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Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act of 2023 

October 26, 2023

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On October 26, the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (H.R.6067) was re-introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Marc Molinaro (R-NY). This bipartisan legislation would: 

  • Allow providers who are open for more than 8 hours in a day to be reimbursed for an additional meal (up to 3 meals and 1 snack). 
  • Align the calculation of reimbursement rates for family child care homes with that of centers by shifting to “food away from home.” 
  • Allow annual eligibility for for-profit child care centers to streamline program operations. 
  • Require a review of the CACFP Serious Deficiency process. 
  • Establish an advisory committee on CACFP paperwork reduction. 

Why it Matters 

Historically, low reimbursement and burdensome paperwork have been significant barriers to program participation and has also caused many CACFP providers to drop-off the program.  

Aligning the calculation of family child care home reimbursement with that of centers will increase reimbursement for homes and decrease the disparities between homes and centers. The additional meal will also be a great help to providers who are open for the full day, and especially those who operate non-traditional hours. These providers are currently paying for an additional meal out of their pocket, taking a cut to their profits. Reimbursement for that additional meal will mitigate this loss in profit and allow them to use that much needed money for different aspects of their program. 

Shifting to annual eligibility will decrease paperwork and save a lot of time for for-profit centers and sponsoring organizations. This is a great step towards lessening the administrative burden of the program, but the establishment of an advisory committee on paperwork reduction would help to identify more areas where the program can be streamlined.  

These provisions will improve the CACFP, resulting in higher program participation and expanding access to nutritious meals. Tell your representative to take action for the CACFP by supporting the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act!

NCA and Partners Endorse the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act 

NCA is happy to endorse the reintroduction of this important bill for CACFP. Our President and CEO, Lisa Mack shares: 

"NCA applauds Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) for co-sponsoring the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act of 2023. Every child deserves a healthy start in life and the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) plays a pivotal role in ensuring children and adults are nutrition secure. This Act includes priorities that will support thousands of CACFP operators who work tirelessly to meet the needs of children and adults in care. Allowing reimbursement for an additional meal or snack and improving the cost of living adjustment for family child care homes provide much needed funding for small businesses. Thank you for being champions of the CACFP." 

Congresswoman Bonamici addresses the challenges being faced by many child care providers and recognizes that the CACFP helps providers keep their businesses open.

“Child care providers play an essential role in the fight against hunger. Updating and expanding CACFP will allow this effective program to reach more children, reduce food insecurity, and lower the cost of care. This bipartisan legislation is especially important as many providers struggle to keep their doors open amid rising costs. Child care is economic infrastructure, and removing unnecessary paperwork and boosting resources for child care businesses will help families afford the care and education their young children need. I’m grateful to partner with Rep. Molinaro to provide more children with a healthy start to life.”

Congressman Molinaro recognizes the importance of the CACFP for ensuring that children do not go hungry:

“To fight childhood hunger and combat our nation’s childcare crisis, we are expanding the Child and Adult Care Food Program to adequately feed children in care facilities and make it easier for more providers to participate in the program. As a member of the Pre-K and Child Care Caucus, I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici to ensure our nation’s children don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.”

Congressional Co-Sponsors

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1)

Rep. Michael Lawler (R-NY-17)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28)

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC-1)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-7)

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-2)

Endorsing Organizations

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large)

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12)

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO-8)

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-10)

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

American Heart Association

Bipartisan Policy Center

CACFP Roundtable

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Child Care Aware of America

Children’s Institute

Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC)

Feeding America

First Children’s Finance

First Five Years Fund

First Focus Campaign for Children

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Home Grown

Independent Restaurant Coalition

KidKare by Minute Menu


National Association for Family Child Care

National CACFP Sponsors Association

National Child Care Association

National Head Start Association

National Women’s Law Center

Oregon Food Bank

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

YMCA of the USA


Take Action! 

Act now! Urge your representatives to cosponsor the bipartisan Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act that would streamline and strengthen the CACFP to expand access to nutritious meals.