Step two: Timeline

Forms & Resource Center
Child care centers: getting started on the CACFP

Step two: Timeline


Institutions that are new to the CACFP must complete Nutrition Services training prior to the approval of the institution’s application. This training must have occurred within the previous six calendar months prior to the submission of the application to Nutrition Services. This consists of training on CACFP record keeping and on meal requirements and production records. Centers providing care for infants must also complete infant training. This training can be accomplished in one day. The institution’s responsible individual/principal and the person(s) responsible for the food service are to complete this training prior to CACFP approval.
click here for workshop schedule

Food service contracts

If you will be contracting with a vendor to provide meals, a food service contract must be submitted with your application. If your food service contract will exceed $50,000/year, Nutrition Services must approve the contract in advance. Contact our office for more information. You must also allow adequate time for soliciting and advertising for bids.
click here for instructions and food service contract

Application submission

Once your application and supporting documents are received by Nutrition Services, they will be reviewed by a member of our staff. If incomplete, you will receive a telephone call or letter notifying you of what is needed to make it a complete application. It is your responsibility to make sure that all information and supporting documents are submitted in a timely manner.

If your application is incomplete, it will delay the starting date when you may begin claiming meals.

If an application is incomplete or missing supporting documents after 60 days from the original date of submission, the application will be denied and returned to the applicant.

Every new institution must submit records to Nutrition Services with the first month’s claim. This includes copies of Income Eligibility Forms for children whose meals are claimed in the free and reduced categories, menu production records, meal count sheets (record of meals and supplements served), monthly claim worksheet and the claim for reimbursement. If records are reviewed on site during the preapproval visit, the submission of some of these items may be waived.

Errors on claims (meals not meeting meal pattern, incorrectly determined IEFs, mathematical errors, etc.) will result in a deduction of those meals. If there are numerous errors, you will be required to submit records every month until they meet CACFP requirements. If your first claim is submitted correctly, no supporting documents will have to be submitted the following month. You must keep all records pertaining to the CACFP on file for four years.

Go to Step Three: frequently asked questions

Updated December 9, 2021 11:18am