Policy Memo 123C

DOH-CACFP: Number 123C (09/08) [Replaces Number 107C (10/05)]

TO: All CACFP Participating Organizations of Unaffiliated Centers

FROM: Jeanne Culver, State Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: Household Contacts in CACFP

I. Purpose and Scope

  1. The purpose of this memorandum is to define the circumstances and procedures under which the state agency (CACFP) and participating organizations of unaffiliated centers are required to contact households for verification of enrollment and attendance in child care facilities.
  2. This requirement was issued in the 2nd interim federal regulation governing CACFP that was published on September 1, 2004. CACFP participating organizations received a copy of this rule with policy memorandum DOH-CACFP 101C (12/04), CACFP 2nd Interim Federal Regulations: Improving Management and Program Integrity.

II. Background Information

  1. Effective immediately, participating organizations will be required to conduct household contacts as a follow-up to monitoring visits when a review of a child care center reveals that attendance on the day of the monitoring visit was 25% higher or lower than attendance on any other day of the month prior to the review day unless the center has a plausible explanation for the variation (e.g. school closing, field trip).
    1. To conduct household contacts, the participating organization will send a letter, such as the enclosed sample household contact letter, to parents or guardians of children in attendance at the facility. The letter will request verification that the child is enrolled in the facility and that they attended during the dates specified. The parent will be asked to return the letter directly to the participating organization.
    2. If a parent does not respond to the initial letter, the participating organization must send the parent a second letter, or contact them by telephone.
    3. If parental responses differ significantly from the center's enrollment, attendance, or meal count records, the participating organization must:
      1. notify the center of the discrepancy,
      2. provide technical assistance and/or training to the center to insure that they understand how to collect, evaluate and maintain records,
      3. adjust the claim for the claiming month, and
      4. evaluate the corresponding records during the next scheduled monitoring visit.
    4. All contacts and responses must be documented by the participating organization and maintained on file for at least three years plus the current federal fiscal year.
  2. Under certain circumstances, CACFP may contact the households of children enrolled in a child care center to verify enrollment and attendance. In general, household contacts will be made to follow-up on administrative review findings identified during a center visit. Household contacts may be conducted when a center review reveals any of the following:
    1. Attendance on the day of the review is 25% higher or lower than attendance on any of the five operating days prior to the review day unless the center has a plausible explanation for the variation (e.g. school closing, field trip)
    2. There is sufficient reason to believe that a center's enrollment, attendance, and/or meal count records are fraudulent.

III. Summary of Changes

The 2nd interim federal regulations published on September 1, 2004 require state agencies to establish systems for the state agency and participating organizations to use in conducting household contacts. This memorandum outlines the circumstances in which household contacts will be made as well as the procedures to use in making these contacts.

Enclosure: Sample Household Contact Letter