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Family Child Care

As a small business owner, participation in the CACFP provides financial reimbursement to help your program provide nutritious meals and snacks to the children in your care. From food allergies to recipes to picky eaters, Providers Choice supports family child care providers by providing exceptional support and quality training; helping you to maximize reimbursement.

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What is the Food Program?

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Family child care providers that sign up to participate, serve healthy meals and snacks to the children in their care and receive financial reimbursements.

How does the Food Program work?

To be eligible you just need to be a licensed family child care provider in Minnesota in good standing and serve meals that meet the USDA meal pattern guidelines. You will receive a payment for every month that you claim.

Why join the Food Program?

Everyone benefits from Food Program participation! Children receive nutritious meals and snacks while learning healthy habits. Your family child care small business grows through financial reimbursements and ongoing training and support.

Choosing Providers Choice as your Food Program Sponsor has many benefits including free yearly trainings, simple web-based software that saves you time, access to recipes, meal plans, crediting and shopping guides and relevant program updates and communication. Learn more



Participation is easy!

Record menus

Record meal counts

Record attendance
Submit claim to PCI

Collect reimbursement through direct deposit
Child enrollment updates

Participate in annual training

How much can I earn?

If you are serving breakfast, lunch and snack to 6 full-time children you could receive up to $8,000.00 per year in reimbursement.

Payment amount will depend on the type and number of meals you serve, the number of children in care and the tier determination. Tier determination is based on the area you live in, your household income or the income of the families you serve. Reimbursement rates are updated every July and are determined by USDA.

Current Family Child Care Tier 1 and Tier 2 rates in effect from 7/01/2023 - 6/30/24
Meal Tier 1 Tier 2
Breakfast $1.65 $.59
Lunch/Supper $3.12 $1.88
Snacks $.93 $.25
Providers may claim up to two meals and a snack or two snacks and a meal per child per day.


At the end of each month, you will submit your claim electronically to Providers Choice. Providers Choice submits claims weekly to the Minnesota Department of Education. Electronic claims received in the Providers Choice office by 3:00 PM on Thursday of the current week are typically paid the following week on Friday. Claims are processed in the order in which they are received.

Many foods are creditable and qualify to be served in the CACFP! Learn more

Absolutely! Providers benefit financially (even after taxes) on the Food Program. Food Program reimbursements are taxable income (federal and state), except for reimbursements for a provider’s own children (which as not taxable). The cost of the food served to children in care is tax deduction. For more information about the tax impact of Food Program participation visit Tom Copeland's Resource Directory

In addition to receiving reimbursement for your child care children, the USDA does allow reimbursement for your own children under these circumstances:

Your child is 12 years of age or younger
You remain within your license capacity
Your household income falls within the USDA Income Guidelines
An enrolled child is in attendance and eating the same meal you're claiming for your own child

USDA offers financial support to eligible child care providers who are starting a new child care business. Receive up to $300.00 toward the following expenses:

Supplies such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
Minor alterations such as adding handrails, etc. as required by your licensor
Costs of fire and safety inspection, licensing fees and background checks

To apply for these funds the following requirements must be met:
Join PCI’s sponsorship of the Food Program
Qualify by income (Tier 1)
Get a signed statement of need from the licensor
Provide proof of purchase
Claim within six months of becoming licensed

Download the grant application form

Great! Click here to complete this short form. Someone from our team will reach out to discuss next steps. Completing the form does not commit you to participating on our program but allows you to learn more about how Providers Choice may be a good fit for your program.

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Our experienced staff will support you through your program set up and ensure continued success and maximized monthly payments.

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