Child Care Centers

Program description - Eligibility requirements - Meal requirements

Reimbursement - Reporting and recordkeeping - How to apply

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Program Description
The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides reimbursement to child care centers for meals served to participating children. The program serves children 12 years of age and under, children of Migrant workers 15 years of age and under, and mentally or physically disabled persons enrolled in a facility serving a majority of people 18 years of age and under.

Eligible Facilities must serve meals meeting program requirements; maintain accurate and complete records; operate a nonprofit food service; train center personnel in program requirements and operations; and collect income eligibility information on all participants claimed as free or reduced.

MDHSS provides reimbursement for allowable meals served; provides technical assistance on nutrition, food service operations, program management, and recordkeeping and reviews and monitors program services to ensure good nutrition for all enrolled participants. For assistance, contact us.

Eligibility requirements
All participating child care centers must be one of the following:

The center must be nonresidential. In other words, the same children cannot be cared for more than 24 hours on a regular basis.

Private centers must either:

Meal requirements
To qualify as a reimbursable meal, each participant must be served the minimum quantity of food as outlined, by category per meal type, on the Food Chart - Infant or the Food Chart - Children. This is referred to as the meal pattern requirement. Menus must contain all the food components in the proper quantity.

The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs is designed by the USDA to help you buy the right amount of food and help you determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements. It also has yield data for more than 1,200 food items.

Reporting and recordkeeping
Participating facilities are required to maintain the following records:

For more information on recordkeeping requirements and sample records, refer to the Recordkeeping Essentials Booklet and the Income Eligibility Guidance Booklet.

Claims for reimbursement may be submitted monthly to report allowable meals served and receive reimbursement.

How to Apply
Eligible facilities must submit an application with supporting documentation. Attendance at the CACFP orientation training is required. If the application is approved, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will enter into a contract with the facility to participate in the CACFP.

Five easy steps to become part of the CACFP:

  1. Select the appropriate application instructions:
    Licensed FOR PROFIT child care facility
    Licensed NON PROFIT child care facility
    License Exempt child care facility
  2. There are several forms to print and complete. Copies of several documents must be submitted with your application.
  3. Your application instructions include important program specific information.
  4. Program orientation is part of the application process. Child care centers must attend Orientation Training given in the District Offices.
  5. Approved applicants will be sent a contract to sign and return before program participation can begin.