Child Care Food Program

Assisting family child care providers to serve nutritious meals and snacks that appeal to children, the Child Care Food Program (CCFP) offers lifetime benefits.

Proper nutrition during the early years of childhood ensures appropriate development and reduces physical and educational problems later in life. The preschool years are when eating patterns and habits are being established that may determine the quality of one’s diet throughout life. Children who are in child care with participating providers are given nutrition education by providers who understand their role in shaping attitudes toward the acceptance of nutritious foods.

Congress created the Child Care Food Program in response to the need for sound nutrition for children. The ultimate goal of the CCFP is to serve nutritious meals and snacks that meet the minimum daily meal pattern requirements and are appealing to children. The meal pattern requirements assure that meals are well balanced and supply the kinds and amounts of foods that children require to help meet their energy nutrient needs.

Why is CCFP Important? It ensures that children…

  • Receive a nutritious diet

  • Start good nutrition habits early in life

  • Grow healthy and strong

  • Are prepared for school, ready to learn

CCFP plays a vital role in improving the quality of child care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. The program’s resources and training support communities, especially rural, by supporting child care.

CCFP’s Economic Value

  • CCFP helps working families work.

  • CCFP funding supports the local economy, by purchasing required healthy foods at grocery stores and farmers markets.

  • CCFP funding is a significant resource for supporting child care providers.

  • CCFP supports jobs in child care

Benefits

  • Participating programs provide meals according to the nutrition standards set by the USDA ensuring that children in care receive balances, nutritious meals and snacks.

  • Studies show that children in CCFP receive meals that are superior to those served to children in comparable child care setting without CCFP

  • New research shows that CCFP reduces food insecurity, thus helping families protect children against hunger.

  • Research has demonstrated CCFP’s clear role in helping to assure good nutrition and high quality, affordable child care. The program is a well-documented success.

  • Research cites participation in CCFP as one of the factors influencing quality care.

What Participants Have to Say

"I've had my daycare for eight years. The food program has definitely been an asset to my program. The parents love that they don't need to worry about packing lunches but they know their children are eating well balanced, healthy meals. The paperwork takes no time at all to fill out because they offer the online program" - Provider in Barre

"I would recommend the food program to every provider. It helps with the shopping bill and the trainings are very helpful. The paperwork takes no time at all to fill out because they offer the online program" - Provider from St. Johnsbury

"The food program is a wonderful program that promotes healthy eating. The staff is always available to answer questions, and they're professionals who will do whatever it takes to make sure I'm successful at what I do" - New provider in Randolph

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