NCA Support as Covid-19 Flexibilities Come to an End
June 16, 2023
Three pandemic flexibilities are expiring on June 30:
- Virtual Monitoring
- Additional 10 cent reimbursement per meal and snack
- Area eligibility waiver for family child care homes
This means that all CACFP providers will need to adjust to the new reimbursement rates that will be published this July. These rates will NOT include the extra 10 cents on each meal and snack. This also means that Tier II family home child care providers will no longer be reimbursed at the Tier I rate. As a reminder, rates are calculated based on the CPI away from home for centers and CPI at home for family child care homes. For more information on how rates are calculated visit HERE.
In addition, sponsoring organizations will need to return to in-person monitoring as well and we recognize this will have an impact on your operations and impact which providers you are able to serve.
NCA understands that the end of these flexibilities will cause challenges for many CACFP sponsors and providers and we commend your continued commitment to providing nutritious meals and snacks to the children or adults in your care. You positively impact not only those in your care, but their families as well. We continue to advocate for you and be a resource for our CACFP community.
In preparation for the end of the additional reimbursement, we have collected the following resources to help you successfully provide meals even if your available budget decreases.
Eat Healthy on a Budget (MyPlate resource)
Healthy eating is important at every age of development. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, or fortified soy alternatives can be very expensive. MyPlate recognizes has created tips to help with budgeting for healthy food shopping. Check their budget tips.
Child Nutrition Today Magazine
Our 2018-2019 issue of CNT Magazine includes information on making healthy choices on a budget. This article outlines ten ways to save you money. Tips include sharing ingredients, visiting the farmer’s market, and buying in bulk. Check out the magazine to learn more.
Best Practices for Menu Planning
Thoughtful menu planning will ensure healthy, balanced and nutritious meals. The USDA has outlined the five basic steps of careful menu planning: strive for balance, contrast on the plate, think about color, emphasize variety, and consider eye appeal. Check out NCA’s resource on Best Practices for more information.
CACFP Menu Templates
NCA has an entire page dedicated to providing free menu planning templates! Use these templates to help plan out your menus based on your budget. The more planning you do, the more prepared you will be if your reimbursement rate changes.
CACFP Sample Menus
We have some great sample menus available for free on our menus page. Our Sample Cycle Menu includes 10 days of easy ideas for breakfast, lunch, and snack. Our Around the World Sample Cycle Menu includes 10 day's worth of meal and snack ideas from 5 different continents.
What Can You Do to Advocate
NCA will continue to advocate on your behalf for increased reimbursement and streamlining program requirements. Our advocacy page is full of resources for you to use when taking action on issues that are important to you. If you want to reach out to your elected officials to talk about your need for increased reimbursement rates, we have multiple resources available to get you started.
Send a Quick Email to Your Elected Official
One of the easiest ways to let your elected official know about the challenges you’re facing or the issues you want them to address by submitting an email through their website. We have advocacy email templates available for both sponsors and providers to use when communicating with their elected officials.
Call Your Elected Official’s Office
The fastest method for getting a message through to your elected official is by taking a few minutes to make a phone call to their office. Using our advocacy phone call template, you can have a productive conversation with your elected official or one of their staff members to discuss your priorities.
Host Your Elected Official
NCA recently launched an initiative encouraging all sponsors and providers to invite their elected officials to visit their program in August. This would be a great opportunity for you to show your elected official the great impact your program has on those in your care and your community, as well as for you to discuss your key priorities and need for increased reimbursement. We have various supporting materials on our site to help you successfully invite and host your elected official including:
- Slides on How to Host Elected Officials
- Infographic on How to Host an Elected Official
- Email Templated for Inviting Your Elected Official
- CACFP Fact Sheet
As always, you can reach out to email@example.com for additional information or support.