Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Child and Adult Care Food Program Participation

While the predisposition for obesity may begin before birth, the roots of obesity are often established between the ages of two and five. Because children often eat at least half of their meals and snacks in a child care or school setting, careful planning of nutritious meals and snacks is essential to healthy growth and development. Programs committed to serving healthy food choices create menus that include fresh fruits and vegetables and limit fat, sugar, and salt.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides funding for meals and snacks served in eligible child care centers, family child care homes, and after-school programs. Eligible programs participating in CACFP recognize the importance of promoting young children's healthy habits and laying the foundation for healthy lifestyles. These programs receive cash reimbursement for meals served, menu planning, and nutrition education.

hands of kids drawing pie chart of foods
Well-balanced Nutritious Menus and Meals

This section card guides you in understanding the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: CACFP: ADM 3.4. If your program is ineligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or has chosen not to participate, follow the instructions for completing the Ineligibility / Non-Participation Form.

Select the Requirements tab to get started.

Requirements

The following interactive shows you the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: CACFP: ADM 3.4. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about what to include in your documentation.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center
ADM 3.4: CACFP The program participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Documentation to submit: CACFP participation verified by MSDE or Ineligibility / Non-Participation form

Family Child Care
ADM 3.4: CACFP The program participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Documentation to submit: CACFP participation verified by MSDE or Ineligibility / Non-Participation form

School-Age Only
ADM 3.4: CACFP The program participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Documentation to submit: CACFP participation verified by MSDE or Ineligibility / Non-Participation form

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: CACFP: ADM 3.4, you will submit documentation based on your participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

  • If your program participates in CACFP, no further action or documentation is required. Your Program Coordinator will verify your participation.
  • If your program is ineligible to participate or has chosen not to participate in CACFP, you will submit the Ineligible / Non-Participation Form.





Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) funds eligible child care centers, family child care homes, and after-school programs to provide nutritious meals and snacks. To be eligible for cash reimbursements, the meals and snacks a program provides must meet specific nutrition requirements. In Maryland, the program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by the Maryland State Department of Education's School and Community Nutrition Program's Branch.

 

What does the documentation look like?

The Maryland EXCELS team receives information from Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) related to your program's participation in CACFP. Your Program Coordinator (PC) checks and verifies this information.

If your program participates in CACFP, your Program Coordinator, marks ADM 3.4 as "Criteria Met" in the Maryland EXCELS System.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box

If you participate in the program, but this item is not marked as "Criteria Met", please contact your Program Coordinator.

If your program is ineligible to participate in CACFP or you wish to opt out of the program, you may complete the Ineligibility / Non-Participation form.

 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

If your program participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), you are on the right track if your Program Coordinator has verified your participation and marked the criteria as Met in the Maryland EXCELS System.

If you do not participate, you have downloaded the Ineligibility / Non-Participation form and have completed it in its entirety.

 

Where can you learn more?

This booklet includes information on Food and Nutrition from Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). It includes excerpts from MSDE's Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Food and Nutrition

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This website provides more information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program and includes participation requirements, resources, meal patterns, ideas and strategies:

CACFP

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) | Food and Nutrition Service

CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.

Final Touches

If applicable, complete the Ineligibility / Non-Participation form to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System.

NOTE: If you participate in the program, ADM 3.4 should be marked as "Criteria Met" in the Maryland EXCELS System. If not, please contact your Program Coordinator.

 

Check to be sure your document includes (when applicable):

 
 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system. (example: CACFP-IneligibleForm.docx)
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version of your Ineligibility/Non-Participation Form (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Scanned version of your Ineligibility / Non-Participation Form (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)
    • Digital image / picture of your Ineligibility / Non-Participation Form (examples: JPG, PNG, PDF)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your documentation, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document (if applicable):

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your Ineligibility / Non-Participation form
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

Congratulations! If the requirements for Administrative Practices and Policies: CACFP Participation: ADM 3.4 are met, your program meets the requirements for ADM 3.5.

Plan for Improvement

If your program is eligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) but has chosen to be a non-participant, consider finding out more about CACFP from MSDE. If the children and families you serve could benefit from the program, think about participating in it.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (ADM 3.4 - if applicable)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your Non-Participation / Ineligibility form, if applicable.

Remember, if you already participate in the CACFP program, ADM 3.4 should already be marked as "Criteria Met" in the Maryland EXCELS System. If you participate but this item is not marked as "Criteria Met", please contact your Program Coordinator.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation