Applications

Child and Adult Care Food Program

Eligibility to Participate as a Family Day Care Home

Regulations for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) define “day care home” as “an organized nonresidential child care program for children enrolled in a private home, licensed or approved as a family or group day care home and under the auspices of a sponsoring organization.” (7 CFR § 226.2)

Two key elements of qualifying to participate in CACFP as a day care home are that the child care program must be provided:

(1) In the provider’s home or other residential property, as determined by the CACFP sponsoring organization. See detail below under Residential Property Requirement.

(2) By an individual child care provider. See detail below under Individual Provider Requirement.

Special Family Day Care Licenses

In the following situations, when a provider or an organization has a “special” family day care license, the child care program may not meet one or both of the federal requirements listed above for participation in CACFP as a family day care home. (For the full statutory text on special family day care licenses, see Minnesota Statutes § 245A.14, Subd. 4.)

Special family day care licenses are issued to:

• An individual provider providing child care services on a residential lot other than their own home.

Eligible to participate in CACFP as a family day care home.

• An employer providing child care services to its employees.

Not eligible to participate in CACFP as a family day care home - License holder is an organization, not an individual provider.

• A church or religious organization.

Not eligible to participate in CACFP as a family day care home – License holder is an organization, not an individual provider.

• A “Community collaborative” provider.

Eligible to participate in CACFP as a family day care home (only if located on a residential property).

A not-for-profit agency with two or more contracts to provide child care services to community employers or other community organizations.

Not eligible to participate in CACFP as a family day care home – License holder is an organization, not an individual provider.

These standards also apply to similar types of family day care home licenses that may be issued by tribal authorities.

Eligibility to Participate as Child Care Center

In cases where a child care program with a special family day care home license does not qualify to participate in CACFP as a family day care home:

• The provider or organization should contact the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) – Food and Nutrition Service to determine whether the child care program is eligible to apply for CACFP participation as a child care center.
To qualify to participate as a center: (1) An individual provider or a for-profit organization must qualify as a “for-profit center” under CACFP regulations, which means that the child care program can document that at least 25 percent of enrolled children meet USDA income eligibility guidelines. (2) A nonprofit organization must have federal tax-exempt status.

Residential Property Requirement

USDA has issued guidance (CACFP FY 1994 Policy Memorandum 3: Family Day Care Home) about the types of properties that qualify as a private residence for participation in CACFP as a day care home:

A private residence is a property where:

1) A licensed or approved or alternately approved provider lives; or

2) A licensed provider cares for children in someone else’s home; or

3) A provider cares for children in a licensed, unoccupied residential facility.

In number 3 above, an “unoccupied residential facility” is a property that has been used or is capable of being used for residential purposes. The sponsoring organization is responsible to determine and document whether a property meets the residential property requirement.

If a child care program with a family day care license does not meet the residential property requirement, it may qualify to participate as a child care center – see Eligibility to Participate as Child Care Center above.

Example – Meets Residential Property Requirement:

A provider is licensed as a special family day care home to provide care in a building that previously was a school and had no residential uses. The building is now being used for other purposes. If the sponsoring organization determines and documents that the property is or is capable of being used for residential purposes, then the child care provider may participate in CACFP as a family day care home.

Individual Provider Requirement

Most family day care home licenses are issued to individual providers or co-providers and therefore the child care program can qualify to participate in CACFP as a family day care home. If a license is not clearly issued to an individual provider (for example, the license is issued to a provider’s “doing business as” name) then the sponsoring organization must obtain confirming information that the license was issued to an individual provider,

If a child care program with a family day care license is issued to an organization, for example to a church or employer as described above under Special Family Day Care Licenses, then the program does not qualify to participate as a family day care home. The child care program may qualify for CACFP participation as a child care center – see Eligibility to Participate as Child Care Center above.

Example – Does Not Meet Individual Provider Requirement:

A special family child care license is issued to an employer to provide child care services to its employees. The licensor has also listed the name of the person who will be providing the child care on the license for contact purposes. Since the license is issued to an organization and not an individual provider, the child care program does not qualify to participate as a family day care home. The employer should contact MDE to determine whether it is eligible to apply for participation as a child care center.

Example – Meets Individual Provider Requirement:

A family day care license is issued to “Happy Learners,” attention Patty Light, operating in a storefront location. The sponsoring organization confirms that Patty Light is the licensed provider, that “Happy Learners” is her “doing business as” name, and that she lives in the storefront as well as conducts the child care there. Based on the information obtained by the sponsoring organization, Patty meets the individual provider requirement (as well as the residential property requirement) and is eligible to participate as a family day care home.

August 2013