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 day care with providers participating on the CCFP are given the opportunity of 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 the 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?
CCFP plays a vital role in improving the quality of child care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. CCFP provides nutritious meals to more than 2,100 children daily who receive day care outside of their home.
Everyone Wins with CCFP
Providers contribute to high quality child care when they serve nutritious meals to children through CCFP. Children who are well-nurished are sick less often, learn more effectively, and behave better. Parents are happy to know their children are getting the right foods they need to develop and learn.
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
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 day care with providers who participate on the CCFP are given the opportunity of nutrition education by providers who understand their role in shaping attitudes toward the acceptance of nutritious foods. Providers create an atmosphere that instills a positive and curious attitude about food from the earliest years.
Parents are assured that their children will be served high quality meals. The benefit is that children are less likely to experience fatigue and illness, which reduces the time a parent must be absent from work. The child is also more likely to be healthy, happy and develop at a normal physical, emotional, and intellectual pace.
For Family Child Care Providers
Providers receive valuable nutrition education that helps them know the proper foods to feed children in amounts appropriate for these young age groups. They receive help through nutrition education and personal visits from CCFP staff in understanding how to encourage positive eating habits that will benefit a child throughout life. They help children make healthy choices for their meal and snack foods that will last a lifetime.
For the Community
Because of the CCFP, federal tax monies are returned to the provider’s state and invested in the health of the community’s children. The added revenue is a means of keeping child care costs down for employees working in the community. Since only regulated providers are eligible to participate in the program, this provides an incentive for unlicensed provides to comply with local child care requlations.
For Childcare Providers:
- Be a licensed, registered, or legally exempt in-home child care;
- Complete a two hour eligible training each year;
- Allow CCFP staff to make at least three monitoring visits yearly;
- Serve high-quality meals that meet USDA nutritional requirements for CCFP;
- Request payment for only those meals served to enrolled, eligible children;
- Claim only 2 meals and 1 snack, or 2 snacks and 1 meal per child, per day;
- Keep accurate records on meals served and children present;
- Submit records on time to the Sponsoring agency with which you signed an agreement
CCFP providers are reimbursed for up to two meals and a snack or two snacks and a meal that follow meal patterns established by the USDA.
- Breakfast consists of a serving of milk, fruit or vegetable, grain or bread and a protein three times a week.
- Lunch and Dinner require milk, grain or bread, meat or meat alternate, and two servings of fruits or vegetables.
- Snacks include two of the four food group components: milk, fruit/vegetable, grain/bread, or meat/meat alternate
The following provide useful and relevant information for childcare providers and advocates:
- Food Research and Action Center - The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States.
- Minute Menu - Web based claiming system that allows providers to do their paperwork online.
- http://www.choosemyplate.gov/- MyPyramid offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan and assess your food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- New England Dairy Council - Great Information and Resources.
- Steps to a Healthier you - Offers you a personal eating plan with the foods and amounts that are right for you.
- United States Dept. of Agriculture - Nutrition Assistance Programs.
- http://nutrition.answers.com - Interesting articles centered on healthy living.
Contact Us at Child Care Food Program
If you are interested in the program, or would like more information give us a call or send an email today to:
Pat Siergey, Program Coordinator
Phone: 802-479-0681 or 1-866-479-0688