Policy Memo 159

DOH-CACFP: Number 159 (04/11)

TO: CACFP Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes

FROM: Lynne Oudekerk, State Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: Timing of Unannounced Visits to Day Care Home Providers Participating in CACFP

I. Purpose and Scope

The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (the Act), Public Law 111-296, was signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2010. The Act makes an important change to the monitoring review requirements of Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes. The Act requires Sponsors to vary the timing of unannounced visits so they are unpredictable to the Providers. The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance on the implementation of this provision.

II. Background Information

  1. Varying the Timing of Unannounced Visits
    1. Section 331 of the Act amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require Sponsors of Day Care Homes to conduct the required unannounced reviews in a manner that is unpredictable to the Providers.
    2. The Federal Regulations at 7 CFR 226.16(d)(4)(iii) currently require Sponsors to conduct monitoring visits to day care homes as follows:
      • An initial visit within 28 days to new Providers, which may be conducted announced or unannounced;
      • A minimum of three visits per year thereafter, two of which must be conducted unannounced;
      • One of the unannounced visits must include the observation of a meal;
      • No more than six months may elapse between visits; and
      • Evaluation of compliance with recordkeeping requirements.
    3. The Act now requires unannounced visits to be conducted in a way that is unexpected by the Providers. To ensure compliance with this provision, the following procedures are in effect:
      • Sponsors must schedule their unannounced visits by varying the day, month, and meal service times for visits to occur.
      • Sponsors may not give prior notice to the Provider that they are planning to conduct an unannounced visit. This includes no phone calls to Providers on the day of the scheduled visit.
      • Sponsors may not inform Providers when CACFP staff is conducting unannounced visits as part of the Sponsor's administrative review.
      • CACFP will assess adherence to this rule during the administrative review process. Failure to comply will result in a finding for the Sponsor.

III. Summary of Changes

The purpose of this memo is to notify Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes of a change that requires Sponsors to conduct unannounced visits in a way that ensures they are unpredictable to the Provider. Unannounced visits are an effective tool in ensuring compliance with CACFP regulations. Sponsors are less likely to uncover compliance problems and program abuses if day care homes can anticipate when their next unannounced visit is due to occur. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a finding for the Sponsor.