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Financial Resources for Providers

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Promoting Nutritious Meals and Snacks in Child Care

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program to support nutritious meals and snacks for children in child care, including registered family child care homes.

How does CACFP help enable child care providers to serve healthy meals and snacks?


Registered family child care homes, child care centers, after-school programs, emergency shelters, and summer programs receive cash reimbursement for serving meals and snacks that meet federal nutrition guidelines to eligible children. Centers and registered family child care homes may be approved to receive reimbursement for serving up to two meals and one snack per day to each eligible child.

  • Meals served to children in centers are reimbursed based on a child’s eligibility for free, reduced-price or paid meals.

  • In family child care homes, all meals are served free. Registered family child care home providers who serve children in low-income areas or meet low-income eligibility requirements themselves receive higher levels of reimbursement.

  • Infants and children through age 12 are eligible to participate in CACFP, which is sometimes just called “the food program.”  In afterschool centers and emergency shelters, children through age 18 are eligible for free meals and snacks.


Who Administers CACFP?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sends grants to states to administer CACFP.  In New Jersey, the lead agency that administers CACFP is the NJ Department of Agriculture.

  • For registered family child care homes, a local sponsoring organization helps family child care home providers participate in the program (to understand the rules, provide training, and help with oversight). In many NJ counties, the local child care resource & referral agency is the sponsoring agency that works with registered family child care providers who are participating or who want to participate in CACFP.

If interested in participating in CACFP, contact your local CCR&R for more information on how to join.

Want to maximize your income? Help children eat nutritious meals & snacks?

Try our Child Care Center or Registered Family Child Care Home Food Program calculator to see food program funding you could receive!

Help Us Help the Families of Middlesex & Somerset Counties

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