CACFP Training

Provides information for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Operators on required and optional (elective) training, as well as additional training opportunities.
 

CDSS Bright Track Online Training
Civil Rights Training for Child Nutrition Program Online Course
CACFP Annual Mandatory Training
Prospective Operator Training
Optional (Elective) Training
In-person and Virtual Training
Additional Online Training Opportunities
    

CDSS Bright Track Online Training

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) offers CACFP and nutrition training, including annual mandatory training, prospective operator training, and optional (elective) training through the online platform, CDSS Bright Track (BT).  There are over 60 online trainings available through CDSS BT.

Who can create a CDSS BT account?

CDSS BT accounts may be created by key staff at institutions that have an agreement with the CDSS to operate the CACFP. CDSS BT accounts cannot be created by vendors, day care home providers, or staff at sponsored centers.

‘Key staff’ for the purposes of training is defined in the CDSS CACFP Bulletin 2023–02: Training Requirements in the CACFP, as an institution’s authorized representative, program contact, or their designee.  The authorized representative is responsible for the full oversight of the CACFP, and the program contact manages the day-to-day CACFP operations.  Designees include employees at an independent center or sponsoring organization with CACFP duties (e.g., menu planners, monitors, fiscal staff).

Family child care home providers, staff at sponsored centers, vendors, and others who do not meet the definition of ‘key staff’ should contact their sponsoring organization (if applicable) for training options and/or visit the Additional Online Training Opportunities section at the bottom of this page for information on free and low-cost training opportunities.

The CDSS will periodically reconcile BT accounts to ensure that they are only created by key staff at institutions that have an agreement with the CDSS to operate the CACFP. 

How do CACFP Operators create a CDSS BT account?

Key staff at CACFP institutions must create a CDSS BT account before registering for online courses by completing each field on the BT Registration page and selecting Submit at the bottom of the page.

For instructions on creating an account and registering for a course, access the BT How to Create a New User Account & Register for a Course video and/or the BT Quick Start Guide.

The CDSS BT Help tab provides technical assistance on how to create a new account, register for a course, retrieve a lost password, access certificates of completion, and navigate the CDSS BT platform.  For additional assistance, CACFP Operators may complete and submit a BT Help Desk Training Support Form.

How many CDSS BT accounts are allowed for each CACFP institution?

The CDSS is limited in the number of accounts that the CDSS BT training platform can support. Therefore, each institution is allowed 10 BT accounts, which is typically enough for each key staff at an institution to have an account.

The CDSS will not delete accounts for an institution that currently has more than 10 accounts; however, if a person attempts to create a new account on the BT Registration page and selects an institution in the 'CNIPS ID and institution name' drop-down list that already has 10 or more accounts, they will receive a message that they cannot create a BT account because the institution has reached the maximum number allowed.  The message will also include a link to the CDSS BT User Account Requests form to request an increase in the number of BT accounts for the institution, which the CDSS will allow for larger institutions that employ more than 10 key staff.

Upon submission of the CDSS BT User Account Requests form, the CDSS will contact the institution’s authorized representative and/or program contact (unless the form submitter is listed as one of these two positions in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System [CNIPS] to obtain approval.

For institutions that use the BT online courses to train staff at facilities (sponsored centers and homes), the CDSS recommends that the authorized representative and/or program contact create one general BT account and share the log in information with facility staff to allow access to the BT courses.  Certificates of completion cannot be customized for each person in this situation; however, creating one general account will provide staff at sponsored centers and homes with access to the BT courses and there are other methods to track training completion.  For example, CACFP Operators can host an in-person training where BT courses are used and attendance by each staff at the training is documented.

How long do CDSS BT accounts remain active?

CDSS BT accounts remain active unless the user does not log in to their account for over one year.  After one year of no activity, BT accounts are automatically deactivated and the user cannot log in to their account; however, training records are never deleted to ensure CACFP institutions receive credit for online courses completed by their staff (even for inactive accounts).

CACFP Operators may request to activate a deactivated account, deactivate an active account (to free up the number of BT accounts available to an institution), and obtain certificates of completions for deactivated accounts by completing a CDSS BT User Account Requests form.

Upon submission of this form, the CDSS will contact the institution’s authorized representative and/or program contact (unless the form submitter is listed as one of these two positions in the CNIPS) to obtain approval to activate and deactivate BT accounts.  The CDSS will not contact the authorized representative and/or program contact for requests to only obtain certificates of completion.

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Civil Rights Training for Child Nutrition Programs Online Course

CACFP staff who do not have a Bright Track account can complete the annual civil rights training requirement (per Food and Nutrition Instruction 113-1: Civil Rights Compliance and Enforcement) by selecting the English or Spanish version of the Civil Rights Training for Child Nutrition Programs course and accompanying participant workbook below.  At the end of the course, viewers will be prompted to complete an online form which will allow them to receive a dated certificate of completion by email.

 

English version Civil Rights Training for Child Nutrition Programs over an image of fruit(English participant workbook)
 

Spanish version Civil Rights Training for Child Nutrition Programs over an image of fruit(Spanish participant workbook 
 

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CACFP Annual Mandatory Training

The 2023–24 CDSS CACFP annual mandatory training (course CDSS-110) is currently available on the CDSS Bright Track (BT) training platform.  CACFP Operators are required to complete course CDSS-110: 2023–24 CACFP Annual Mandatory Training by June 30, 2024

The CDSS CACFP Branch will not approve renewal applications for the 2024–25 Program Year for CACFP Operators who do not complete the 2023–24 CACFP Annual Mandatory Training. 

To verify that a certificate has been issued for a BT course, log-in to CDSS BT, access the My Account menu, and select the course to see if a certificate is available for download.  For assistance, view instructions on Generating and Accessing a Certificate of Completion available in the CDSS BT Quick Start Guide

Who must complete the annual mandatory training?

All CACFP Operators, including child and adult care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations, must ensure that either the authorized representative, the program contact, or their designee, attends online CDSS Annual Mandatory Training.  Other staff at the agency may also take the CDSS Annual Mandatory Training.

New CACFP Operators who joined the CACFP in the current program year are not required to complete that current program year’s CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.  For example, CACFP Operators who joined the CACFP in the 2022–23 program year are not required to complete the 2022–23 CACFP Mandatory Annual Training.  However, those CACFP Operators will be required to complete the 2023–24 Mandatory Training.

Day care home providers and centers operating under a sponsoring organization are never required to complete the state agency-provided CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.

What is included in the annual mandatory training?

The CACFP Annual Mandatory Training provides a review of CACFP regulations and procedures to assist CACFP Operators with program integrity.  The training includes the six lessons below. CACFP Operators can only advance slides in each lesson after the content on each slide is complete to meet accessibility requirements.

  1. Civil Rights
  2. Performance Standards
  3. Food Service
  4. Recordkeeping
  5. Financial Management and Maintaining a Nonprofit Food Service Program
  6. Program Oversight and the Serious Deficiency Process

CACFP Operators must select the Mark Complete button at the bottom of the page after viewing each topic within a lesson and pass a 10-question lesson quiz by correctly answering at least eight questions in each lesson quiz.  Three attempts are provided to pass each lesson quiz.  If a lesson quiz is not passed after three attempts, CACFP Operators must complete a CDSS BT Help Desk Training Support Form to request additional quiz attempts.  BT Help Desk staff will notify CACFP Operators within one business day when additional quiz attempts are available.

After successfully completing the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training, CACFP Operators will receive a certificate of completion, accessible in the CDSS BT My Account menu when the user is logged in to CDSS Bright Track.

The expected time to complete the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training is four hours. CACFP Operators are not required to complete the training in one session.  The training will resume at the last place the user was when they logged off.

How do CACFP Operators complete the training?

All CACFP Operators will complete the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training as an online course through the CDSS BT training platform.  CACFP Operators who have a CDSS BT account can log in and register for the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training (course CDSS-110) on the CDSS BT home page.

CACFP Operators who do not have a CDSS BT account must first create a user account before registering to complete the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.  The CDSS BT home page includes a How to Create a New User Account and Register for an Online Course video tutorial.  Written instructions on creating a user account and registering for an online course are also available in the CDSS BT Quick Start Guide

CACFP Operators will need to enter the following Access Code to register for the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training and all other courses available on the CDSS BT platform: CACFP.

What if I am taking the training on behalf of more than one institution?

Key staff who are completing the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training on behalf of more than one institution must contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team at CACFPTraining@dss.ca.gov with the CNIPS IDs (five digits starting with zero; for example, 01234) of each CACFP institution.

The CDSS CACFP Training Team will update CDSS BT user accounts to identify individuals who are taking the training on behalf of multiple CACFP institutions and ensure these CACFP institutions receive credit for completing the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirement.

Contact Information for Annual Mandatory Training

The CDSS BT Help tab provides technical assistance on how to create a new user account, register for a course, retrieve a lost password, access certificates of completion, and navigate the CDSS BT platform.  For additional assistance, CACFP Operators may submit technical assistance questions related to the training platform in the CDSS BT Contact tab.  

For questions about the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirement, prospective CACFP Operator training, optional training, and in-person training opportunities, please contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team by email at CACFPTraining@dss.ca.gov.

Please review the CDSS Training Requirements in the CACFP Bulletin for additional information regarding CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirements.

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Prospective Operator Training

If you are a prospective CACFP Operator and need information regarding required training, please contact your county CACFP Specialist.  A list of CACFP Specialists by county is available on the CDSS CACFP Contact List web page.

During the CACFP application process, county CACFP Specialists will require prospective CACFP Operators to complete a series of online trainings, depending on agency type.  These trainings are designed to instruct prospective CACFP Operators on the requirements needed to successfully operate the CACFP.  Prospective CACFP Operators must complete all training requirements prior to operating the CACFP and claiming meals for reimbursement.

Please review the CDSS Training Requirements in the CACFP Bulletin for additional information regarding Prospective CACFP Operator training.

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CACFP Online Optional Training

There are many optional online trainings currently available through the CDSS Bright Track (BT) platform.  Topics include, but are not limited to the following topics:  Financial viability, recordkeeping and claims, budgets, menu planning, adding cultural foods to menus, special dietary needs, food allergies, family-style meal service, and much more! 

Users will be required to create an account before registering for courses.  Before creating a user account and beginning the registration process, please view the Registration video or Quick Start Guide on the CDSS BT web page (scroll to the bottom of the page). 

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In-person and Virtual Training

CACFP 101 Training

Overview

The CDSS hosted the free two-day in-person CACFP 101 training in March  2024 for child care center directors and their staff.  Due to an overwhelming interest in the training, and in an effort to reach additional CACFP Operators, the CDSS will be hosting a virtual version of CACFP 101.  The goal of the CACFP 101 training is to strengthen managerial and operational practices and provide regulatory and nutrition information to CACFP child care center staff.  Some of the topics that are covered, include: 
 
  • CACFP basics
  • Performance standards
  • Civil rights
  • Financial management
  • Procurement
  • Eligibility
  • Meal claims
  • Meal pricing
  • Monitoring
  • Administrative reviews and audits
  • Nutrition and child development
  • CACFP meal patterns,
  • Family-style meal service
  • Menu planning
  • Recordkeeping
  • Nutrition education

Target Audience

The target audience is new CACFP center directors, new staff with CACFP duties, established operators who need a refresher course, and operators with serious deficiencies.

Schedule

The schedule for the virtual CACFP 101 training is TBD.  Additional details about the virtual training will be emailed to all CACFP Operators and posted to this web page in Summer 2024.

Contact 

Please contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team by email at CACFPTraining@dss.ca.gov with questions about the CACFP 101 trainings. 
 

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CACFP Meal Pattern Crediting Academy

Overview

The CDSS hosts free in-person CACFP Meal Pattern Crediting Academy workshops in late summer and early fall each year.  These interactive workshops provide guidance to assist CACFP Operators to comply with the meal pattern requirements.  Participants learn how to use the electronic U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Buying Guide (FBG), USDA Crediting Handbook for the CACFP, and other resources to determine whether foods are creditable and how they credit to the meal patterns.  The workshop includes hands-on activities to practice how to:

  • Use the FBG tools
  • Identify nutritious and delicious standardized recipes
  • Incorporate cultural foods and recipes into menus
  • Credit grains as ounce equivalents
  • Understand what documentation is required to demonstrate meal pattern compliance

Target Audience

The target audience is CACFP staff from child care centers, adult day care centers, at-risk afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations who are involved in planning, preparing, purchasing, serving, or providing training for CACFP meals and snacks.

Schedule

The CDSS will send an email to all CACFP Operators announcing the dates, locations, and registration instructions at least six weeks prior to the first workshop.

Contact

Please contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team by email at CACFPTraining@dss.ca.gov with questions about the CACFP Meal Pattern Crediting Academy workshops. 

Other CDSS Online Training 

Feeding Infants in the CACFP

The CDSS Feeding Infants in the CACFP online course provides an overview of the infant meal pattern, developmental readiness signs for infants starting on solid foods, creditable foods for infants, benefits of breastfeeding, how to determine creditable infant formulas, and the documentation requirements for infant meals. 

Child Care Forums

Child Care Meal Quality (MQ) Forums

The Child Care MQ Forums are designed to assist early child care program food service staff with enhancing the quality of meals served to young children by highlighting healthy menu planning, food preparation, culinary skills, and kitchen safety.  All attendees will receive a variety of tools and resources that they can immediately use in their day care homes or child care centers.

Visit California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) Child Care MQ Forums for the agendas and session descriptions for the introductory and advanced MQ forums, speakers, professional growth hours, and registration information.

Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity (NPA) Forums

The Child Care NPA Forums highlight and demonstrate methods for integrating nutrition education, edible gardens, wellness policies, and physical activity into child care programs. Participants will learn ways to create learning environments that maximize opportunities for children to develop healthy eating habits and to move their bodies to learn.  These forums provide a unique platform where early childhood educators can express challenges and develop solutions toward supporting active living and healthy eating environments.

Visit the CPIN Child Care NPA Forums for the agenda, session descriptions, speakers, professional growth hours, and registration information.

Conferences

CACFP Roundtable Conference

The annual CACFP Roundtable Conference provides the CACFP community with an opportunity for professional growth.  Sessions range from topics such as program operations and management, nutrition and eating environments, advocacy and outreach, and professional growth. 

National CACFP Sponsors Association Conference

The annual CACFP Sponsors Association Conference provides training opportunities on CACFP policy, administration, nutrition, meal pattern and much more.  The conference is targeted to educating professionals from child care centers, family day care home providers, sponsoring organizations, school districts, afterschool programs, head start programs, food banks, tribal nations, and State Agencies.

CAPPA and Resource & Referral Network Annual Joint Conference

The California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA) and the Child Care Resources and Referral Network Annual Joint Conference provides a networking and learning opportunity for professionals from the early care and education field including alternative payment programs, resource and referral programs, county welfare departments, and county offices of education.  Attendees typically are subsidy child care administrators, family caseworkers, resource and referral counselors and trainers, food program administrators, and child care advocates.

National Association for Family Child Care

The annual National Association for Family Child Care Conference provides an opportunity for family child care professionals to learn, network and collaborate. 

National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference

The National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference co-sponsored by the Food Research and Action Center and Feeding America and in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum, is targeted to anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates, federal, state and local government officials, child advocates, representatives of food banks and food rescue organizations, sponsoring organizations, and nutrition and anti-obesity groups.

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Additional Online Training Opportunities

To find additional online training opportunities, visit:

  • National CACFP Sponsors Association Learning Center to locate free and low-cost online courses organized by specialty for CACFP Operators and early learning and care staff.
     
  • University of California’s Nutrition Policy Institute free training videos, in English and Spanish, for family child care home providers.  These short training videos can be used by educators, and align with evidence-based recommendations for what and how to feed infants and toddlers.

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

 

Child and Adult Care Food Program Logo, hands holding a heart shaped apple

Contact Us

CDSS Child and Adult Care Food Program
744 P Street, MS 9-13-290
Sacramento, CA 95814
833-559-2418
CACFPInfo@dss.ca.gov

For more information or if you have any questions about CACFP Training, please contact the CDSS CACFP Branch Training Team by email at CACFPTraining@dss.ca.gov.

CACFP Listservs

To receive program updates by email, subscribe to listservs by completing the form here or by scanning the QR code with your smart device.

QR Code to scan to sign up for CACFP Mailing List

Quick Links


Last updated: April 2024