Topic:
NUTRITION; DAY CARE;
Location:
NUTRITION; CHILD CARE;

OLR Research Report


June 20, 2003

 

2003-R-0493

NUTRITION PROGRAMS FOR DAY CARE FACILITIES

 

By: Saul Spigel, Chief Analyst

You asked for information on the nutrition program that provides funding for day care centers and family day care homes.

SUMMARY

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) reimburses day care centers and family day care homes for providing nutritious meals and snacks for children. The State Department of Education (SDE) administers the program in Connecticut.

ELIGIBILITY

All licensed day care centers and family day care home can participate in CACFP, regardless of where they are located. They do not need to serve any particular income group, but those that serve low-income children receive higher reimbursements. But, a for-profit center is only eligible if at least 25% of the children it serves are from low-income families.

Centers wishing to participate in CACFP can apply directly to SDE's Bureau of Adult Education and Child Nutrition Programs (860-807-2076). Homes cannot apply directly to SDE; they must do so through an SDE-approved “sponsoring organization.” A list of these organizations and the areas they serve is attached.

REIMBURSEMENT

Most centers and homes include meals as part of their fees. Centers receive CACFP reimbursement based on the type of meal served and the child's eligibility for free, reduced price, or paid meals. Children from families at or below 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL, $23,530 for a four-person family) are eligible for free meals; children from families between 130 to 185% of FPL ($33,485 for four) are eligible for reduced price meals

Table 1 shows the reimbursement rates effective through June 30, 2000; they will change on July 1, 2003.

Table 1: Day Care Center Reimbursement, by type and eligibility

Meal Type

Free

Reduced Price

Paid

Breakfast

$1.17

$0.87

$0.22

Lunch or Supper

2.14

1.74

0.20

Snack

0.58

0.29

0.05

There are two tiers for day care home reimbursements. Homes are eligible for higher Tier I rates if they meet one of the following criteria: (1) the provider's total family income is at or below 185% of FPL, (2) the home is in the area served by an elementary school where at least 50% of students come from families with incomes at or below 185% of FPL, or (3) the home is located in an eligible census block group. If a home meets none of these criteria, it may still receive Tier I reimbursement for those children from families with incomes at or below 185% of FPL. The sponsoring organization determines if a home is eligible. Table 2 shows Tier I and II reimbursement rates, which are also valid through June 30, 2003.

Table 2: Day Care Home Reimbursement, by tier and meal type

Meal Type

Tier I

Tier II

Breakfast

$ 0.98

$ 0.37

Lunch or Supper

1.80

1.09

Snack

0.53

0.14

SS:ts