Café Texas routinely gathers information on new and potential childcare centers and other facilities which are assessed for preliminary CACFP eligibility.
Identified facilities are contacted, introducing the Café Texas organization and staff, as well as establishing a determination if a center currently participates in the CACFP or has a sponsor. Centers not currently enrolled or that do not have a sponsor are provided with high-level information regarding the CACFP benefits and requirements.
Interested facilities are provided with follow-up information which includes a CACFP brochure, along with a follow-up letter communicating additional Café Texas information and how it provides CACFP administrative services. The follow-up letter also contains important example reimbursement scenarios customized to a facility’s current enrollment capacity. From the information provided, facility directors are able to determine rough-estimates of monthly and annual CACFP reimbursements.
Additional follow-up is held within a few business days of information distribution to confirm receipt and answer any further questions. Facilities that would like to proceed with CACFP participation are scheduled for an initial "Facility Pre-Approval Visit" to review the initialization process and next steps.
CACFP Facility Pre-Approval Visit
During a "Facility Pre-Approval Visit", detailed CACFP program information and benefits are discussed to determine a facility’s food service operation capabilities in accordance with CACFP requirements. Below are some of the topics discussed:
• Eligibility determination process
• Meal count and attendance
• For-profit center determination
• Existing menu records
• Meal production records
• Non-profit food service
• Training requirements
• Monitoring requirements
• Records retention requirements
• Civil rights requirements
• Health and sanitation
• Service-level agreements
Ineligible CACFP Determination
If it is determined a child care center does not appear to be ready for CACFP operations, additional technical assistance and training will be provided to prepare the facility for program participation.
Applying for the CACFP
Once a facility is ready to begin CACFP operations, a Café Texas staff member will guide the staff through the enrollment process.
Required Child Enrollment Information
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) requires that each child in a childcare center be enrolled. Documentation of enrollment must be maintained for each child that receives care at each center, and enrollment information must be updated annually.
All children for whom meals are claimed in the CACFP must have a valid enrollment form that includes the following required elements:
• Child’s name and date of birth
• Enrollment / withdrawal dates
• Days and hours a child is normally in care
• Meals / snacks usually served to a child while in care
• Parent or guardian's signature and date
The CACFP does not have a mandatory enrollment form. However, Café Texas provides facilities with assistance to ensure child care enrollment forms contain all the required elements listed above and are completed before meals can be claimed.
Enrollment documentation must be completed by a parent or guardian, and indicates the days and hours the child is normally in care, as well as the meals and snacks normally served to the child while in care.
Free, Reduced-Price, and Paid Meals Determination
Generally, child care center facilities determine a child’s free, reduced-price, or paid eligibility at the time of enrollment, and include all necessary forms required to document eligibility as part of an enrollment package.
To determine whether children enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, a child care center must have either:
• CACFP Meal Benefit Income Eligibility Form (Child Care Form); or
• Head Start or Early Head Start Program enrollment documentation; or
• Even Start Program enrollment documentation.
All other enrolled children without the above documentation are automatically categorized in the paid category.
"At-Risk" Afterschool Snack Programs
There is no enrollment requirement. "At-Risk" Afterschool Care Centers must have children marked in attendance on a daily roster / list each time they participate in the enrichment component offered through the center. The roster / list must include the child’s name and DoB.
There is no enrollment requirement. Emergency shelters where children reside with or without their parent(s) or guardian(s) are exempt, and must be marked in attendance on a roster / list. The roster / list must include child’s name, arrival and withdrawal date, date of birth (DoB), and parents or guardian(s) name.