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How to Earn Your CACFP Certification


Requirements Review

Review the requirements of the certification designation for which you would like to apply. Determine whether or not you meet the requirements needed to qualify for a specific certification category.

Documentation Checklist
Gather copies of all your training documents (including certificate of training, attendance, transcripts) using the checklist for the Certification Level for which you are applying.

Application Process
Complete the application form and submit it together with documentation and certification payment to the address listed on the form. You can also complete this process online here.

Certification Confirmation
After review and upon approval of your application, NCA will send you a confirmation letter indicating you have earned your CACFP Professional Certification. If you would like NCA to alert a supervisor, state agency representative, and/or media, simply supply the appropriate contact information on the application and we will also send an email notice regarding your achievement to any agencies as requested and announce on social media.

Application Fees
CACFP Child Nutrition Professional $75.00
CACFP Management Professional $175.00

Incomplete Applications
If NCA receives an incomplete application, candidates will receive a letter listing additional documentation needed to earn your certification. Requested documents must be received by NCA within 30 calendar days of receipt of notice. If NCA receives your documents after 30 calendar days, you will have to re-submit the entire application and pay the initial certification fee again. The application fee is non-refundable.

Dual Certification
CACFP Professionals may hold both certifications. If you apply for both at the same time, candidates must submit an application form, documentation of education and experience as well as the application fee for each of the certification designations. If a candidate holds one certification and applies for a second certification at a later date, s/he will be given a new certification expiration date specific to that designation.  S/he will be expected to meet the CEU requirements and fees for each of their designations at that expiration date.

Certification Requirements


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Training Hours


Earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
The purpose of CEUs is to provide job-related professional development and growth experiences. Annual training (earning CEUs) is a requirement to earn and maintain your CACFP Certification. Candidates can earn continuing education credits in any of the following ways:

● Webinars & Online Training Participation
● Workshops/Trainings/Conference Attendance
● Secondary Learning Coursework

Calculating Hours
CEUs should be recorded in one-hour increments and must be a minimum of one hour in length. Training that is three hours in length earns attendees three CEUs’. Training that is one and half hours in length earns attendees one CEU.

Requirements can also be met by taking relevant college courses.

1 Credit Hour College Course = 16 CEU Hours
2 Credit Hour College Course = 32 CEU Hours
3 Credit Hour College Course = 48 CEU Hours

Identifying Hours: CEU Specialties
Education credits should be self-declared in one these following categories:

Specialty 1— Nutrition
i.e.; Understanding Whole Grains, Best Practices, Infant, Child & Adult Nutrition, Child obesity Prevention, Eating Behaviors, Dietary Guidelines,  Special Diets, Food Allergies, CACFP Substitutions, Picky Eaters, Breast Feeding, CACFP Meal Patterns, Creditable Foods, CN & Manufacturer Labeling

Specialty 2— Program Operations
i.e.; Record-Keeping, Menu Planning, Creditable Foods, Meal Patterns, Claims Processing, Meal Service, Program Monitoring

Specialty 3-- Training & Technology
i.e.; Monitoring, Training Strategies, CACFP Software, Online Training, Provider Resources

Specialty 4 – Program Administration
i.e.; Serious Deficiency, CACFP Management Plans, Program Integrity, Enrollment, Eligibility, NDL, Program Eligibility, Training, Childcare Licensing, Program Recordkeeping, Program Appeals

Specialty 5 – Financial Management
i.e.; Budgeting, Claims, Cost-Allocation, Financial Management, Accounting, OMB Super Circular, Procurement, Administrative Payment Systems, Program Review and Audit Requirements

Specialty 6 – Non-profit Management
i.e.; Staffing, Marketing, Communications, Vendor Management, Program Eligibility, Governing Bodies

Specialty 7 – Civil Rights & Policy
i.e.; Civil Rights, Advocacy, Regulations, Child Nutrition Reauthorization, IOM

*Specialties 1-3 are required for the CACFP Child Nutrition Professional and education credits in specialties 1-7 are required for the CACFP Management Professional certification.


Maintaining Certification

Your CACFP Professional Certification is valid for three years.


Renewal Process

Six months before your certification is due to expire, NCA will email you a renewal form. It is your responsibility to renew on time to avoid your certification being canceled. Each individual is responsible for maintaining and keeping records of CEUs earned.

Submit your renewal fee with the renewal form to NCA at least four weeks prior to certification expiration. After NCA reviews and approves your certification renewal, you will receive notification of approval. If your renewal form is incomplete, you will receive a letter explaining what is required to maintain your certification.

NCA will check proof of CEUs via a random audit. Only those chosen for the audit will be required to send in documentation of CEUs earned. If you are selected for an audit, a notification to send CEU documentation to NCA will be included in your annual renewal notice

If NCA does not receive your renewal documents within 30 calendar days of your certification renewal date, you will have to re-submit a new application and pay the initial certification fee again.

 

Renewal Requirements
You must complete the required number of CEUs during your certification period to be eligible for renewal.

CACFP Child Nutrition Professional
(16) Hours CEU in Specialties 1-3 with a minimum of (2) CEUs in each specialty

CACFP Management Professional
(24) Hours CEU in Specialties 1-7 with a minimum of (2) CEUs in each specialty


Certification Renewal Fees
CACFP Child Nutrition Professional $50.00
CACFP Management Professional $100.00

 


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Why Should I Earn the Certification of CACFP Professional?

Receiving your CACFP Certification shows your commitment to your profession and your willingness to uphold high standards. You will be able to enhance your professional image by adding credibility to your position and your agency while staying current on the latest issues and solutions. Additional benefits for those who obtain the CACFP Professional designations include community recognition, competitive advantage, salary enhancement, and personal achievement.