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

For questions, contact the CACFP office

When School’s Out: A comparison of child nutrition options (Afterschool Snack Program, CACFP’s afterschool program, and the Summer Food Service Program).

Colorado Nutrition Portal


The CACFP is here to offer support during COVID-19. Whether operating a center or day 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

The USDA Nationwide Waivers

These nationwide waivers issued by the USDA in response to COVID-19 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.

The following waivers are still pending: 

Eligibility requirements

Family child care homes

Child care centers, family day care homes, or other early education facilities serving:

  • Infants and children through age 12.

  • Children of migrant workers through age 15.

  • Centers that provide care for physically and mentally disabled people where most children are 18 and younger.

  • Daycare facilities that serve adults in a nonresidential setting.

CACFP training

Sign up for one of our free training classes. Watch videos and learn more.

CDPHE and Cooking Matters Collaborative Training.

Manuals and policies

CHEARS and CNP manuals and guides, policy updates.

Materials and forms

Record of meals served, child and adult menus and production records, list of items for centers, civil rights materials.

Meal patterns

Find new information on meal pattern requirements. They are now better matched with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

School Food Authority

A School Food Authority (SFA) is the administering unit for the operation of a school feeding program, such as NSLP or SFSP. The application process for an SFA has streamlined requirements.

Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) 

Getting kids in care programs to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and garden produce.

Colorado's Healthier Meals Initiative

Tools for meeting higher nutritional standards.

Bits and Bites newsletter archive

CACFP newsletter - for copies of earlier issues, please contact the CACFP office at 303-692-2330.

Civil Rights Information

Emergency feeding resources


Related programs, partners, and child nutrition resources.