Celebrating the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

By Nicole Garro, MPH on March 18, 2024

On March 10-16, we will celebrate National CACFP Week! 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is an essential federal program that addresses hunger and builds healthy eating habits by providing reimbursement for nutritious foods to children enrolled for care at eligible child care programs, including child care centers, home-based programs and after-school care. Every day, 4.2 million children receive healthy meals and snacks through CACFP, supporting their health, well-being and development. We celebrate the Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) across the country who serve as CACFP sponsors and the child care programs who participate in CACFP. 

Topics: Health & Safety

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New Resource: Child Care Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Partnership Toolkit for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

By Jillian Ritter on March 15, 2024

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) play a vital role in supporting child care providers in their emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts through training and technical assistance for child care providers, but also through systems-building and strengthening efforts. Partnerships are key in supporting child care emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Child care emergency preparedness, response and recovery takes collaboration to be successful.   

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Health & Safety, emergency preparedness

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Beyond the Map: How States Are Using Story Maps to Strengthen CACFP

Since 2019, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) has partnered with Nemours Children’s Health to create geographic information system (GIS) technology story maps to visualize and better understand child care program participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Story maps combine both maps and text to help users interpret what they see. They can help us visualize current challenges and opportunities in a state’s early care and education systems. 

This blog recaps our work to develop the story maps and explores how states, including Pennsylvania and Vermont, are using these tools to make data-informed, strategic decisions to promote CACFP and increase provider participation.

Topics: Policy & Advocacy, Health & Safety, Data & Research

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Promoting Wellness with Child Care Providers in the New Year

By Kandi Novak on January 10, 2024


Child care providers play an essential role in the development and well-being of young children. However, the demanding nature of the job coupled with low wages may negatively affect their physical health, emotional well-being and overall quality of life. It is important for child care providers to prioritize self-care and wellness to ensure they are able to provide the best care possible for the children and families they serve. Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) can offer the support providers need to care for themselves while they care for everyone else.  

Topics: Family & Community Engagement, Best Practices, Health & Safety, Brain Building Tips

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Health Insurance and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

By Nicole Garro and Christina Koch on August 15, 2023

Topics: Health & Safety

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Safety is Key for Child Care Access to Playgrounds


Physical play is an important factor in children’s learning and supports their healthy development. Playgrounds provide spaces for children to be active, engage in imaginative play, socialize with peers and develop new skills. While public playgrounds and playspaces’ safety and access can vary across geographies, too often playgrounds are scarce, and the quality of existing playgrounds could be better: frequently consisting of broken play components, outdated equipment or surfaces that should be replaced. A lack of quality play and exercise infrastructure can negatively impact children's mental and physical well-being. Furthermore, violence within and around parks can negatively impact children's access to public parks and play spaces. 

Topics: Best Practices, Parenting, Health & Safety

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