Our child care food program provides many benefits!
Child care provided on a regular basis by persons other than parents is already a fact of life. Home based care continues to expand as an essential part of society’s response to growing child care needs.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program is one of the most beneficial examples of federal support to emerge for licensed family child care. Thousands of children have the opportunity to participate in this program.
The legislation for the Child Care Food Program was passed in 1968 as part of the National School Lunch Act. The positive results of school lunch on the nutritional well-being of our nation’s children laid the groundwork for the Child Care Food Program. In 1989, the program was changed to the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Kids Unlimited Services, Inc., however, sponsors only the family child care portion of this benefit.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
Children, parents, and family day care providers will all benefit from the expansion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Benefits to the Child
Good food habits are taught. The Child and Adult Care Food Program offer lifetime benefits. The preschool years are when eating patterns and habits are established that may determine the quality of one’s diet throughout life. You have an opportunity to offer nutrition education in a very special way. You play an important role in shaping attitudes toward the acceptance of nutritious foods.
The atmosphere in which food is prepared and served is important. As both teacher and cook, you are in a position to work closely with the children on an individual basis in helping to instill a positive, curious attitude about food from the earliest years.
Benefits to the Provider
The USDA reimburses family child care providers for a portion of their food costs as long as they serve meals that meet federal standards. You’re already serving food to the children in your care. Now you can get paid extra to do it, without charging your parents anything!
These payments, typically referred to as meal reimbursements, are made based on a formula for the number of children you feed at a given meal times the rate of reimbursement for that meal. The rate of reimbursement varies based on several factors, including the type of meal served and income levels of those involved.
There are three different levels of meal reimbursement defined by the USDA:
In the lower 48 states, for example, the highest level of reimbursement for lunch and dinner is $2.48 per child served (rates effective July 2015 - June 2016). So if you serve 6 children lunch, you will get paid as much as $14.88 for that lunch! In Alaska and Hawaii, the reimbursement is even higher.
Not all child care providers are reimbursed the same rates, however. Lower income providers, or providers serving children in a lower income area, receive a higher level of reimbursement than higher income providers. The USDA has split providers into two income categories, which they refer to as Tier I and Tier II family child care providers. The level of reimbursement rate differs substantially between the two tiers.
Rates payable for each meal are adjusted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) every July. As part of our service, we keep you informed of each rate change.
For the period from July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024, you will receive the following cash reimbursement for each meal served: