The Child Care Food Program was established in 1968 in response to the need to provide adequate nutrition to a growing number of children in day care. In 1988, eligible adults were included in the program which is now referred to as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Good nutrition, the development of desirable eating habits and learning about food choices are vital building blocks for young children. Provisions must be made to ensure that these building blocks are in place in order to promote good health throughout life.

The goal of the Child and Adult Care Food Program is to see that well balanced meals are served and that good eating habits are taught in child care settings. The CACFP provides nutritious meals and snacks served to eligible children in child care centers, family day care homes, and outside-school-hours centers, as well as to eligible adults in adult care centers.

The CACFP is administered by the Nebraska Department of Education. Funding for the program is provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Program Serves:

  • Children through age 12.
  • Children of migrant workers, through age 15.
  • Physically and mentally handicapped persons receiving care in a center where most children are 18 years old and under.
  • Adults in nonresidential day care settings. Download a brochure.pdf about the Adult component of the CACFP.

Eligibility Requirements

  • All institutions must be licensed by a federal, state or local licensing authority.
  • Private institutions must:
    1) Have tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service OR 2) Receive Title XX benefits from the Department of Health and Human Services for at least 25% of the eligible enrolled participants or 25% of licensed capacity.

Child care centers, adult care centers and outside-school-hours centers may participate in the program either with a sponsor or as independent centers. Family day care home providers who participate in the CACFP must be affiliated with a sponsoring organization.

Services of the Nebraska Department of Education:

  • To provide reimbursement for meals served. The reimbursement is determined by the number of eligible enrolled participants who are served creditable meals at the existing rates set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • To provide technical assistance and training on nutrition, food service operations, program management and record keeping.
  • To review and monitor program services to ensure good nutrition for all eligible enrolled participants.

Some responsibilities of the Day Care Center:

  • To serve meals meeting program requirements.
  • To keep daily records of children or adults in attendance, number of meals served and quantities of food prepared.
  • To collect household size and income information.

For further information on the Child and Adult Care Food Program, e-mail Nutrition Services

Updated February 3, 2023 4:02pm