Prospective Sponsors

1. Logo for State of California Department of Education

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 adult day centers, child care centers, day care homes, emergency shelters, and at-risk afterschool care centers 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 email 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 pre-approval 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

  • CACFP Management for Child Care Centers
  • Eligibility Form and Enrollment Requirements
  • Menu Production Records
  • Planning, Preparing, and Serving Reimbursable Meals

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

  • CACFP Management for At-Risk Afterschool Care Centers
  • Planning, Preparing, and Serving Reimbursable Meals

Create Your Account

You will first need to Create Your Account. Complete the form provided to create your account. Select "Prospective Sponsor" under the alphabetical Agency Name drop-down bar. You will then receive an email verifying your account along with your username 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 courseRegister only for the courses that you are required to complete (see list above). After registering, it will take approximately two hours for the course to become available on Canvas. For technical assistance contact the Cal-Pro-NET Center by email at, or by phone at 559.489.2237.

Complete the Courses

Log in to Canvas to take the courses. Courses and tests must be successfully completed by the course ending dates. You must achieve a test score of 75 percent or higher on each test to obtain 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 email 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.

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