Electronic Publications from the Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (EFAN-02-006) 137 pp

April 2002

Meals Offered by Tier 2 CACFP Family Child Care Providers - Effects of Lower Meal Reimbursements: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in 1997 did not substantially affect the food and nutrient composition of meals offered by Tier 2 providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) 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 child nutrition. PRWORA reduced reimbursement rates for Tier 2 providers (providers who are not low-income themselves and do not live in low-income areas). According to our 1999 study, Tier 2 providers neither cut back on meals and snacks served nor offered less nutritious foods, despite initial concerns about how Tier 2 providers would react to the reduced rates. Tier 2 meals have not compromised the overall goal of the CACFP meal component requirements: to provide a mix of foods that make an important contribution to a child's major nutritional needs.

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

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