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As we all adjust to the changes brought on by COVID-19, CCNI is striving to ensure the safety of our staff, providers, and the families in care. CCNI will continue to put on-site monitoring reviews on hold until we receive further guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education. To ensure that the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is still being operated with integrity, we have decided it’s time to begin what are called Desk Reviews or Desk Audits. These desk reviews will be conducted by your monitor and will be announced ahead of time. When possible your monitor will set up a virtual meeting via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. This will give us the opportunity to see you. We miss seeing you, seeing the children, and having that face-to-face interaction. By now many of you have probably used some kind of virtual platform to meet with someone, whether it has been friends, family, school, etc., so many of you are familiar with how a virtual will go. If you know that a virtual meeting will not work for you that is OK! Your monitor can do the desk review over the phone as well. Please know that if you have already had two on-site home visits since October 1, 2019 you may not be receiving a desk review. As always, our visits with you do not impact payment of your claim. If you don’t end up with a desk review between now and September 30, 2020, or if your desk review does not take place until September, your claim reimbursement will not be affected in any way.

Over the next several weeks your monitor will be contacting you to set up a time for your desk review. Together with your monitor you will decide what will work best between a phone call and a virtual meeting. Your monitor will explain how things will work and if she needs anything from you ahead of time. We know how important your time with the children is so our staff will work efficiently to ensure that we do not take up more of your time than desired. We hope to see you all face-to-face very soon, but in the mean-time we’ll do what we can to continue to provide you with the best experience possible while participating on the CACFP.

In early July the National CACFP Sponsors Association conducted a survey on the impact COVID-19 has had on the CACFP.
Check out the results.

CCNI has made the difficult decision to cancel all spring workshops. If you have not completed the training quiz for this year please visit our training page to find out what is required: click here. We have also decided not to host our annual CCNI Kids All Day Training this fall. We hope to be able to host in person training opportunities in 2021.

We’ve been getting A LOT of questions about the meals available to all children aged 1-18 by the state (administered by the schools) and whether family child care providers can accept those meals. The answer is YES, you absolutely can accept those meals for the children in your care, however you cannot claim those meals on the food program. If you have additional questions with regard to this please contact us. Below is a notice you can provide to the school if they ask you about your daycare.


Update as of March 20, 2020 – Shortage of Milk for the Child Nutrition Program

The Coronavirus bill was signed into law by the president last night and includes meal pattern waivers for all Child Nutrition programs including the Child and Adult Care Food Program. MDE is waiting for USDA guidance on this and will inform you as soon as direction from USDA is received.

7 CFR Part 226.20 allows State Agencies to temporarily approve the service of breakfast, lunches or suppers without milk during an emergency period. For family child care provider claims of March 2020 until further notice MDE has approved:

  • – Breakfast, lunch and supper served by family child care providers may include pasteurized milk of any fat content if skim and 1% are not available.
  • – Smaller portion sizes of milk may be served if the full quantity is not available.
  • – If only flavored milk is available, it may be served with any fat content.
  • – Milk must be pasteurized if served.
  • – If no milk is available, breakfast, lunch and supper may be served without milk until milk is available.
  • – MDE will notify Family Child Care Sponsors when this waiver is no longer in effect.
  • – Family Child Care Sponsors do not have to apply for this waiver.
  • – Sponsors must make an assessment when processing claims that it is reasonable that milk is not available for the provider to serve.
  • – These procedures apply to the Family Child Care Sponsors only. Center sponsors must submit a request individually to MDE to obtain approval following procedures posted by MDE.


CCNI Online Claimers:
CCNI has added the following Milk option into our online platforms for providers to select if they are unable to serve the required milk: “Milk Any Fat Content/Milk Not Available”.  Additionally if you are unable to purchase a specific component other than milk, please be sure you make a note of the missing component and the reason. Please note online systems will not allow you to save a meal without all components. You will need to choose a component to complete the meal, and then please note that you DID NOT serve that particular component, and the reason.

Paper Claimers:
You may still circle the milk served, handwrite anywhere on the menu what milk was served, or write a note if milk was not available for given days. Additionally if you are unable to purchase a specific component other than milk, please be sure you make a note of the missing component and the reason.

For bread: Think outside the box for your grains category. Many providers are struggling to find bread, but bread itself is not a required component, the component is grains. You may find it easier to obtain something like pretzels, dry cereal, crackers, etc. and those are perfectly fine to serve at lunch or suppertime. Try pancakes or waffles at lunch or supper – they aren’t just for breakfast! Remember to look for an enriched grain as the first ingredient.

For milk: Even though we have now received the waiver, if you are having trouble finding milk in your regular grocery store try checking other places, such as gas stations, as they may still have stock of these items available.

Additional COVID-19 WAIVERS

Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs: (Extended) Expires June 30, 2021

Allows some meal pattern flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs based on disruptions to the availability of foods.

CACFP Sponsor Monitoring Requirements:Expires August 31, 2020

Waives some monitoring requirements and suspends on-site visits for sponsors in the CACFP to support social distancing.


Additionally, here are some resources that we believe may be helpful during these times:

How to talk to kids about COVID-19 – check out this link

A letter from MN Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan to child care providers.

MDE Communication to Child Care Providers

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Update

We are proud to have you as our providers, and are working diligently to provide you with the same level of service we have always provided. We know you may have questions, and we will do our very best to provide you information as any changes develop. Stay tuned to this page for any updates.

Thank you & take care,

CCNI Management