meal time.
5. Am I reimbursed for infants?
Answer: Yes, the reimbursement rate you receive is the same for each meal whether the child is an infant, preschooler, or school-age child. The menu requirements and amounts are, of course, different for each age group.
6. Why should I participate?
Answer: Studies have shown that participation in the Child Care Food Program is an indicator of a quality child care program. With childhood obesity being the number one health issue for many of our children, choosing a provider that participates in the Child Care Food Program is one way that parents can be assured that their children are developing lifelong healthy eating habits.
Providers receive training from our staff regarding meal planning, food preparation, health and nutrition, and the program’s technical requirements through our home visits which occur three times per year.
The reimbursement for a day care provider with a license for 8 can range from $100-500 per month. Each child is reimbursed at a flat rate for each meal or snack.
7. How will I know what to serve and how much?
Answer: Providers are trained on all of the rules and regulations at the initial sign up. You will receive a provider handbook for your reference that explains which foods are reimbursable and in what amounts and combinations they need to be served. The “CACFP Meal Pattern” in your handbook gives exact specifications by age group so that you can be sure you are serving the proper foods. You will receive training and guidance on menu planning and food selection as often as you need it and you will most likely find that you will be able to serve most of the foods you are accustomed to.
8. How is this program better than having the parents bring food for their children?
Answer: When all children are served provider prepared meals, parents can be sure that the meals served meet the high standards for quality and nutrition set by the USDA. Children will have the opportunity to experience foods that they may not be exposed to at home, and there will be no jealousy between children who are eating different foods from home.
9. What if I have a child in the program with food allergies who cannot eat the same foods as some of the other children?
Answer: When a child is allergic to a food, it needs to be replaced with something providing similar nutritional value that the child is able to eat. The parent will need to get a medical statement for substitutions of the original food.