Research Findings: Family child care providers widely participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), yet their participation experiences have not been studied. To fill this gap, we used a mixed methods approach that combined survey data collected from a random sample of 224 CACFP-participating licensed family child care providers and in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 40 survey respondents). Working within a cost-benefit framework, we sampled from Chicago and small cities and towns in central Illinois in order to compare providers’ perceptions of the benefits and burdens of CACFP participation by reimbursement level and urban/rural location. Reimbursement rate was related to providers’ perceptions of the adequacy of the reimbursement and how difficult it was to purchase food that met program requirements. Location was related to providers’ perceptions of how difficult it was to prepare meals that met program requirements. Practice or Policy: Our findings suggest modifications to reduce inequities in who has access to the higher reimbursement rate. How providers qualify for the higher reimbursement rate could be reconsidered to ensure that providers outside of urban areas are not disadvantaged. Sponsoring organizations could expand efforts to provide technical assistance and nutrition education, especially for providers outside of urban areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology