Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Children eating at a day care

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursement for healthy meals and snacks served to Colorado’s children and adults in child care centers and homes, afterschool programs, emergency and homeless shelters, Head Start, Early Head Start and outside-school-hours programs and adult day care centers. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the CACFP and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment administers the program.

How to apply to CACFP

Child and adult care centers 

Family child care homes

School Food Authorities (SFAs) 

For questions, contact the CACFP office. Learn more about the online application system

CACFP Participation in Colorado

View the story map here.  

The CACFP Participation in Colorado GIS Story Map shows licensed child care homes and centers serving children birth through age five participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program across the state. The story map includes overlays of food deserts and poverty data and features several community-specific profiles. It also includes strategies for action based on the information.  

There is an interactive version of the story map at the end where various filters can be explored. 


The CACFP is here to offer support during COVID-19. Whether operating a center or child care home, the CACFP can reimburse participating institutions for the meals that they serve to our communities in need. If your institution is interested in applying, please complete this intake form

Emergency Funding

On January 26, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services published Procedure Memo SP 06-2021, CACFP 05-2021 outlining the Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Program. This emergency reimbursement program provides institutions with additional reimbursements for emergency operating costs incurred during the public health emergency. Learn more here

USDA Nationwide Waivers

These nationwide waivers issued by the USDA are based on the exceptional circumstances of this public health emergency.

Public Notice 

According to USDA Policy Bulletin SP 15-2018, CACFP 12-2018, SFSP 05-2018, State Agencies must submit requests to waive Child Nutrition Program requirements to their Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) regional office.


Click here to see all waivers submitted to the USDA by the Colorado CACFP office.



You may join the Child and Adult Care Food Program either as a single-site center or as a sponsor of centers (multiple sites). Learn more here

  • Child care centers.

  • Adult day care centers.

  • At-risk afterschool programs.

  • Homeless/emergency shelters.

  • Other early education facilities.

View the CACFP training page and calendar.

  • Learn about CACFP State Training, the At the Table open forum, and webinars and classes offered by local partners. 
  • Find more information on the new Colorado Nutrition Portal

Visit the Materials and Forms page

  • Find current reimbursement forms including IEFs, the Household Income Eligibility Guidelines, and reimbursement rates.  
  • Find special diet statements, milk substitution forms, menus, ROMs, and other general template forms. 
  • Also available here are informational guides to reviews and checklists for SOCs. 

Farm to ECE enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food by changing food purchasing and education practices in early care and education settings.

You play a vital role in ensuring the meals and snacks served to children are of the highest quality possible. The Colorado Healthy Meals Initiative promotes simple and practical menu changes that are considerate to cost, implementation, and preparation. Following these recommendations will help reduce sodium, sugar, saturated and trans fat and increase the proportion of whole grains in children’s diets. 

Visit the Colorado Health Meals Initiative page