Food Program


Child care provided on a regular basis by persons other than parents is already a fact of life. Home based care continues to expand as an essential part of society’s response to growing child care needs.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is one of the most beneficial examples of federal support to emerge for licensed family child care. Thousands of children have the opportunity to participate in this program.

The legislation for the Child Care Food Program was passed in 1968 as part of the National School Lunch Act. The positive results of School Lunch on the nutritional well-being of our nation’s children laid the groundwork for the Child Care Food Program. In 1989, the program was changed to the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Kids Unlimited Services, Inc., however sponsors only the family Child Care portion of this benefit.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP):

1. Insures adequate nutrition for children in day care facilities.
2. Provides nutrition education to adults who care for children (parents and providers)
3. Educates children in their most formative years to make wise food choices.
4. Cuts down on waste in school cafeterias because children have learned to eat “nutritious” foods.
5. Makes for healthy adults, thereby reducing medical care costs.
6. Provides meal reimbursement for child care providers.

Children, parents, family day care providers will all benefit from the expansion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Benefits to the Child..

Good food habits are taught. The Child and Adult Care Food Program offer lifetime benefits. The preschool years are when eating patterns and habits are established that may determine the quality of one’s diet throughout life. You have an opportunity to offer nutrition education in a very special way. You play an important role in shaping attitudes toward the acceptance of nutritious foods.

The atmosphere in which food is prepared and served is important. As both teacher and cook, you are in a position to work closely with the children on an individual basis in helping to instill a positive, curious, attitude about food from the earliest years.

Some questions and answers

What do you get?
Quick Answer: Cash reimbursement.
The USDA reimburses family child care providers for a portion of their food costs as long as they serve meals that meet federal standards. You’re already serving food to the children in your care. Now you can get paid extra to do it, without charging your parents anything!
These payments, typically referred to as meal reimbursements, are made based on a formula for the number of children you feed at a given meal times the rate of reimbursement for that meal. The rate of reimbursement varies based on several factors, including the type of meal served and income levels of those involved. There are three different levels of meal reimbursement defined by the USDA:
• Breakfast
• Lunch & Dinner/Supper
• Snacks (a morning snack, afternoon snack, and evening snack)
In the lower 48 states, for example, the highest level of reimbursement for lunch & dinner is $2.48 per child served (rates effective July 2015 – June 2016). So if you serve 6 children at a lunch, you will get paid as much as $14.88 for that lunch! (In Alaska and Hawaii, the reimbursement is even higher).
Not all child care providers are reimbursed the same rates, however. Lower income providers, or providers serving children in a lower income area, receive a higher level of reimbursement than higher income providers. The USDA has split providers into two income categories, which they refer to as Tier I and Tier II family child care providers. The level of reimbursement rate differs substantially between the two Tiers:

Rates payable for each meal are adjusted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) every July. As part of our service, we keep you informed of each rate change.

For the period from July 1, 2018– June 30, 2019 you will receive the following cash reimbursement for each meal served:

Tier 1
Breakfast- $1.31

Tier 2
Breakfast- $.48

Building for the future poster

Meal benefit form 2018/2019

FDC Building for the Future Note: Providers please hand out a copy of the completed copy of enrollment form and the Building for the future flyer 

Enrollment form


The Institute of Child Nutrition



USDA Non-Discrimination Statement:

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: