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Steps to Complete the CACFP Application Process

cacfp application process

Steps to Complete the CACFP Application Process

Would you like to improve your child center cash flow? Who wouldn’t!

Getting a contract with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) will help you do just that. 

The CACFP is a federal program that helps child care centers serve healthy meals. It can also have a huge positive impact on your center’s bottom line. The average center participating receives almost $4,000 in CACFP reimbursement each month. 

Sound good? Here’s what you need to know to apply for the CACFP. 

Getting started with the CACFP

The first thing you need to do to participate in the program is complete a CACFP application and go through the approval process. Completing the paperwork may seem like a big project, but if you follow the steps in this article, you can do it. The added revenue is worth it!

1. Get access to your state’s application website.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is implemented and managed by a patchwork of state agencies across the United States. Each has a different way to apply for the CACFP, but it’s typically done online. Search for your state’s application portal. Once you find it, you’ll be asked a few qualifying questions to determine your eligibility. If you’re found to be eligible, you’ll be assigned a user ID and passcode. 

2. Collect documents.

You’ll have to find and submit many documents including your business license, health inspection report, bank records, and operational reports as part of the application process.

3. Complete training.

You must finish a mandated training program before your CACFP application is approved. You’re allowed to apply for a license before starting the training, but it won’t be issued until you complete the coursework. Check with your state authority to find out about training requirements. 

Tip: Most state agencies that oversee the CACFP program offer phone support, email, or chat support if you have questions about the CACFP application process.

4. Schedule a site visit.

Once your CACFP application has been reviewed, representatives from your state agency will visit your center. They’ll want to confirm that everything you documented and communicated during the application process is accurate and that you’re running your center’s food program in alignment with CACFP guidelines.

Once you complete all these steps, your application will likely be approved.

Most child care center administrators are busy people. We get it. Applying for the Child and Adult Care Food Program can be overwhelming. 

Need more CACFP application assistance? 

CACFP Solutions can help. We have more than 20 years of experience partnering with businesses like yours. We support you through the CACFP application process and help you work with the program once you’re approved.

Looking for more CACFP application tips? Check out our blog article about common CACFP application errors here.

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