The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides funding to serve up to two nutritious meals and one snack per day to children enrolled in child development centers and homes, before and afterschool care programs, and emergency shelters.

With the passing of the Healthy Tots Act in October 2014, child development centers and child care homes that serve 50 percent or more low-income children in the District are now required to participate in CACFP, unless they are granted an exemption from OSSE.

Highlights of the Healthy Tots Act that affect CACFP include:

  • Support so that all eligible centers and homes can participate in CACFP and get federal funding for healthy meals.
  • Additional funding for facilities participating in CACFP to help centers adopt higher nutritional standards, including serving local produce (25 cents per child per day in addition to the federal reimbursement).
  • Local funding for child care facilities participating in CACFP to serve three meals (CACFP provides funding for two meals so local funding will cover the third).

The Act also provides opportunities to apply for competitive grants, which can help child development facilities participating in CACFP to support physical activity, nutrition, gardens, natural play areas, and farm-to-preschool programs. Child Development Homes participating in CACFP receive $300 per year, to help pay for licensing and renewal costs.

Did You Know?

  • In Fiscal Year 2018, on an average day CACFP helped feed 28,229 children and adults in at-risk afterschool care centers, adult day care centers, child care centers, day care homes, and emergency shelters throughout D.C.
  • In Fiscal Year 2018, D.C. child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes were able to utilize over $10.8 million in federal funding to serve nutritious meals to the District’s children, older adults, and chronically impaired disabled persons.
  • Studies show that CACFP meals are nutritionally superior to those served to children in child care settings that don’t participate in the program.
  • CACFP promotes school-readiness by aiding children’s cognitive and physical development.