California CACFP-ers: Time is of the Essence!

As we all know, the California budget is in dire straits and cuts need to be made but is eliminating “state meal reimbursement to non-Profit agencies” the best way to approach it?  Before you read on, you must KNOW that your letter can make a difference.  The state legislature is on the fence about this, they need more convincing, which means they need to hear from YOU!  Now read why you care and get the low-down on the letter writing!

What happens if these funds are eliminated?

  • CACFP Programs would close
  • CACFP Programs could not service rural areas
  • Children would be forced into unregulated care
  • Nutrition education eliminated
  • Meal quality sacrificed
  • Quality child care in jeopardy

Who would these cuts affect?

  • Children, especially food insecure and obese
  • CACFP Sponsors
  • Small Centers
  • Family Child Care

How would the cuts affect these groups?

  • Children – If they can’t be a part of the CACFP              
    • Parents will be asked to provide their own meals which can jeopardize the nutritional quality in child care
    • Providers will have to purchase cheaper alternatives for food, again, jeopardizing the nutritional quality which is a disservice to food insecure and obese children
    • Nutrition education overall which could incrementally help curve the obesity epidemic would not be provided to parents or the children
    • Ensuring quality care by 3 monitoring visits a year (one unannounced)
  • CACFP Sponsors of Family Child Care Homes  – It is already difficult to run the food program, with the administrative funds they have now.  With the cut, it could be detrimental to the survival of sponsors as home participation is already down 33.5%.  The additional 30% provided by the funds proposed to be cut are crucial to their survival.
  • Small Centers – may have to charge parents more for care, parents to bring food, charge for meals, give up subsidized child care slots, cut meal quality by eliminating fresh fruits and veggies, layoff staff or even eliminate the food program.
  • Family Child Care – may have to resort to similar cutback results as small centers.  One of the most important to note is that many providers, especially Tier II will simply drop the program forcing even more children into unregulated care.

Take Action – Write Letters

Write to the Chairs of the Budget Subcommittees with a cc to your own State Senator and Assembly Member.  If your own State Senator or Assembly Member is on one of the Subcommittees below then they can just write to them.  If you can write and mail just one letter, write it to the senate.

The Child Care Food Program Roundtable has all the information you need to get some background and further advocacy plans in motion!

 

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.