Early Childhood

In-Home Childcare and Childcare Centers

Preschool-aged children from ages 0 to 5 experience rapid stages of development that require consistent, nutritious food in order to grow physically, emotionally and cognitively properly so they can enter school ready to learn.

Through the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Children’s Hunger Alliance assists in-home childcare providers and child and Head Start centers to serve more nutritious food, and create healthier childcare environments.

The CACFP reimburses licensed in-home childcare providers and child and Head Start centers for providing nutritious food to the children in their care. As part of their regular care, children receive nutritious meals and snacks and providers and centers receive cash reimbursement for serving meals and snacks that meet Federal nutritional guidelines to eligible child participants. Centers and day care homes may be approved to claim reimbursement for serving up to two meals and one snack to each eligible child each day.

Children’s Hunger Alliance provides sponsorship of CACFP in order to reduce the administrative burden of participating in and receiving federal reimbursement for healthy meals and snacks serve in child care settings. Sponsorship makes it easier for in-home providers and centers to participate and receive the benefits of the program. As a sponsor CHA qualifies and on-boards providers and centers, provides training, and conducts monitoring visits to support program implementation and ensure program compliance.

Children learn healthy eating habits from caregivers who recognize the importance of participating in the CACFP as a way to help children grow and develop to their fullest potential. Receiving nutritious meals early in life, as well as being physically active, is critical to the establishment of positive lifelong habits. Research shows that CACFP is an indicator of quality child care!

Child child eating an apple in a park in nature.
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