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CACFP Participation
What is the general picture of participation in CACFP at baseline and follow-up?
Question 35 asked participants to select whether they were “Already Doing,” “Making Progress,” “Planning to Do,” or “Not Planning to Do” a federal food program (CACFP) at their site. Participants were also given the option of “Does Not Apply to My Site”. In Figure 1, participants who answered an item with “Already Doing” and “Making Progress” represent the “Doing” category, those who selected “Planning to Do” and “Not Planning to Do” represent the “Not Doing” category, and those who answered “Does Not Apply to My Site” are reported as is. To help in referencing the figures with the survey questions, the question number relevant to the figure is in parentheses at the end of the figure title. This was done throughout the report.
Approximately three-fourths of providers report their site participates in CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program) at both baseline and follow-up. There were no significant group differences or change between baseline and follow-up. There are a number of providers (almost one-fifth at baseline and follow-up) who reported that participation in CACFP does not apply to their site. While it is not clear why participants indicated that this question does not apply to their site, this survey does not ask participants to report whether they have been part of the CACFP program in the past. It is possible that participants may have been part of CACFP in the past but are no longer, and therefore selected “Does Not Apply.” Furthermore, while the program is identified as the Food Program on the survey, it is also possible that some participants were not familiar with the program and therefore did not see CACFP as relevant to them. Anecdotally, qualitative notes regarding coaching sessions indicate that some of the participants in CHLA CC, while licensed, were new to the profession. Therefore, there may be a subset of participants not yet familiar with the program. Finally, a report on the status of the CACFP program in Los Angeles County from 2010 indicated that there misconceptions around CACFP program eligibility such that some licensed family home providers reported erroneous information about the program including inaccurate perceptions of eligibility requirements.xxxii If participants knew about the program but did not think they were eligible, it is possible that they did not see CACFP as relevant to their program. Given the link between CACFP participation and more nutritious foods and beverages in child care, further exploration is merited.xxxiii
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