Policy Memo 187

DOH-CACFP: Number 187 (07/16), Supersedes Number 95 (07/04)

TO: CACFP Sponsoring Organizations of For-Profit Child Care Centers

FROM: Dwight LaDu, Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: Eligibility of For-Profit Child Care Centers


The purpose of this memo is to review CACFP's existing policy regarding the participation of for-profit day care centers. The policy has not changed. CACFP is reissuing the policy to clarify and answer common questions.

Eligibility for Child Care Centers

For-profit centers are eligible for CACFP reimbursement during months when either:

  • 25% of the children enrolled in care (or 25% of the licensed capacity, whichever number is less) are eligible for free or reduced-price meals
  • The center receives subsidized tuition payments for 25% of the children enrolled (or 25% of the licensed capacity, whichever number is less).

It is important to remember children who receive subsidy payments are NOT automatically eligible for free meal reimbursement. The household must complete an Income Eligibility Form.

Each for-profit day care center must make certain eligibility requirements have been met for each month meals are claimed for reimbursement. Documentation confirming eligibility must be maintained and includes the following:

  • Completed Income Eligibility Forms
  • Statements from the county Department of Social Services or Office of Children and Family Services showing the child's name and date of payment
  • Payment Statements from the Agency for Children's Services; or proof of tuition payment from the Human Resources Administration.

Questions and Answers

If my center is eligible because I receive tuition subsidy for 25% of the children, do I have to keep income applications?

Yes. All centers must report the income eligibility category for every child in care each month. Meeting the 25% requirement only determines if you are eligible to claim meals for a particular month. On each claim for reimbursement you must report the income category for all children in care so CACFP can determine your rate of reimbursement.

Can I combine the two ways of meeting the eligibility requirement?

No. For-profit centers must meet the eligibility requirement by having 25 % of the enrollment (or licensed capacity) by either:

  • Income Eligibility Forms categorized as free or reduced (these can be added together to meet the 25%)
  • Children receiving tuition subsidy payments.

Can I round-up calculations?

No. For example: The licensed capacity for a center is 130 and the enrollment is 109. We will use the 109 since this is the lower number. The number of free and reduced-price applications is 27. Divide the number of free and reduced-price applications by the enrollment (27 divided by 109 = 24.77). This cannot be rounded up to 25.

When a for-profit center is eligible based on the number of enrolled participants eligible for free or reduced-price meals, should I still enter the number of participants receiving tuition subsidy on the claim?

No, leave the section regarding tuition subsidy blank.

What should I do if a for-profit center is not eligible in a given month?

Whether you use paper claims or CACFP's electronic claim system (CIPS), you should not submit a claim for that center for that month. Resume submission of claims when the center is again eligible. CACFP may recover reimbursement from a center claimed when not eligible.