Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program which is administered and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The purpose of the program is to ensure that eligible children and adults who attend qualifying non-residential care facilities receive nutritious meals.

To accomplish this purpose, CACFP provides reimbursement to qualified caregivers for meals and supplements (snacks) served to participants. While the FNS develops the regulations and establishes the policies needed to conduct the program, state agencies are responsible for administering the program on the State level and for assisting sponsors on the local level.



  1. Child Care Centers: Public or private nonprofit child care centers, Head Start programs, and some for-profit* centers which are licensed or approved to provide day care may serve meals and snacks to infants and children through CACFP.
  2. Family Day Care Homes: CACFP provides reimbursement for meals and snacks served to small groups of children receiving nonresidential day care in licensed or approved private homes. A family or group day care home must sign an agreement with a sponsoring organization to participate in CACFP. The sponsoring organization organizes training, conducts monitoring, and helps with planning menus and filling out reimbursement forms.
  3. At-Risk Afterschool Programs: Afterschool care programs in low-income areas can participate in CACFP by providing free snacks and suppers to children under 18 years of age.
  4. Homeless Shelters: Emergency shelters which provide residential and food services to homeless families with children may participate in CACFP. Unlike most other CACFP facilities, a shelter does not have to be licensed to provide day care.
  5. Adult Day Care Centers: Public, private nonprofit, and some for-profit* adult day care facilities which provide structured, comprehensive services to adults 60 years of age and over as well as functionally impaired, nonresident adults may participate in CACFP.
  6. Outside-School-Hours Care Centers


CACFP Application Process

  1. Complete the self-assessment Is CACFP for Me? 
  2. Sign up for the next Get Started with CACFP.
  3. During the required Get Started with NC CACFP training, we will review the online application process and how to successfully participate in the North Carolina Child and Adult Care Food Program. Participants will receive system access request forms and a training certificate.
  4. Send in the Get Started certificate of attendance and completed access request forms to begin the application process.


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