Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Overview

The New York State Department of Health's Division of Nutrition is the state agency that administers CACFP by providing program approval, claims reimbursement, nutrition expertise and consultation, training and resource materials, program guidelines, and on-site program reviews.

CACFP's Mission

  • To ensure that nutritious and safely-prepared meals and snacks are available to children and adults in day care settings
  • To provide reimbursement for qualifying meals and snacks served in child or adult day care centers, outside-school-hours care programs, family day care homes, and homeless shelters

Participating Programs:

  • Child care centers, including Head Start centers, and outside school hours programs serving children through age twelve in licensed or registered non-residential settings
  • Family Day Care Homes that are licensed or registered or legally exempt from licensing (a private home where a small group of children is cared for) and have an agreement with an approved CACFP sponsoring organization.
  • Community-based adult day care centers that are approved by federal, state or local authorities to provide day care services to functionally impaired adults through individualized care plans
  • After school programs providing educational or enrichment programming for children up to nineteen years of age in low income areas
  • Homeless shelters providing meals to resident children living with a parent or guardian, and receiving meals in congregate settings


The federal government establishes reimbursement rates for meals and snacks annually. Reimbursement rates are based on household income eligibility guidelines. Those individuals in the lowest income categories will provide the center with the highest reimbursement level for each eligible meal or snack. Family day care home reimbursement is based on the income of the provider or the socioeconomic level of the neighborhood of the provider or the income levels of the children in care. CACFP approved family day care home sponsoring agencies also receive payment for expenses based on the number of homes they administer in the program.

CACFP sponsors must ensure that their centers or day care homes are appropriately licensed or approved and maintain accurate records required for CACFP participation. To receive reimbursement, sponsors must submit claims to CACFP on a monthly basis.

Reimbursable Meals

Breakfast, lunch, supper and morning, afternoon and late night snacks may be reimbursed depending on the type of day care program and the hours of operation. A maximum of two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal may be claimed per participant per day. Meals and snacks must provide a minimum number of food components in defined serving sizes to qualify for reimbursement. Food components include fluid milk, fruits and vegetables, breads and bread alternates, and meat and meat alternates.


Nonparticipating agencies and programs may apply for CACFP at any time during the year. All participating day care programs must reapply annually. For more information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program in New York State, please contact:

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
ALBANY, NY 12204-2719
Phone: 1-800-942-3858 OR (518) 402-7400
FAX: (518) 402-7252

or to see if your program is eligible to participate, use the CACFP Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool.