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Senate Partner Bill: Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act

November 14, 2023

Partner Bill to Provide Sufficient and Equitable CACFP Reimbursement

Today, November 14, the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act was introduced in the Senate by Senator Bob Casey (PA) to permanently: 

  • Provide an additional 10 cent reimbursement for each meal and snack served in the CACFP
  • Eliminate the tiering of family child care homes
  • Allow family child care home providers to claim their own children’s meals for reimbursement
  • Shift the calculation of family child care homes' reimbursement from "food at home" to "food away from home" to align with center

Why it Matters

This bill partners the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Landsman (OH) and Congresswoman Bonamici (OR). In order for the bill to be enacted, it has to be passed in both the Senate and the House.

The Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022 (KKFA) temporarily allowed for a 10-cent increase in reimbursement and for tier II family child care homes to receive tier I reimbursement rates. These temporary provisions were vital for CACFP providers across the nation. However, on June 30, 2023, the KKFA expired. As a result, the 2023-2024 reimbursement rates released by USDA show a decrease in reimbursement rates for many providers. Tier II family child care homes have been impacted the most, with a 52% decrease in reimbursement (see % change in reimbursement chart below).

In order to ensure that providers are able to continue to operate the CACFP and do not drop off of the program, increased reimbursement is needed. All of the provisions in the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act would  improve the reimbursements received by child and adult care providers. Eliminating the tiering system will also keep family child care home providers from having their reimbursement cut in half and remove a significant barrier to family child care homes joining the program.


NCA and Partners Endorse the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act in the Senate

NCA is proud to join over 40 national organizations in endorsing this historic bill. Here's what our President and CEO, Lisa Mack, has to say:

"The National CACFP Sponsors Association is grateful for Senator Casey's continued support of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and for introducing the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act of 2023. Increased food and operational costs threaten not only the ability of the child and adult care community to serve healthy meals, but the stability of child and adult care itself. This legislation includes critical priorities which provide much needed financial support for CACFP. Eliminating tiering and increasing reimbursement is needed to mitigate these challenges and will help combat food insecurity and support small business. Without these changes, providers will likely continue to drop out of the program, close their child care altogether or pass the meal burden on to parents."

Senator Casey recognizes the importance of the CACFP for child care providers and the children they serve:

“Every child deserves access to nutritious meals, especially during their formative years. The research is clear: the CACFP improves the quality of meals in child care settings. By easing the burden on child care providers, the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act will ensure that children are receiving healthy and nutritious meals and are set up to reach their full potential.”

Congressional Co-Sponsors

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Senator John Fetterman (D-PA)

Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY)

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Senator Edward Markey (D-MA)

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Senator Peter Welch (D-VT)

Endorsing Organizations

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Acelero Learning

All Our Kin

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

Anderson’s Nutrition

CACFP Roundtable

Care in Action

Center for Law and Social Policy 

Child Care Aware of America

Child Welfare League of America

Children’s Defense Fund

Coalition on Human Needs 

Community Change Action

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces 

Council of Administrators of Special Education

Early Care and Education Consortium 

Educare Learning Network

First Children’s Finance

First Five Years Fund

First Focus Campaign for Children

Food Research and Action Center

Home Grown

KidKare by Minute Menu

KinderCare Learning Companies

National Adult Day Services Association

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd 

National Association for Family Child Care 

National Black Child Development Institute 

National CACFP Forum

National CACFP Sponsors Association 

National Child Care Association 

National Domestic Workers Alliance

National Education Association

National Women’s Law Center


Save the Children

School Nutrition Association 

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)


Take Action! 

Act now! Urge your Senator to cosponsor the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act to ensure that CACFP operators can continue to provide nutritious meals and snacks to those in their care.  Even if you've already sent a letter to your representative, it's important that this bill gains support in both the House and the Senate.