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Thank you for your interest in participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federal- and state-funded program that gives financial aid to child care centers, adult day centers, day care homes, and emergency shelters to provide nutritious, well-balanced meals, and develop healthy eating habits for children.

Given that federal and state regulations can often be challenging to read and understand, prospective participants are required to take courses that introduce them to program requirements that will allow successful participation in the CACFP.

If you have already started an application, please follow the registration instructions below to begin taking the required Prospective Participant courses. If you are interested in applying for the CACFP, please read the How to Apply section below.

How to Apply

  1. Contact a CACFP specialist by phone (Contact List).

  2. Complete a prescreening questionnaire over the phone with a CACFP specialist. The specialist will follow-up with an e-mail that includes detailed application instructions.

  3. Complete the required Prospective Sponsor Courses (see below) by returning to this site and following the registration instructions below.

  4. Submit certificates of completion and required application information to your CACFP specialist.

  5. Once the specialist has received and reviewed the requested information, they will provide you with access to the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), where you will complete and submit an online application for your agency.

  6. When your application is complete, a specialist will schedule a preapproval visit to your center. This visit includes training for your staff on all program requirements.

The CACFP application process generally takes a minimum of six to eight weeks from the initial application date until a final determination is made.

Prospective Sponsor Courses

The following courses must be completed for your agency type:

Adult Day Care Centers:

  • CACFP Management for Adult Day Care Centers
  • Eligibility
  • Planning, Preparing, and Serving Reimbursable Meals

Child Care Centers

  • Child Care Center Program Management
  • Child Care Centers: Planning, Preparing, and Serving Reimbursable Meals
  • Eligibility Form and Enrollment Requirements
  • Menu Production Records

Day Care Homes

  • CACFP Management for Day Care Home Sponsors
  • Tiering and Eligibility

Emergency Shelters

  • CACFP Management for Emergency Shelters
  • Planning, Preparing, and Serving Reimbursable Meals

At-Risk Afterschool Care Centers

  • At-Risk Afterschool Care Center Program Management
  • At-Risk Afterschool Care Centers: Planning, Preparing, and Serving Reimbursable Meals 

How to Take Prospective Sponsor Courses

Create Your Account

You will first need to Create Your Account. Use this link, or the menu button to the left. Complete the form provided to create your account. Select "Prospective Sponsor" under the alphabetical Agency Name drop-down bar. You will then receive an e-mail verifying your account along with your user name and password.

Create only one account unless you work for two different types of agencies.

Please note: Use this account only during the application process. If your application is accepted, you will need to create a new account with your specific agency name in order to take additional courses.

Register for Courses

You will need your username and password to register for a course. Use this link, or the menu button to the left. Register only for the courses that you are required to complete (see list above). Course registration is available 24 hours/day. Your course(s) will be available on Canvas within two hours of your registration until 5 p.m. daily. After that you will need to wait until 5 a.m. the following morning to access your course on Canvas. For technical assistance contact the Cal-Pro-NET Center by e-mail at, or by phone at 559-489-2237. 

Complete the Courses

Log in to Canvas to take the courses. You must complete all tasks and tests in order to receive a Certificate of Completion. Courses need to be completed successfully by the course ending date to receive a certificate of completion.

Certificate of Completion

Courses are checked daily for completion. Once your certificate has been issued, you will receive an e-mail with instructions for printing your certificate.


For questions regarding the CACFP application process, please contact your CACFP Specialist by phone, or call 1-800-952-5609.

For questions regarding the course registration process, contact the Cal-Pro-NET Center by e-mail at, or by phone at 559-489-2237.


The CACFP online training is sponsored by the California Department of Education (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD), through a partnership with the Cal-Pro-NET Center at Fresno City College.

Last updated: 7/3/2017 10:47:01 AM