Policy Memo 134

DOH-CACFP: Number 134 (06/09)

TO: CACFP Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes

FROM: Lynne Oudekerk, Acting State Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: Meal Disallowances for Family Day Care Homes New Providers

I. Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify recent USDA guidance regarding the allowance of grace periods for new Family Day Care Home (FDCH) Providers that are not meeting the meal pattern or other requirements in the early months of participation. NY-CACFP requested and was denied a blanket waiver of this clarification from USDA. However, there may be circumstances when such a waiver may be requested for specific needs of a group of Providers.

II. Background Information

  1. Federal CACFP Regulations (7 CFR 226) do not contain any provisions for a waiver, or a grace period, for new FDCHs that fail to serve reimbursable meals. Although errors, such as serving meals with missing components, may not rise to the level of serious deficiency for new FDCHs, the ineligible meals must be disallowed. Effective immediately, Sponsoring Organizations of FDCHs must stop allowing a grace period for new Providers.
  2. Training, early monitoring and regular technical assistance now becomes vitally important to the success of new FDCH Provider participation. We encourage you to conduct the required 28-day visit before the end of a new FDCH Provider's first claiming month in order to train and assist the Provider to complete the menu and meal count records in compliance with the regulations. We also suggest Sponsors try not to overwhelm new Providers by teaching all the rules and regulations during the pre-approval visit. It is acceptable to start new Providers with the basics for claiming and continue training and technical assistance over the first couple of monitoring visits.
  3. In the response to NY-CACFP's request for a waiver, USDA agreed that FDCHs with language and cultural barriers may need more time to fully understand and implement CACFP requirements. If a Sponsoring Organization has a group of new immigrants with limited English comprehension or other literacy concerns, a waiver request can be made to USDA for this specific group of FDCHs. Waivers of this rule would be requested through NY-CACFP.

III. Summary of Changes

USDA clarified that CACFP regulations do not allow a grace period for new FDCHs who fail to meet program requirements, including serving meals that meet the meal pattern requirements. Early training and technical assistance for new FDCHs is vital to their compliance with the requirements. Please contact a Homes Unit Nutritionist at 1-800-942-3858, ext. 27104 if you have further questions.