Child and Adult Care Food Program

What is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)?

The CACFP is a federal nutrition program that subsidizes nutritious meals served to infants and children, birth through 18 years old.

The CACFP reimburses eligible child care agencies for meals and snacks that meet the CACFP Meal Pattern requirements. Through the CACFP, child care agencies can:

  • Meet the nutritional needs of children
  • Offer meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
    • Serve low-fat milk
    • Serve whole grains
    • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Serve lean meats, poultry, and meat alternates
    • Receive technical assistance visits

Who can participate in the CACFP?

Eligible child care agencies such as:

  • Public or private nonprofit and certain for profit child care centers
  • Head Start Programs
  • Family Day Care Homes
  • Outside-School-Hours Care Programs
  • At-risk After School Care Programs
  • Homeless/Emergency Shelters

To learn more about the CACFP, visit the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To learn how you can participate in the California CACFP program, visit the California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division, or call 800-952-5609.