CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children.
The child care component and the adult day care component of CACFP is administered by the Maine Department of Education Child & Nutrition Services.
Independent centers and sponsoring organizations enter into agreements with their administering State agencies to assume administrative and financial responsibility for CACFP operations. CACFP serves nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children (and adults) who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers. CACFP also provides meals and snacks to children and youth who participate in afterschool care programs or reside in emergency shelters.
Community-based programs that offer enrichment activities for at-risk children and youth, 18 and under, after the regular school day ends, can provide free meals and snacks through CACFP. Programs must be offered in areas where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free and reduced price meals based upon school data.
Eligible public or private nonprofit child care centers, outside-school-hours care centers, Head Start programs, and other institutions which are licensed or approved to provide day care services may participate in CACFP, independently or as sponsored centers. For profit centers must receive title XX funds for at least 25 percent of enrolled children or licensed capacity (whichever is less) or at least 25 percent of the children in care must be eligible for free and reduced price meals. Meals served to children are reimbursed at rates based upon a child’s eligibility for free, reduced price, or paid meals.
A family or group day care home must sign an agreement with a sponsoring organization to participate in CACFP. Day care homes must be licensed or approved to provide day care services. Reimbursement for meals served in day care homes is based upon eligibility for tier I rates (which targets higher levels of reimbursement to low-income areas, providers, or children) or lower tier II rates.