Child Care Nutrition Program

Project Details

Project Context
Congress initially established the Child Care Food Program in 1968 to improve the health of children in child care centers both by improving the nutritional quality of meals and by promoting healthy eating. In 1989, the program was renamed the Child and Adult Care Food Program when it was expanded to include adult day care centers. The program is run nationally by the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Children form healthy eating habits in their early childhood years. The lessons they learn in childhood may last a lifetime. Good eating habits do not just happen--they must be learned. Presenting children with a variety of nutritious foods can help them learn to make nutritionally sound food choices. All child care providers are encouraged to support positive eating habits by introducing children to new foods, encouraging favorable attitudes toward food and encouraging children to eat a variety of foods.

Project Focus
This project administers the Child Care Nutrition Program (CCNP) at Utah State University for family home child care providers in Utah. It is a federally funded program through the USDA and is designed to offer assistance to day care homes in providing nutritious meals to children ages 12 and under or adults with a verified disability who receive care in a licensed day care home. Funding is disseminated through the Utah State Office of Education Child Nutrition Programs.

The CCNP offers licensed child care providers training in standards of quality day care and nutrition program guidelines. Providers must attend food program training every year and receive support and technical assistance through the CCNP.

The program reimburses family day care providers for a maximum of two meals and one snack for each child each day. The provider submits a monthly claim to the Child Care Nutrition Program for the meals they have served and receives a check for the meals. The CCNP follows federal guidelines to determines the rate at which homes receive reimbursement.
There are two levels of reimbursement:
1.) Tier I is the higher level of reimbursement and is assigned when the provider is located in a low-income area or is a low-income household. Tier I reimbursement is also received for children who are from low-income households.
2.) Tier II reimbursement is received for all other households.

The CCNP publishes a bi-monthly newsletter that provides a variety of nutrition information for families free of charge. Each issue is full of new ideas, recipes, menus, current information, events, tips and more.