Electronic Publications from the Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (EFAN-02002) 65 pp

March 2002

Family Child Care Home Participation in the CACFP - Effects of Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in 1997 reduced the number of family child care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in 1998 and 1999. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participation and on meals offered to children. This report presents analyses focusing on how the revised reimbursement structure affected the number of family child care homes participating in the CACFP. By reducing participation incentives for child care homes that were not considered to be low-income ('Tier 2' homes), tiering reduced the total number of participating CACFP homes. Tiering had little or no discernible effect on the number of children participating in the program, the number of CACFP sponsors, or the nationwide number of licensed providers of child care.

Keywords: meal reimbursement tiering, Child and Adult Care Food Program, CACFP, child care, childcare, child nutrition programs, welfare reform, Food and Nutrition Service, FNS

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