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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Marshall

A THIRD bill was introduced in Congress to strengthen CACFP! This time it's in the Senate

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

A NEW bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate called the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act. It has the same name and is very similar to the one introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in September. This makes it easier for us all to talk about CACFP and the bill with both our U.S. Senators and with our U.S. House of Representatives.


Now you may be asking, what does the bill do?


The Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act:

  • Provides a 10 cent increase for all eligible meals and snacks in all CACFP-participating programs - including child care centers, Head Start, family child care, at-risk after-school programs, adult day health care centers, and emergency shelters!

  • Eliminates the tiering process so that family child care programs are paid one rate.

  • Ensure that if a family child care provider’s own child is enrolled in her program, meals and snacks served to her own child during the program operation can be submitted for reimbursement along with the claims for the other children.

  • Plus, in the Senate version: make the CACFP payment rate-setting more fair by calculating family child care payments the same as child care center payments, as "food away from home."

Who would the Child Nutrition Enhancement Act benefit?

Everyone!

The 10 cent increase for all eligible CACFP meals is for all CACFP operators. Yes, even adult day health centers, at-risk afterschool, and emergency shelter programs. Even though the bill is called the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act, the 10 cent provision is for ALL CACFP operating programs.


Home-based child care providers - a big deal!

Tiering Elimination: We now have U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives acknowledging that tiering should be a thing of the past. Family child care providers, no matter their tier, say no more tiering - it’s not fair.


Provider’s Own Children: It also makes it easier and more accessible for family child care providers to claim their own children in the program.


Annual Reimbursement Rate Adjustments: The Senate bill, in particular, ALSO makes it so that family child care providers’ and child care centers’ annual reimbursement rates adjustments are based on the same index which is called Food Away From Home in the Consumer Price Index. Currently, family child care providers' annual rate adjustments are based on “Food at Home” which is not accurate.


Action needed!

It has been a long road to get to this moment, and it was possible because you talked about what it takes, again and again, to serve healthy meals and snacks. You have been heard. Now, we have to build up more support for this legislation!


CACFP Roundtable is proud to support these bills. Let’s work together to ensure this legislation gets the attention in Congress that we all need! You can use this action center to send a quick email to your Senators.


Please call your U.S. Representative (www.house.gov) and your two U.S. Senators (www.senate.gov) and tell the staff person that answers the phone:

  • Each day, more than 4.2 million children have nutritious meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

  • Good nutrition in the first years of life is essential for early brain development. I am proud of the healthy meals I serve.

  • The caregiving workforce in Early Head Start, Head Start, child care centers, family child care and after-school programs is work tirelessly to ensure children do not go hungry and continue to have opportunities to learn and grow.

  • CACFP reimbursements help me with some of the costs of providing a meal, and make it so that I don’t have to ask families to pay extra for all of the healthy meals in my program.

And if you are able to express support for legislation, include:

  • Please co-sponsor the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act, introduced by Representative Landsman from Ohio and Representative Bonamici from Oregon.

  • Without your support, we will see an increase in young children and even providers themselves going to bed hungry. We will also see more burdens placed on working families.

  • Thank you for supporting the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act! It is bill number H.R. 5567 in the House, and bill number S. ___ in the Senate.

Other Bills That Have Been Introduced Recently


 


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