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June 9, 2023
By Kate Abernathy, MS, RDN, LD, CMP, CCNP, Chief Executive Officer

On May 11, 2023, the U.S. Department of HHS (Health and Human Services) declared the COVID public health emergency over. This means that the recent flexibilities and waivers for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are ending soon.
child eating veggies
What is changing?
In-person visits:
While Providers Choice has been conducting in-person visits with family child care home providers and child care center providers for quite some time, one change is that we are now mandated to return to only in-person visits.

The two tier system will resume on July 1st, 2023. The Keep Kids Fed Act allowed all Family Child Care Providers to receive Tier 1 rates. All providers have also been receiving an additional 10 cents for all meals and snacks served this year. This waiver flexibility ends on June 30th, 2023.

What happens next?
Tier rates are updated annually by the US Congress. We expect to hear what the new Tier 1 and Tier 2 rates will be sometime in early July. Once we receive the new rates, we will notify you right away. If you are unsure of your new tier level, please reach out to your Field Representative or the office, we are more than happy to help.

How do I stay Tier 1?
Providers Choice is passionate about children and making sure they receive healthy meals. We are also fiercely dedicated to you as child care providers. We are already working to verify Tiering eligibility and to try to qualify as many providers for Tier 1 as possible. These eligibility parameters are based on the location of your child care and current:

School district Eligibility
Census Tract Data

If you are not eligible by school or census, your own family or child care families may qualify by income for Tier 1 rates. Please contact the Providers Choice office and we can help!

What if I go back to Tier 2?

Focus on positives (and the kids)
If you go back to Tier 2 rates, don’t worry - not all is lost. The benefits of the Food Program are worth it! You will still receive extra money each month to help feed nutritious meals to the kids in your care. And that’s what really matters most – the kids. Kids that participate in the CACFP consume more fruits and vegetables and whole grains than kids who do not.

Treat the Food Program like a job or the income of another child in your care
Let’s break it down with an example. If you spend 3 hours per week on the Food Program that is a total of 156 hours per year. If there are 6 children in your care at Tier 2 rates this is at least $4,038 per year income (this is using old Tier 2 rates). This equates to an hourly rate of $25.88 per hour! Not only is your time valuable but so is the income.

Are you claiming online yet?! Online claiming makes this program faster and easier!

Utilize the resources
You receive FREE valuable training and resources for participating in the Food Program. With Providers Choice, you also have access to a dietitian for any child related food questions and concerns from picky eating to allergies and special diet statements to introducing solid foods to developmentally ready infants.

Even more resources!
We know this news can be confusing and overwhelming. But before you jump to conclusions or quit the food program - make sure you explore all the information. We’ve included some links to helpful articles below.

Tom Copland KNOWS the Food Program is a great deal!

Home Daycare Grants

Beyond the Keep Kids Fed Act- Why the Food Program is Worth it

Questions? We’ve got you. Reach out! We are HERE for you.