The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children and adults receiving day care. The program reimburses child care providers for serving these healthy meals and snacks to children in their care up through age 12. This program plays an important role in raising the quality of child care and making that quality care affordable for all. 

Eligible program information is detailed in the CACFP brochure.


What are the benefits of participating in the CACFP?

Children in your care will:

  • Continue to receive nutritious meals and snacks in spite of rising food costs
  • Develop good eating habits
  • Learn about nutrition

Parents will:

  • Be assured their children are receiving balanced, nutritious meals
  • Not be asked to pay the expense of meal reimbursement

Providers will:

  • Increase their income without raising their rates
  • Enhance their professional skills through free nutrition training
  • Have opportunities to network with other providers

Goals of CACFP

  • Assure that well-balanced, nutritious meals are served to participants in care
  • Help children learn to eat a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet
  • Provide reimbursement for meals and snacks served to children in care
  • Develop lifelong healthy eating habits

How does the program work?

  • Child Development Home (CDH) providers must be registered through Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
  • Child Development Home (CDH) providers are only allowed to participate in this program under the sponsorship of a local Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) administering agency or sponsor
  • Child Development Home (CDH) providers will meet with their local Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsor to go through an orientation process
  • Child Development Home (CDH) menus are submitted either weekly or monthly, depending on usage of paper or electronic documentation
  • Child Care Centers (CCC) are also eligible - please contact the Iowa Department of Education for eligibility requirements and reimbursement rates

Reimbursement Rates for Child Development Homes (CDH)

There are two rates which the Child and Adult Care Food Program reimburses providers. 2018-2019 rates are dependent on provider location and income:

  Tier I Tier II
Breakfast $1.31 $ .48
Lunch/Supper $2.46 $1.48
Snack $ .73 $ .20

If you have questions about reimbursement rates, please contact your sponsor.


These are the household income eligibility guidelines for 7-1-2018 through 6-30-2019. For an application, please contact your sponsor.  

Household Size Annually Monthly Twice a Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 $22,459 $1,872 $936 $864 $432
2 $30,451 $2,538 $1,269 $1,172 $586
3 $38,443 $3,204 $1,602 $1,479 $740
4 $46,435 $3,870 $1,935 $1,786 $893
5 $54,427 $4,536 $2,268 $2,094 $1,047
6 $62,419 $5,202 $2,601 $2,401 $1,201
7 $70,411 $5,868 $2,934 $2,709 $1,355
8 $78,403 $6,534 $3,267 $3,016 $1,508
Each additional family member add: + $7,992 + $666 + $333 + $308 + $154

USDA puts out a new eligibility sheet each year. The Iowa Eligibility numbers are used by all Iowa Child Nutrition Programs. A provider receives money from CACFP to help with food costs; the amount received depends on family size and income status of children enrolled for care. If providers or parents qualify under these guidelines, the provider may receive a higher reimbursement for meals served to children.


Helpful Links

Here are a few resources that you might find helpful.


Privacy Act Statement: This explains how we will use the information you give us. 

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not submit all needed information, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals. You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. The social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Food Assistance (FA), Family Investment Program (FIP) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number. We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. We may share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.

USDA Non-discrimination Statement: This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly. 

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: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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:

Mail *:   U.S. Department of Agriculture
             Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
             1400 Independence Avenue, SW
             Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

* Only use this address I you are filing a complaint of discrimination.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
Email: program.intake@usda.gov

Iowa Non-Discrimination Notice:  “It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.6, 216.7, and 216.9.  If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNP Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office building, 400 E. 14th St. Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; website: https://icrc.iowa.gov/.”

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