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Legislative History

1968: PL 90-302 established the Special Food Service Program for Children (SFSPFC)
  • Three-year pilot program
  • Grants to states to help provide meals for children when school is not in session.
  • Two components - Child Care and Summer
  • Child Care participation - 1969 - about 23,000 children at about 900 sites
1972: PL 92-433 extended the SFSPFC for 3 years through Fiscal Year 1975
1975: PL 94-105 separated Child Care Food Program (CCFP) and Summer Food Service Program

Authorized for CCFP:

  • Institutions must meet licensing standards
  • Eligibility extended to day care homes
  • Reimbursement structure and eligibility for free and reduced price meals modeled after school lunch program
  • In 1975, last year of grant program, about 375,000 participated at 11,700 sites
PL 95-627 made CCFP permanent:
  • created separate reimbursement structure for day care homes - separate administrative payments for Households, single rate for all meals, no eligibility determinations
  • Authorized alternate approval when other federal, state or local licensing or approval was not available
  • Mandated advance payments for institutions requesting them

1979 - 1981: Program grew significantly from 30,300 sites and 598,000 children to 64,700 sites and 778,000 children, largely, through the increased participation of day care homes.

1981: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (PL 97-35)

Significantly amended the program:

  • Authorized reimbursement for meals served to day care home providers' own children only if they qualify for free or reduced price meals
  • Reduced reimbursement rates
  • Limited reimbursement to 2 meals and 1 snack for each child, each day
  • Lowered eligible age to 12
  • Nevertheless, the program continued to grow until, by 1997, more than 1.5 million children were participating in over 126,000 sites.
  • Day care home participation grew at an especially fast pace. In 1983 (the first year that separate data were reported for centers and homes), over 58,000 homes participated, serving a little more than 250,000 children. In 1997, nearly one million children participated in over 193,000 homes.
1987: Older Americans Act Amendments of 1987 (PL 100-175)

Authorized participation of eligible adult day care centers.

1988: Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 (PL 100-435)

Allowed fourth meal for children in care eight or more hours a day in only child care centers and outside-school-hours centers; day care homes and adult day care centers were prohibited from this provision.

1989: Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 1989 (PL 101-147)

Made significant changes to the program:

1992: Child Nutrition Amendments of 1992 (PL 102-342)

Allowed consideration of a for-profit child care center's licensed capacity (if that capacity is less than its total of enrolled children) in determining the center's eligibility.

1994: Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994 (PL 103-448):
  • Changed name to the Child and Adult Care Food Program
  • Provided funding to expand family day care homes into low-income or rural areas
  • Permitted schools participating in CACFP to receive snacks under the National School Lunch Program for afterschool child care
  • Authorized demonstration project for for-profit centers in Kentucky and Iowa
  • Allowed two-year applications instead of annual application for institutions
  • Extended automatic free meal eligibility for most children participating in Head Start
  • Allowed three-year applications in place of annual applications for institutions
  • Authorized or extended several demonstration projects, including a for-profit centers project in Kentucky and Iowa, and a project providing meals or supplements to children, between the ages of 13 and 18, in areas with high rates of violence or drug and alcohol abuse>
  • Authorized or extended several demonstration projects, including for-profit centers in Kentucky and Iowa, replaced homeless demonstration to the Homeless Child Nutrition Program for children under 6 years old in emergency shelters, and provided meals or supplements to children ages 13 to 18, in areas with high rates of violence or drug and alcohol abuse
1996: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

Made changes designed to improve the targeting of benefits:

  • Replaced single reimbursement rate for meals served in day care homes with a 2-tiered structure based on area or provider's need
  • Eliminated reimbursement for a fourth meal
  • Made payment of advance funds a state, not an institution, option
  • Required cost of living adjustments for meals served in homes and for paid meals served in centers, to the nearest lower whole cent
1998: Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998 (PL 105-336):
  • Authorized CACFP reimbursement for snacks to children through age 18 in afterschool care programs
  • Amended licensing requirements for outside-school- hours care centers, schools, and for-profit Title XX centers
  • Established a 180-day time limit on moving towards tax-exempt status
  • Consolidated benefits for homeless children
  • Changed the method of rounding of reimbursement rates
  • Reinstated automatic eligibility for free meals for children participating in Even Start
  • Permanently authorized the demonstration project for for-profit centers in Kentucky and Iowa
2000: Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 (PL 106-224)

Made changes designed to strengthen program management:

  • Added new eligibility criteria for institutions, requirements for approval of institutions, monitoring requirements for state agencies and Householding organizations, parent notification, management improvement training, and procedures on withholding of administrative funds
  • Authorized procedures for the termination of institutions and recovery of payments to institutions that result from an invalid claim, fraud or abuse
  • Expanded the "Kentucky/Iowa demonstration project" to include for-profit centers in the state of Delaware
  • Expanded the "at-risk" afterschool care component of CACFP to allow reimbursement for suppers to children through age 18 in afterschool care programs in six states
2000: Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2001 (PL 106-554)

Extended eligibility to for-profit child care centers and outside-of-school-hours care centers serving low-income children in all states, from Dec. 21, 2000 through Sept. 30, 2001.

2001: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 (PL 107-76):
  • Authorized supper benefits in afterschool care programs in Illinois (in addition to Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Oregon)
  • Extended CACFP eligibility to for-profit centers serving low-income children through fiscal year 2002
2004: Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (PL 108-265):
  • Increased the minimum level of state administrative expense funding
  • Changed tiering determinations from 3 years to 5 years>
  • Established disregard for overpayments consistent with other programs under this Act
  • Authorized a two-year pilot in Nebraska for rural area eligibility for family day care homes
  • Examined reducing paperwork burden from the regulations and recordkeeping requirements for state agencies and institutions
  • Permanently excluded the household allowance for military personnel living in privatized housing when determining household eligibility for free and reduced price meals
2009: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (PL 111-80):
  • Continued expansion of additional meal benefits to at-risk afterschool care programs in 13 states and the District of Columbia
  • Authorized $8 million in grants to improve health and wellness projects in child care settings
2010: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (PL 111-296):
  • Added nutrition and wellness to the CACFP purpose statement
  • Expanded CACFP afterschool meals for at risk children to all states
  • Allowed use of all levels of school data for tiering determinations
  • Required one-time application to CACFP, with annual updates of licensing and other information, and permanent agreements between the state agencies and institutions
  • Removed cost comparison as basis for Household administrative payments, making reimbursements based solely on the number of Householded homes times the reimbursement rates
  • Expanded categorical eligibility for free meals to a foster child who is the responsibility of the state or placed by a court
  • Required federal and state agreements to support full use of Federal funds and exclude child nutrition program funds from state budget limitations
Page updated: November 03, 2023