Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in Food/Nutrition
December 19, 2018


The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) reimburses child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for providing nutritious meals and snacks to the children and older adults or chronically impaired persons with disabilities in their care.


Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

Program Requirements:

As part of their regular care, children and adults receive nutritious meals and snacks at child care centers and homes that participate in CACFP. Child care centers, adult day care centers, day care homes, afterschool care centers, and emergency shelters receive cash reimbursement for serving meals and snacks that meet Federal nutritional guidelines to eligible children and adult participants.

Eligible children include infants and children through age 12 in child care centers and day care homes. Children of migrant workers are eligible through age 15. Eligible adults are enrolled in adult day care and are at least 60 years of age or physically or mentally impaired.  In afterschool care centers and emergency shelters, children through age 18 are eligible. 

Centers and day care homes may be approved to claim reimbursement for serving up to two meals and one snack to each eligible child or adult participant, each day.  Emergency shelters may serve up to 3 meals per day. At-risk afterschool care centers may serve up to one meal and one snack per day.

CACFP reimburses centers at free, reduced-price, and/or paid rates for eligible meals and snacks served to eligible children and adult participants.

In day care homes, all meals are served free.  Day care home providers that serve children in low income areas, or meet low income eligibility requirements themselves, receive higher levels of reimbursement.

Application Details

Parents and guardians looking for nutritious meals for their children should contact their State Agency for participating care facilities.

Child and/or adult care providers should contact the appropriate State Agency for more information.  


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