General Information – FDCHs

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

A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meal reimbursement program helping Family Day Care Homes (FDCHs) provide well balanced, healthy and nutritious meals and snacks to children in private home settings.  CACFP’s role is critical in creating more affordable options for low-income Arizona families.

Who is eligible to participate in a Family Day Care Home setting: 

Any licensed or certified FDCH providers, including Military and Tribal, that meets local/state health, safety and sanitation standards may enter into an agreement with an eligible Sponsoring Organization.  The provider should offer regularly scheduled, organized enrichment/educational activities to children in a supervised environment.

What is a Sponsoring Organization:

A non-profit organization, including the Military or Tribal, that has an agreement with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Health and Nutrition Services (HNS) Unit to provide services to FDCH providers.

How do I find a Sponsor for my home:

The ADE/HNS will provide you with a list of eligible Sponsors throughout Arizona.  We recommend that you contact and invite several Sponsoring Organizations to your home to become acquainted and comfortable with them before entering into an agreement.  They will explain the rules and requirements and you will select only one.

Click here for Family Day Care Home Sponsoring Organizations

What are the responsibilities of a Sponsoring Organization:

Sponsors will recruit, monitor and reimburse the providers and conduct in-service training to FDCHs.  This includes assessing compliance of meal pattern requirements, keeping records of procedures, verifying provider’s household income and determining eligibility of their own children (if in the program) and classifying homes for reimbursement as Tier I or Tier II.  They will visit your home at least three times during the year.

How do I qualify for Tier I or Tier II reimbursement rates: 

All providers are eligible for the Tier II rate for meals served.  Some FDCHs are reimbursed at the Tier I (higher rate) based on the providers income, family income of participatnts and/or if the provider resides in a low-income area.  Reimbursements must be mailed to providers within 5 days of the Sponsoring Organization receiving the funds from the ADE.  Meal reimbursement rates change yearly.

What kind of records and tax information must I keep:

The ADE/HNS requires that menus and meal patterns meet Federal guidelines.  Proper amounts of each food component/category must be served to each child.  Records must include daily attendance, in and out records, meal participation records and menus.  Reimbursement is reserved only for children enrolled in the program.  Meals may not be claimed if the home exceeds the licensed capacity for the home.  You will also claim meal reimbursement and meal expenses on your taxes.  Please consult a tax advisor to assist you in this process. 

What types of food must be served:

Foods served should include:  Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, Whole Grains, Low/Non-Fat Dairy and Meat or Meat Alternative-Protein.  Your Sponsor will explain the various options and provide sample menus and recipes.  Infants follow a special meal pattern based on their age.  Breast-fed babies may be claimed on the program under special circumstances.

What are the required meal patterns:

Reimbursable meals may include breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as morning, afternoon and night snacks.  For each enrolled child you may claim up to two meals and a snack or two snacks and a meal (per day, per eligible participant).

What age of children qualify:

Children age 12 and under may participate as well as migrant children 15 and under and disabled children as defined in 7 CFR 226.2.

Contact Information

CACFP Program
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin 7
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Tel: (602) 542-8700
Fax: (602) 542-3818