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Frequently Asked Questions

Montana CACFP Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can I apply to the CACFP?

Q: How do I apply to operate the CACFP?

Q: What are the current reimbursement rates and who decides what the rates will be?

Q: When am I required to serve milk and how much am I required to serve?

Q: How can I find out what foods I can use for a reimbursable meal?

Q: How long after the sell-by date can milk be served? What are the rules about sanitizing dining tables and high chair surfaces?

Q: Am I required to claim infant meals?

Q: As we are requested to serve family style meals, I provide meals for my staff so that they can eat with the children in my care. Is it permissible for me to claim the adult meals?

Q: How many meals am I allowed to claim for each child?

Q: I operate a for-profit center. Does it matter how many children qualified for free and reduced-price meals attend every month?

 

 

Q: When can I apply to the CACFP?

A: Child care providers can apply to the CACFP at any time. If you are currently operating a licensed group or family day care home, please contact a Sponsoring Organization of Day Care Homes in your area to apply. All others should contact the State agency.

 

Q: How do I apply to operate with the CACFP?

A: If you are currently operating a licensed child care center, Head Start, adult day care or after school program (no license required), the application process is as follows:

  1. Complete and submit an online application or paper application, a two-week menu and a completed W-9.
  2. If you are operating a non-profit facility, you must also submit documentation proving your non-profit status.
  3. If you are operating a for-profit facility, and you are not operating an after school program located in an at-risk area, you will be required to submit Income Eligibility Forms for each family enrolled in your facility. To find out if you are located in an at-risk area, please contact CACFP.
  4. After completion and approval of your application, a pre-approval visit by CACFP staff may be scheduled at your facility. Following several months of your operation of the CACFP, staff will schedule a follow-up visit to ensure that things are operating smoothly and correctly.

 

Q: What are the current reimbursement rates and who decides what the rates will be?

A: The current reimbursement rates are decided by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Each year on July 1st the rates are changed.

 

Q: When am I required to serve milk and how much am I required to serve?

A: Per Federal Regulations, milk is required to be served at breakfast, lunch and supper. Each child must be served at least one serving of milk with these meals, dependent upon their age as follows:

Child's Age Serving Size
1 - 2 years old 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup)
3 - 5 years old 6 fluid ounces (3/4 cup)
6 - 12 years old 8 fluid ounces (1 cup)

To determine if you are serving enough milk, the Milk Calculation Form is a useful tool.

 

Q: How can I find out what foods I can use for a reimbursable meal?

A: The Crediting Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Montana Addendum to the Crediting Handbook are both excellent resources to use when planning your menus. If after looking through these handbooks you still have questions, please contact our office and we would be happy to help.

 

Q: How long after the sell-by date can milk be served? What are the rules about sanitizing dining tables and high chair surfaces? 

A:  These and other similar questions should be directed to your local sanitarian.

 

Q: Am I required to claim infant meals?

A: Yes, if the infant is enrolled in your facility and as long as you are providing at least one component of the infant's meals. The only time you would not be allowed to claim an infant meal is if the infant's mother is coming into your facility to breastfeed and the infant is not being fed anything else while in your care. Keep in mind that infants must be fed on demand so you will most likely not be able to claim all of their meals. No more than 2 meals and 1 snack or 2 snacks and 1 meals may be claimed, and the meals must correspond roughly to the times those meals are served to the rest of the children in your facility.

 

Q: As we are requested to serve family style meals, I provide meals for my staff so that they can eat with the children in my care. Is it permissible for me to claim the adult meals?

A: No, only meals served to enrolled children may be claimed.

 

Q: How many meals am I allowed to claim for each child?

A: You may claim up to 2 meals and 1 snack OR 2 snacks and 1 meal per child per day. However, if your facility operates an At-Risk Afterschool Program, no more than 1 meal and 1 snack per child per day may be claimed.

 

Q: I operate a for-profit center. Does it matter how many children qualified for free or reduced-price meals attend every month?

A: Yes, for-profit centers may not claim reimbursement for meals served to children in any month in which less than 25 percent of the children in care (either enrolled or licensed capacity, whichever is less) were eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Enrolled children must have attended at least one CACFP meal during the month to be counted.

 

 

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