Eligibility Requirements

Any child development home providing care for children in Iowa may participate in the Iowa Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) if the child development home:

  • is registered by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and
  • has an Iowa CACFP Home Sponsor.

The CACFP Home Sponsor disburses CACFP reimbursement received from the State Agency to participating child development homes for serving meals meeting CACFP requirements.


Meals – What Meals Can be Reimbursed?

Child Development Homes are reimbursed for planning and serving meals that follow CACFP requirements for children 1-12 years and infants. Homes may request approval to claim breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks (morning, afternoon, and evening). Reimbursement is paid for no more than two meals and one snack, two snacks and one meal, or three snacks per child per day.

Reimbursement is based on the Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 rates. Contact the Home Sponsor to discuss Tier eligibility and meal reimbursement.

Application Procedures

Child Development Homes and Child Care Home with Child Care Assistance Agreement

Contact the Child and Adult Care Food Program Home Sponsor in your county, (click on the list below.) Call the Home Sponsor and ask for the CACFP representative to schedule a visit in your home to explain the CACFP requirements.

Home Sponsor Resources

List of Iowa Home Sponsors

USDA FNS Instruction 796-2, Revision 4 – USDA's instruction describing CACFP allowable/non-allowable financial costs for CACFP Home Sponsor Administrative annual budget and monthly financial claims.

What is QRS?

QRS stands for Iowa's Quality Rating System. It offers providers a guided way for childcare providers to improve the quality of child care they provide by achieving recognized "Levels."

What do the levels mean?

A provider who achieves Level 1 has met Iowa's registration or licensing standards. A provider who achieves Level 2 has completed additional training and steps to improve quality and participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Providers in Levels 3–5 have made significant steps in meeting key indicators of quality in the areas of professional development, health and safety, environment, family and community partnership and leadership and administration. Because participation in the CACFP has been shown to be an indicator of quality child care, a home provider must participate, if eligible, to achieve Level 2.

Visit the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Iowa Quality Rating System webpage for more information.