The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides cash reimbursements to eligible organizations and day care home providers for nutritious meals that are served in care settings. The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers the program nationwide, providing funding to states. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) administers the program in California. 


About the Program

There are five components to the CACFP: Child Care, Adult Day Care, Emergency Shelter, At-risk Afterschool Meals, and Day Care Homes. Organizations may be able to participate in the CACFP under one of these components if they meet eligibility requirements.


  • The Child Care component is available to licensed and unlicensed child care centers. Examples of eligible organizations include: Early Head Start centers, Head Start centers, Even Start centers, infant centers, preschool centers, and outside-school-hours centers.
  • The Adult Day Care component is available to public or private nonprofit adult day care organizations and certain for-profit organizations. Facilities must be nonresidential and serve functionally impaired adults or adults age 60 or older. Examples of eligible organizations include: adult day care centers, support day care centers, adult day health centers, and approved Alzheimer centers.
  • The Emergency Shelter component is available to any facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary shelter to homeless families with children. Residents 18 years and younger who receive their meals at an emergency shelter are automatically eligible for free meals.
  • The At-risk Afterschool Meals component is available to public or nonprofit afterschool programs that serve a meal or snack to children in low-income areas. Examples of eligible organizations: school food authorities, military organizations, Boys and Girls Clubs, Young Men’s Christian Association sites, and Young Women’s Christian Association sites.
  • The Day Care Homes component (also known as Family Day Care Homes) offers reimbursement to providers that operate out of the provider's home. These providers may have a Community Care License through CDSS, which allows them to care for children at their home business. They may also operate through the TrustLine program to care for a small number of children (for example, families who hire a babysitter or a neighbor who takes care of children while their parents are at work). DCH providers must work with a sponsoring organization to operate the CACFP.

About the CACFP Branch

Our mission is to provide equitable access to nutritious meals for infants, children, and adults in the community by supporting our CACFP Operators through policy guidance, nutrition education, and training.

Our vision is to ensure infants, children, and adults have access to healthy meals through the CACFP, and our Program Operators have the support and resources to successfully administer the program.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades

Child and Adult Care Food Program Logo, hands holding a heart shaped apple

Contact Us

CDSS Child and Adult Care Food Program
744 P Street, MS 9-13-290
Sacramento, CA 95814

Find Your CACFP Specialist

CACFP Mailing List

To receive program updates by email, subscribe to the CACFP Mailing List here or by scanning the QR code with your smart device.

QR Code to scan to sign up for CACFP Mailing List

Related Content

VIDEO: Introduction to the CACFP

How to Apply to the CACFP

Civil Rights and Complaints

Information For Families