Advocacy & Legislation

NCA Call to Action & Policy Statements

Statement on Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds

We urge you to stand with us and make your voice heard. Additional information can be found 

November 19, 2018

Statement: The National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) thanks you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Inadmissability on Public Charge Grounds proposed rule. As the leading national organization for sponsors who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), we are concerned that this ruling will increase childhood hunger and food insecurity for millions of families across our nation. By making healthy meals harder to obtain, children will be deprived of the best start at life possible.

This rule will impact countless children negatively, including:

  • Increasing fear by immigrant families, including their children, to participate in SNAP, which will increase food insecurity for children nationwide. The childcare community serves many of these children daily and do not wish to see children going home without a guaranteed meal each day.
  • Create confusion in understanding this complex rule by those who wish to fight food insecurity in their communities.
  • Restrict access to vital programs that many families who utilize childcare may need, including SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare Part D, and housing programs. This will only lead to greater poverty and hunger.
  • Harm the local economy that all of our sponsors participate within to provide child care so families can work and children can receive the healthiest start in life.

We recognize the importance of access nutrition for proper growth and development and urge you to reconsider this harmful policy.

Sign our Food Crediting Comment Letter and uphold the CACFP as an indicator of quality childcare!

Deadline: April 23, 2018 Model Comment Letter Form

Let your voice be heard! USDA extended the commenting deadline and we ask you stand with us in upholding the CACFP as an indicator of quality childcare.We urge the USDA to avoid creating additional paperwork burdens and to simplify the food crediting process.

Submit your comment letter here.

Comment Letter on the Food Crediting Request for Information

February 8, 2018

Summary: NCA surveyed their sponsoring members to gain a more complete picture of food crediting perspectives throughout the nation. We then formulated a comment letter centered on keeping the crediting process as simple as possible for child care providers, recognizing that they do not have a registered dietician on staff. The customary use of an item, Child Nutrition (CN) labels, and whole grains were discussed. Additionally, high protein yogurt should not be differentiated from regular yogurt nor education tied to crediting were discussed. Lastly, our member survey stressed the need for additional resources to assist in food purchasing and the reexamination of certain foods such as tempeh for food crediting.

Full Text: Food Crediting NCA Comment Letter

Letter of Support Signatory - Coalition of Human Needs (CHN) Supporting Human Safety Net Programs

December 9, 2016

Summary: NCA signs and supports CHN's mission to combat injustice through anti-poverty initiatives. Basic needs are unmet for millions in our nation and can result in severe food insecurity. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), among many other child nutrition programs, are an important tool to fight this injustice. Our programs are in line with the principles outlined in this letter, Strengthening America’s Values and Economy (SAVE) for All. "Federal priorities must (1) protect and assist low-income and vulnerable people; (2) invest in broadly shared economic growth and jobs; (3) increase revenues from fair sources; and (4) seek savings from reducing waste in the Pentagon and elsewhere. We urge you to sign onto this letter as an organization to support the future of these programs. 

Full Text:SAVE Letter

Comment Letter on the Proposed Program Integrity Rules

May 23, 2016

Summary: NCA expressed their concern regarding several components of the proposed CACFP Program Integrity Rules that codified portions of the Healthy, Hunger, Free, Kids Act of 2010. An issue of paramount concern was the application of the current CACFP Series Deficiency (SD) process to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the negative impact this could have on participation across both programs. We recognized the importance of addressing the differences between real issues of improper use or abuse of the program and human error prior to program implementation. A secondary concern was the additional regulatory and administrative burdens being proposed with no proven, effective outcomes. Several sections of the proposed rules added burdens that may severely hinder program participation in both the CACFP, SFSP, and possible the NSLP over time. We are committed to the highest level of program integrity possible, but we also urged our Congressional members to reconsider how increased program participation across child nutrition programs may factor into these rules. 

Full text: Proposed Integrity Comment Letter

Letter of Support - H.B. 5003 Sec. 108

May 9, 2016

Summary: Representing the NCA Board and its member organizations, which include 113,000 family child care providers, and over 62,000 child care centers, Head Start, At-Risk and Afterschool CACFP sponsors and sites across the country, the National CACFP Sponsors Association ultimately support Section 108 of the House Bill 5003 regarding Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Attached is our letter of support which we urged all our members to sign and forward to their Congressional members. 

Full text: Comment Letter

Comment Letter on Proposed Meal Patterns

April 15, 2015

Summary: NCA supported the efforts of the USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to update the meal patterns to reflect current nutrition science and provide our children with the best nutrition possible by equipping our providers with current dietary standards. We expressed our concern regarding the need to balance the best nutrition possible with as few administrative burdens as posssible that could impact reimbursement for providers. Working with the Constortium and various stakeholders, we provided a comprehensive listing of recommendations from whole grain requirements to infant meal patterns. Ultimately, we commended USDA for their willingness to make the best possible nutrition standards for our program and listen to our concerns.

Full Text:Proposed CACFP Meal Patterns Comment Letter

Find Your Elected Officials

Call, e-mail, or mail U.S. state and federal elected officials and government agencies.

Search Here

Tips & Tricks to Effectively Communicate with your Congressional Members

  • DO write a letter to the District Office (State). This is more effective than sending an e-mail or writing a letter to their national office in Washington, DC.

  • DO NOT send a Facebook message to their page or Tweet them via Twitter. Thousands of messages go through this channels and the chances of your Congressional member or even their staffer seeing your message is slim to none.

  • DO pick up the phone and call their District (State) Office! They will answer and they will listen to you.

  • DO NOT expect to speak to your Congressional member the moment you call their District Office. You will be speaking to their staffer, who can then relay your message.

  • DO attend your town hall meetings! This is one of the best avenues to meet your Congressional members in person. Bring a group, vocalize your organization and your cause.

  • DO utilize the availability of Congressional staffers at your District Offices. Invite them to your events, into your community, and into the activities you organize. Help them know you and your cause!

  • DO realize that Congressional staffers run the “ground game.” Help them understand your programs, your concerns, the causes you champion so that when a new piece of legislation or an amendment arises, you will have a point of contact and so will your Congressional members.

Read More: Full Text

CACFP Studies

Child Nutrition Legislation

  • Legislative History
    Overview traces significant changes in CACFP, from 1968 through 2004. 
  • National School Lunch Act (11/18/2011)
    Section 17 of the National School Lunch Act authorizes the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This link takes you the most current version of the Act, dated November 18, 2011. 
  • Child Nutrition Act (12/13/2010)
    The Child Nutrition Act authorizes the use of State Administrative Expense funding and makes other changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This link takes you the most current version of the Act, dated December 13, 2010. 
  • Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 - Public Law 108-265 
    This Act made several changes to the Child Nutrition Program as well as WIC. Provisions within the Act made changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This version of the Act is dated June 30, 2004. 
  • Public Law 106-224
    Letter explains provisions of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000, signed into law on June 20, 2000. 
  • Public Law 105-336 
    Memorandum implements amendments made by the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998, enacted on October 31, 1998.

Paperwork Reduction Group

Vicki Lipscomb, board policy and regulations chair, meets regularly with a CACFP Community team whose goal it is to work toward reducing barriers to participation by eliminating burdensome or duplicative paperwork. Section 336 of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the Secretary of USDA to examine and report on the feasibility of reducing unnecessary paperwork in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) established a Paperwork Reduction Work Group to review current barriers to participation and to prepare a report of recommendations. This group consists of USDA representatives, State Agency representatives, and sponsoring organization representatives.

NFSMI CACFP National Advisory Committee

Blake Stanford, president of the association, is on the NFSMI CACFP National Advisory Committee where representatives from government agencies, national associations, state agencies, sponsoring organizations, family child care providers, and center directors all have the opportunity to provide input on the current trends and issues and how they impact CACFP Professionals.

National CACFP Sponsors Association

Advocacy Goals

Working with its members, NCA is committed to promoting the benefits of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program which include:

  • eliminating childhood hunger in the US
  • reversing trends in childhood obesity
  • improving the health of American children through better nutrition and increased physical activity
  • supporting working families by improving the quality of child care

NCA provides a national platform to accomplish these broad public health goals by supporting the USDA’s efforts to ensure that all children have access to safe, nutritious and balanced meals.

Specifically, NCA’s seven advocacy goals include:                              

  1. Increase access to nutritious food by providing benefits to all eligible children and expanding participation on the CACFP
  2. Promote healthy diets and physical activity behavior by increasing nutritious foods and providing parents, providers and children better information about nutrition and child wellness
  3. Educate child care providers about meal quality, food safety, and access to local foods
  4. Target program access to low income and underserved populations
  5. Reduce regulatory burdens that inhibit the successful operation of the CACFP or curtail the delivery of services to children
  6. Support strategies to increase participation of child care providers and retain current participants on the CACFP, and
  7. Advocate for federal and state public policies and processes that are equitable and fair to Program operators, providers, and children