Child care food subsidies

March 1, 2012

Child care food subsidies

Who participates and why


More than a dozen federal programs provide food and nutrition support to children and families. One such subsidy is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This program reimburses caregivers for meals and snacks provided to children in child care centers, family day care homes, after-school programs, and homeless shelters, as well as to adults in adult day care centers. Children account for more than 95 percent of CACFP expenditures. The authors discuss the effectiveness of the CACFP, and offer suggestions to improve the targeting of nutritional assistance and child care subsidies. Key finding include: many low-income children do not receive CACFP; area poverty influences whether children receive CACFP; and provider and family characteristics are important in determining participation. 


(.PDF 543.94 KB)

Research Area: Education, Learning, and Child and Family Well-Being

Policy Initiative: none