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Serious Deficiency, Suspension, & Appeals for State Agencies and Sponsoring Organizations

EO Guidance Document #
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PDF Icon CACFP Handbook (942.86 KB)

The serious deficiency process of the Child and Adult Care Food Program was established to ensure compliance with USDA Food and Nutrition Service regulations and guidance. It offers state agencies, sponsoring organizations, and FNS the right to terminate for cause centers or Day care Homes (DCH) that are not in compliance with federal regulations.

This guidance provides detailed information on the implementation of the serious deficiency process by state agencies and sponsoring organizations, which helps ensure that the program is operated properly and that centers and DCHs receive the support and technical assistance they need. In this guidance, you will find information about:

  • The serious deficiency process for institutions and for DCHs;
  • Suspension process for institutions and for facilities;
  • Appeals process for institutions and for facilities; and
  • State agency lists and the NDL.

State agencies and sponsoring organizations can also use the information in this guidance to develop internal policies and procedures for their oversight and implementation of the serious deficiency process.

Part 1 of this guidance provides information on the serious deficiency process to be used by state agencies to address issues identified in institutions including procedures, corrective action, termination and disqualification, and program payments during the serious deficiency process. The serious deficiency process for DCH providers is covered in Part 2 of this guidance.

While this guidance is in effect for adult day care centers as well as child care centers, it mentions only child care centers for ease of reference, other than reference to Title XIX benefits that are specific to adult day care.

The serious deficiency process for sponsored, unaffiliated centers is not yet regulatory; however, the Integrity Rule encouraged states to develop their own procedures following the procedures for DCH providers since sponsored unaffiliated centers are also facilities.

Page updated: April 07, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.