U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 25, 2023

§ 226.17 - Child care center provisions.

(a) Child care centers may participate in the Program either as independent centers or under the auspices of a sponsoring organization; provided, however, that public and private nonprofit centers shall not be eligible to participate in the Program under the auspices of a for-profit sponsoring organization. Child care centers participating as independent centers shall comply with the provisions of § 226.15.

(b) All child care centers, independent or sponsored, shall meet the following requirements

(1) Child care centers must have Federal, State, or local licensing or approval to provide day care services to children. Child care centers, which are complying with applicable procedures to renew licensing or approval, may participate in the Program during the renewal process, unless the State agency has information that indicates that renewal will be denied. If licensing or approval is not available, a child care center may participate if it demonstrates compliance with the CACFP child care standards or any applicable State or local child care standards to the State agency.

(2) Except for for-profit centers, child care centers shall be public, or have tax exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(3) Each child care center participating in the Program must serve one or more of the following meal types - breakfast; lunch; supper; and snack. Reimbursement must not be claimed for more than two meals and one snack or one meal and two snacks provided daily to each child.

(4) Each child care center participating in the Program shall claim only the meal types specified in its approved application in accordance with the meal pattern requirements specified in § 226.20. For-profit child care centers may not claim reimbursement for meals served to children in any month in which less than 25 percent of the children in care (enrolled or licensed capacity, whichever is less) were eligible for free or reduced price meals or were title XX beneficiaries. However, children who only receive at-risk afterschool snacks and/or at-risk afterschool meals must not be included in this percentage. Menus and any other nutritional records required by the State agency shall be maintained to document compliance with such requirements.

(5) A child care center with preschool children may also be approved to serve a breakfast, snack, and supper to school-age children participating in an outside-school-hours care program meeting the criteria of § 226.19(b) that is distinct from its day care program for preschool-age children. The State agency may authorize the service of lunch to such participating children who attend a school that does not offer a lunch program, provided that the limit of two meals and one snack, or one meal and two snacks, per child per day is not exceeded.

(6) A child care center with preschool children may also be approved to serve a snack to school age children participating in an afterschool care program meeting the requirements of § 226.17a that is distinct from its day care program for preschool children, provided that the limit of two meals, and one snack, or one meal and two snacks, per child per day is not exceeded.

(7) A child care center may utilize existing school food service facilities or obtain meals from a school food service facility, and the pertinent requirements of this part shall be embodied in a written agreement between the child care center and school. The center shall maintain responsibility for all Program requirements set forth in this part.

(8) Child care centers shall collect and maintain documentation of the enrollment of each child, including information used to determine eligibility for free and reduced price meals in accordance with § 226.23(e)(1). In addition, Head Start participants need only have a Head Start statement of income eligibility, or a statement of Head Start enrollment from an authorized Head Start representative, to be eligible for free meal benefits under the CACFP. Such documentation of enrollment must be updated annually, signed by a parent or legal guardian, and include information on each child's normal days and hours of care and the meals normally received while in care.

(9) Each child care center must maintain daily records of time of service meal counts by type (breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks) served to enrolled children, and to adults performing labor necessary to the food service.

(10) Each child care center must require key staff, as defined by the State agency, to attend Program training prior to the center's participation in the Program, and at least annually thereafter, on content areas established by the State agency.

(c) Each child care center shall comply with the recordkeeping requirements established in § 226.10(d), in paragraph (b) of this section and, if applicable, in § 226.15(e). Failure to maintain such records shall be grounds for the denial of reimbursement.

(d) If so instructed by its sponsoring organization, a sponsored center must distribute to parents a copy of the sponsoring organization's notice to parents.

[47 FR 36527, Aug. 20, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 36907, Oct. 2, 1987; 53 FR 52591, Dec. 28, 1988; 54 FR 26724, June 26, 1989; Amdt. 22, 55 FR 1378, Jan. 14, 1990; 61 FR 25554, May 22, 1996; 62 FR 23619, May 1, 1997; 63 FR 9729, Feb. 26, 1998; 64 FR 72261, Dec. 27, 1999; 67 FR 43493, June 27, 2002; 69 FR 53546, Sept. 1, 2004; 70 FR 43262, July 27, 2005; 72 FR 41608, July 31, 2007; 75 FR 16328, Apr. 1, 2010; 78 FR 13451, Feb. 28, 2013]