CACFP Application Process

  1. Complete the self-assessment Is CACFP for Me? (PDF, 145 KB).
  2. Sign up for the next Potential Institution Training and receive a certificate of attendance.
  3. During Potential Institution Training, you will learn how to complete an online application and successfully participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Copies of application forms are available on the CACFP Forms page.
  4. Send in your certificate of attendance along with your completed CACFP Application.

Note: Applications will not be accepted without a certificate of attendance.


  • Child Care Centers: Public or private nonprofit child care centers, Head Start programs, and some for-profit* centers which are licensed or approved to provide day care may serve meals and snacks to infants and children through CACFP.
  • Family Day Care Homes: CACFP provides reimbursement for meals and snacks served to small groups of children receiving nonresidential day care in licensed or approved private homes. A family or group day care home must sign an agreement with a sponsoring organization to participate in CACFP. The sponsoring organization organizes training, conducts monitoring, and helps with planning menus and filling out reimbursement forms.
  • At-Risk Afterschool Programs: Afterschool care programs in low-income areas can participate in CACFP by providing free snacks and suppers to children under 18 years of age.
  • Homeless Shelters: Emergency shelters which provide residential and food services to homeless families with children may participate in CACFP. Unlike most other CACFP facilities, a shelter does not have to be licensed to provide day care.
  • Adult Day Care Centers: Public, private nonprofit, and some for-profit* adult day care facilities which provide structured, comprehensive services to adults 60 years of age and over as well as functionally impaired, nonresident adults may participate in CACFP.
  • Outside-School-Hours Care Centers

* For-profit centers are eligible to receive meal reimbursement if they receive Title XIX or Title XX funds for at least 25% of enrolled participants.

Age Requirements

The CACFP participant age requirements (which can vary depending on the type of facility) include:

  • Children birth to 18 years old
  • Children of migrant workers age 15 or under
  • Mentally/physically disabled children age 18 or under
  • Chronically impaired disabled adults 18 years of age or older
  • Adults 60 years of age receiving non-residential care

NC CACFP Regional Consultants, each with an assigned group of counties, administer the program on the local level. Consultants process application changes, monitor programs, audit program records, and provide technical assistance through on-site visits to facilities. Their goal is to enable and ensure that institutions are aware of and follow the guidelines of the CACFP in order that participants receive the maximum benefits that are available to them.

Last Modified: October 2, 2018