CACFP Frequently Asked Questions

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

All of the following:

  1. Child care centers or preschools
  2. Adult daycare centers
  3. Head Starts
  4. Emergency shelters
  5. At-risk afterschool snack programs or outside school hours programs
  6. Daycare homes

You must attend a Business Track, Nutrition Track, and Computer Track training course. You can register for each class online at: http://www.ade.az.gov/onlineregistration. You will receive an application electronically and must submit it within 90 days of the first training.

All recordkeeping forms for child care centers are available at  www.azed.gov/health-nutrition/cacfp//child and all recordkeeping forms for adult care centers are available at www.azed.gov/health-nutrition/cacfp/adult-care-centers/.

If the new site is not part of the same legal entity as the participating center, you must apply as if you are a new sponsor. If the new site is part of the same legal entity as the participating center, you will need to do the following:

  1. Provide program training to all the new staff.
  2. Collect income affidavits for all children or adult enrolled in the new site (not applicable for head starts, emergency, shelters, or at-risk afterschool snack programs).
  3. Update your current application and management plan to include the new site and submit to ADE.
  4. Conduct a pre-approval visit at the new site using the Child or Adult Care Center Monitoring Evaluation Form. This must be submitted to ADE. Please contact your assigned specialist or the Specialist of the Day for technical assistance on monitoring requirements for centers with multiple sites.
  5. Complete a hard copy site application and submit to ADE.
  6. Submit a copy of the new site’s current DHS license
  7. Complete a Sponsor & Site – Add/Change/Delete form and submit to ADE.

ATTENTION HEAD STARTS: You must first go to www.ade.az.gov/schoolfinance/FAQs/CTDS_District and read the instructions and complete a form for each site being added. After the forms are processed, you may follow the instructions above.

Institutions that participate in the CACFP receive reimbursement to enhance their current menus to offer more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. This increases the health and nutritional status of children and adults enrolled while enforcing good eating habits. The additional reimbursement also helps to keep the cost of tuition at more affordable levels.

Daycare home providers may participate under the auspices of a non-profit or public agency called a sponsoring organization. These organizations are responsible for the training, monitoring, and implementation of the Program. For a list of currently participating sponsoring organizations go to Requirements for Participation – FDCH and click on the link for “Family Daycare Home Sponsoring Organizations.”

Institutions are reimbursed for two meals and a snack or two snacks and a meal per day per eligible participant.

Emergency shelters may be reimbursed for up to three meals per day per eligible child.

At-Risk Afterschool Programs may be reimbursed for one snack and one supper per day per eligible child.

Breakfast must include a milk component, a grain component, and a fruit or vegetable component.

Lunch/Supper must include a milk component, a grain component, a meat or meat alternate component, and a fruit and vegetable component from two different sources.

Snacks must include two of the following four components: milk, grain, meat or meal alternate, and fruit or vegetable.

High sugars must be limited to two times per week and may only be served at breakfast and/or snack time. High fat items must be limited to two times per week.

Child Care/Family Centers and Homes


Adult Care Centers


After School Programs


Emergency Shelters


What are the eligibility requirements for participation in the CACFP?

For day care homes:

  • Provide care for no more than 6 children, 4 of which are for compensation, or no more than the license capacity approved by DHS.

For child care centers:

  • For-Profit centers must have at least 25% of enrollment or license capacity, whichever is less, receive Title XX funds under the Social Security Act
  • Non-profit centers must have tax-exempt status and be able to provide documentation of IRS 501(c)(3).

How do I get reimbursed for meals served to children?

In day care homes:

  • Reimbursement rate is based on income eligibility of the geographical area or household income.

In child care centers:

  • A claiming percentage is established for each center based on the income level and household size of each enrolled child/adult.

How are providers paid?

  • On a daily basis, providers keep a record of attendance and a menu of meals provided to children. They submit this regularly to their Sponsoring organization. The Sponsor will calculate and verifies all meals served and submits a claim form to the State Agency for reimbursement. The State Agency then issues a check to the Sponsor for the meals. The Sponsoring Organization will then issue a check to the provider.

Can infant meals be reimbursed on the CACFP?

  • Yes, reimbursable meals for infants may contain either breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula, or both, supplied by the caregiver or by the parent. However, to receive reimbursement, the caregiver must always offer the infant a complete, developmentally appropriate meal. Because we are recognizing the labor involved in serving meals to infants, the meal must be served and fed to the infant by the caregiver.

Can the milk used in the preparation of products such as pudding, cream sauces and ice cream count toward the milk requirement?

  • No. The milk served must be served as a beverage and/or poured over cereal at breakfast or snack.

Can mixed fruits/vegetables in dishes such as stew or gelatin salad be counted as meeting the two or more requirement for fruits and vegetables?

  • No. When used in a dish or casserole, the mixed fruits/vegetables are counted as one component.

Can providers claim own children?

    • Provider’s own children and under what circumstances children qualify to be claimed:
      • Is the provider’s household/economic unit income eligible for Tier I?
      • Is the child part of the provider’s household or economic unit?
      • Does the child reside in the home for extended periods of time?
      • Does the provider have actual custodial care for the child (regardless of the child relationship or legal status relative to the provider)
      • In the case of custodial care, is the period of time indefinite?
      • Is the child enrolled and participating in the CACFP during the time of meal service?
      • Are there nonresidential enrolled children present and participating in the meal service?

If the answer to each of these questions is YES, the child(ren) is (are) eligible as provider’s own. On the other hand, if any of the answers are NO, the provider cannot claim meals served to this (these) child(ren).


What are the eligibility requirements for adult day care centers participating in the CACFP?

  • For-Profit centers must have at least 25% of enrollment or license capacity, whichever is less, receive Title XIX funds under the Social Security Act
  • Non-profit centers must have tax-exempt status and be able to provide documentation of IRS 501(c)(3).

How do I get on the Program?

  • Applications are distributed in the workshop and instruction is provided on how to complete and submit the application.

What are the age requirements for participants?

  • Reimbursement may be claimed for meals served to functionally impaired adults or adults age 60 and older

What are the meal requirements for reimbursement?

  • In order for a meal to be eligible for reimbursement, centers must meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements and keep all required documentation.

How is the blended rate for meal reimbursement determined?

  • The blended is based on a 30-day collection period during which income applications are taken for all adults in care.

What are the eligibility requirements for after school sites participating in the CACFP?

  • After school sites must be located with in the attendance area of a school in which 50 percent or more of the children enrolled are eligible for free or reduced price meals.
  • Programs must provide children with regularly scheduled activities in a structured and supervised environment. The program must also include educational or enrichment activities.
  • In addition, For-Profit centers must have at least 25% of enrollment or license capacity, whichever is less, receive Title XIX funds under the Social Security Act
  • Non-profit centers must have tax-exempt status and be able to provide documentation of IRS 501(c)(3).

Is licensing required for after school sites participating in the CACFP?

  • No. Eligible after school care programs do not need to be licensed in order to participate in CACFP unless there is a State or local requirement for licensing. If there is no State or local requirement, then programs must meet State and local health and safety standards.

Are meals served on weekends eligible for reimbursement?

  • Yes. Snacks may be reimbursed if they are served on weekends, holiday, or vacation periods that occur during the regular school year. Snacks served during summer vacation are not eligible for reimbursement.

What are the record keeping requirements for after school sites participating in the CACFP?

  • Programs must keep the following records:
    1. Meal Counts
    2. Attendance Records
    3. Menus and Menu Production Records

What are the age requirements for participants in after school programs?

  • Reimbursement may be claimed for snacks served to all children through the age of 18 in eligible after school programs. Reimbursement may also be claimed for those children who turn 19 during the school year.

What are the eligibility requirements for emergency shelters participating in the CACFP?

  • In order to be eligible for participation in CACFP, emergency shelters must:
    1. Provide temporary residence to children and their parents or guardians, and;
    2. Serve meals in a congregate setting.

Is licensing required for emergency shelters participating in the CACFP?

  • No. Emergency shelters do not need to be licensed in order to participate in CACFP, nor do they have to offer formal child care in order to be eligible for CACFP reimbursement. However,programs must meet State and local health and safety standards.

Are meals served on weekends eligible for reimbursement?

  • Yes. Meals and snacks served year round are eligible for reimbursement in emergency shelters.

What are the record keeping requirements for emergency shelters participating in the CACFP?

  • Programs must keep the following records:
    1. Meal Counts
    2. Attendance Records
    3. Menus and Menu Production Records

What are the age requirements for participants in emergency shelters?

  • Reimbursement may be claimed for meals and snacks served to all children through the age of 12 who are residing in the shelter. Migrant children age 15 and younger and children with disabilities regardless of age may also receive CACFP meals and snacks at the emergency shelters where they reside.

How do I add a new site?

The sponsor must conduct the following:

    1. Train all staff on CACFP job duties prior to participation.
    2. Conduct a CACFP enrollment (income affidavits, claiming rosters, etc.).
    3. Conduct a pre-approval (monitoring) visit prior to adding the site.
    4. Complete and submit hard-copy site application(s).
    5. Complete an Add-Change-Delete form.
    6. Update and submit your revised Application and Management plan.
    7. Submit a copy of the new site license.
    8. Update training and monitoring plans.
    9. Complete and submit the online CNPWEB site application.

These may be faxed to: (602) 542-3818, or mailed to:

The Arizona Department of Education
Child & Adult Care Food Program, Bin # 7
1535 W. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Once the forms have been received in our office, an online CNP Web Site Application will be created, submitted and approved. Upon completion of the newly approved Site Application, the Sponsoring Organization is responsible for maintaining the online Site Application and submitting any changes or updates for future approval.