The USDA Food Program
The Child Care Food Program (CCFP) is a federal program of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program reimburses licensed child care providers for a portion of their child care food costs. The primary goal of CCFP is to improve the diets of children ages 12 years and younger.
Food is an important part of every child’s emotional, physical, and social development. Good food habits established during preschool years may positively affect food behavior and choices throughout life. Nutrition is an important part of an excellent child care program. Children need well-balanced meals in order to meet their daily energy needs and to help them build strong bodies, minds, and spirits!
Feeding children nutritional meals in Family Child Care Homes (FCCHs) is an enormous responsibility and can be costly. The CCFP helps children develop healthy and positive eating habits and maintains the provider’s knowledge of nutrition by performing the following:
Reimburses providers for meals and snacks served. (A maximum of two meals and one snack, or two snacks and one meal is reimbursed per child per day).
Presents Annual Mandatory Trainings
Conducts (at least) quarterly unannounced and announced food visits to ensure that providers are managing complete records of children enrolled (including medical documents, for example allergy certifications, and emergency contact information), sanitation, safety, proper serving portions, and that the food being served meets USDA guidelines.
Encourages providers to use “family-style dining”; children and provider wash up, set the table, eat together as a family, serve their own portions, practice table manners and communication, and clean up together.
Closely monitors providers to ensure that they are complying with USDA regulations and guidelines.
All children in attendance in a FCCH will be offered the same meals at no separate charge and with no physical segregation of or other discrimination against any child because of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, or political beliefs. The Child Care Food Program is available to all eligible participants. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, or political beliefs, write immediately to Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302.
For more information, please call our Family Child Care Office at (530) 634-5637.