What is a Proposed Rule?

There are many parts of the federal process that are hard to grasp and we just give up and keep going; knowing at some point money will be given, money will be taken away, there will be political stalemate, new rules will be made and antiquated ones will remain the same.  We listen, we vote and many of us tell our local and national representatives what is important to us.  But the rest, how it all becomes that way – how our government functions and policy is made - is often a mystery.  Don’t let regulations be a mystery anymore!

The process of a policy or a new rule that the people of the United States have to follow is actually one we can be involved in.  Federal rule makers are required to listen when they are making rules the nation has to follow (Rules and Regulations can be interchangeable).  When do you get to take part?  During “Proposed Rule” stage of the regulatory process.  

Proposed Rule Stage Overview

Part One:  Preapproval. 

Once the rule is in the proposed rule stage, it has gone through many approval processes and is very close to its final form.

Part 2:  Commenting. 

The crux of the proposed rule stage is the commenting period.  This is the time in which people share their thoughts and opinions about the rule that has been proposed.  As Regulations.gov shares, the comments vary in number (from 0- to thousands) and detail (from a paragraph, one sentence expressing support for another comment, or pages of detailed examples). There is always a limited period of time for comment 60-90 days, depending on the rule/agency.  

Part 3: Consideration. 

When the commenting period ends, the federal agency reads every single comment.  The comments go through a comment analysis process.  After comments have been analyzed and considered, the federal agency determines to:

1.       Proceed with the rule 

2.       Issue a new or modified proposed rule

3.       Sometimes, withdraw the proposal  

What Does A Proposed Rule Mean Right Now – CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements

he United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing a new meal pattern requirement for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).   The CACFP Meal Pattern Revision Proposed Rule has been published.  Once it is published on the Federal Register, we have 90 days to provide a comment.


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.