The purpose of the program authorized by this section is to provide aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.
The Secretary may carry out a program to assist States through grants-in-aid and other means to initiate and maintain nonprofit food service programs for children in institutions providing child care.
Except as provided in subsection (r), reimbursement may be provided under this section only for meals or supplements served to children not over 12 years of age (except that such age limitation shall not be applicable for children of migrant workers if 15 years of age or less or for children with disabilities).
The Secretary may establish separate guidelines for institutions that provide care to school children outside of school hours.
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, and for each subsequent fiscal year, the Secretary shall provide cash assistance to States for meals as provided in subsection (f) of this section, except that, in any fiscal year, the aggregate amount of assistance provided to a State by the Secretary under this section shall not exceed the sum of (1) the Federal funds provided by the State to participating institutions within the State for that fiscal year and (2) any funds used by the State under section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 [42 U.S.C. 1779].
Clause (i) shall not apply to a family or group day care home.
The State agency shall establish criteria for approving an eligible institution acting as a sponsoring organization for one or more family or group day care homes or centers that, at the time of application, is not participating in the child and adult care food program for the purpose of determining if the participation of the institution will help ensure the delivery of benefits to otherwise unserved family or group day care homes or centers or to unserved children in an area.
Not later than 30 days after the date on which an applicant institution files a completed application with the State agency, the State agency shall notify the applicant institution whether the institution has been approved or disapproved to participate in the child and adult care food program.
Subject to clauses (ii) and (iii), to participate in the child and adult care food program, an institution that meets the conditions of eligibility described in this subsection shall be required to enter into a permanent agreement with the applicable State agency.
A permanent agreement described in clause (i) may be amended as necessary to ensure that the institution is in compliance with all requirements established in this section or by the Secretary.
Sponsoring organizations shall vary the timing of unannounced reviews under clause (i)(I) in a manner that makes the reviews unpredictable to sponsored facilities.
The Secretary may develop a policy to detect and deter, and recover erroneous payments to, and false claims submitted by, institutions, sponsored child and adult care centers, and family or group day care homes participating in the program under this section.
In this clause, the term “block claim” has the meaning given the term in section 226.2 of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations).
The Secretary may not require any State agency, sponsoring organization, or other institution to perform edit checks or on-site reviews relating to the detection of block claims by any child care facility.
Notwithstanding subclause (II), the Secretary may require any State agency, sponsoring organization, or other institution to collect, store, and transmit to the appropriate entity information necessary to develop any other policy developed under clause (i).
The information described in subparagraph (A) shall be in a form and, to the maximum extent practicable, language easily understandable by the child’s parents or guardians.
In consultation with State agencies and sponsoring organizations, the Secretary shall develop, and provide for the dissemination to State agencies and sponsoring organizations of, a list of allowable reimbursable administrative expenses for sponsoring organizations under the program.
The Secretary shall establish procedures for the termination of participation by institutions and family or group day care homes under the program.
Except as provided in clause (ii), an institution or family or group day care home shall be provided a fair hearing in accordance with subsection (e)(1) prior to any determination to terminate participation by the institution or family or group day care home under the program.
If a State agency determines that an institution has knowingly submitted a false or fraudulent claim for reimbursement, the State agency may suspend the participation of the institution in the program in accordance with this clause.
Prior to any determination to suspend participation of an institution under subclause (I), the State agency shall provide for an independent review of the proposed suspension in accordance with subclause (III).
A State agency shall provide an institution that has been suspended from participation in the program under this clause an opportunity for a fair hearing on the suspension conducted in accordance with subsection (e)(1).
The Secretary shall maintain a list of institutions, sponsored family or group day care homes, and individuals that have been terminated or otherwise disqualified from participation in the program.
The Secretary shall make the list available to State agencies for use in approving or renewing applications by institutions, sponsored family or group day care homes, and individuals for participation in the program.
In accordance with paragraph (3), a State agency that fails to meet timeframes for providing an opportunity for a fair hearing and a prompt determination to any institution under paragraph (1) in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary, shall pay, from non-Federal sources, all valid claims for reimbursement to the institution and the facilities of the institution during the period beginning on the day after the end of any regulatory deadline for providing the opportunity and making the determination and ending on the date on which a hearing determination is made.
The Secretary shall provide written notice to a State agency at least 30 days prior to imposing any liability for reimbursement under paragraph (2).
A State is not required to provide a hearing to an institution concerning a State action taken on the basis of a Federal audit determination.
If a State does not provide a hearing to an institution concerning a State action taken on the basis of a Federal audit determination, the Secretary, on request, shall afford a hearing to the institution concerning the action.
In this subsection, the term “Dietary Guidelines” means the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published under section 5341 of title 7.
Except as provided in subparagraph (C), reimbursable meals and snacks served by institutions, family or group day care homes, and sponsored centers participating in the program under this section shall consist of a combination of foods that meet minimum nutritional requirements prescribed by the Secretary on the basis of tested nutritional research.
The review required under clause (i) shall include a review of the cost to child care centers and group or family day care homes resulting from updated requirements for meals and snacks served under the program under this section.
Not later than 18 months after the completion of the review of the meal pattern under clause (i), the Secretary shall promulgate proposed regulations to update the meal patterns for meals and snacks served under the program under this section.
The minimum nutritional requirements prescribed under subparagraph (A) shall not prohibit institutions, family or group day care homes, and sponsored centers from substituting foods to accommodate the medical or other special dietary needs of individual participants.
The Secretary may elect to waive all or part of the requirements of this subsection for emergency shelters participating in the program under this section.
Institutions, family or group day care homes, and sponsored centers shall ensure that reimbursable meal service contributes to the development and socialization of enrolled children by providing that food is not used as a punishment or reward.
If an institution, family or group day care home, or sponsored center provides fluid milk as part of a reimbursable meal or supplement, the institution, family or group day care home, or sponsored center shall provide the milk in accordance with the most recent version of the Dietary Guidelines.
An institution, family or group day care home, or sponsored center that elects to make a substitution authorized under this paragraph shall not be required to provide beverages other than beverages the State has identified as acceptable substitutes.
Subject to subparagraph (B), in conducting management evaluations, reviews, or audits under this section, the Secretary or a State agency may disregard any overpayment to an institution for a fiscal year if the total overpayment to the institution for the fiscal year does not exceed an amount that is consistent with the disregards allowed in other programs under this chapter and recognizes the cost of collecting small claims, as determined by the Secretary.
In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary and a State agency shall not disregard any overpayment for which there is evidence of a violation of a criminal law or civil fraud law.
The Secretary shall make available for each fiscal year to each State agency administering the child and adult care food program, for the purpose of conducting audits of participating institutions, an amount of up to 1.5 percent of the funds used by each State in the program under this section, during the second preceding fiscal year.
Subject to clause (ii), for fiscal year 2016 and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary may increase the amount of funds made available to any State agency under subparagraph (A), if the State agency demonstrates that the State agency can effectively use the funds to improve program management under criteria established by the Secretary.
The total amount of funds made available to any State agency under this paragraph shall not exceed 2 percent of the funds used by each State agency in the program under this section, during the second preceding fiscal year.
The Secretary shall issue regulations directing States to develop and provide for the use of a standard form of agreement between each sponsoring organization and the family or group day care homes or sponsored day care centers participating in the program under such organization, for the purpose of specifying the rights and responsibilities of each party.
An agreement under paragraph (1) shall remain in effect until terminated by either party to the agreement.
A State participating in the program established under this section shall provide sufficient training, technical assistance, and monitoring to facilitate effective operation of the program. The Secretary shall assist the State in developing plans to fulfill the requirements of this subsection.
Expenditures of funds from State and local sources for the maintenance of food programs for children shall not be diminished as a result of funds received under this section.
States and institutions participating in the program under this section shall keep such accounts and records as may be necessary to enable the Secretary to determine whether there has been compliance with the requirements of this section. Such accounts and records shall be available at any reasonable time for inspection and audit by representatives of the Secretary, the Comptroller General of the United States, and appropriate State representatives and shall be preserved for such period of time, not in excess of five years, as the Secretary determines necessary.
There are hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year such funds as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
In addition to the training and technical assistance that is provided to State agencies under other provisions of this chapter and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.), the Secretary shall provide training and technical assistance in order to assist the State agencies in improving their program management and oversight under this section.
As part of training and technical assistance provided under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide training on a continuous basis to State agencies, and shall ensure that such training is provided to sponsoring organizations, for the identification and prevention of fraud and abuse under the program and to improve management of the program.
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the other provisions of this section apply to an institution described in paragraph (2).
An institution may claim reimbursement under this subsection only for one meal per child per day and one supplement per child per day served under a program organized primarily to provide care to at-risk school children during after-school hours, weekends, or holidays during the regular school year.
A meal shall be reimbursed under this subsection at the rate established for free meals under subsection (c).
A supplement shall be reimbursed under this subsection at the rate established for a free supplement under subsection (c)(3).
A meal or supplement claimed for reimbursement under this subsection shall be served without charge.
An institution participating in the program under this subsection may not claim reimbursement for meals and snacks that are served under section 1769(h) of this title on the same day.
The Secretary shall provide each State agency administering a child and adult care food program under this section with information concerning the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children authorized under section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1786).
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an emergency shelter shall be eligible to participate in the program authorized under this section in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable to eligible institutions described in subsection (a).
The licensing requirements contained in subsection (a)(5) shall not apply to an emergency shelter.
To be eligible to participate in the program authorized under this section, an emergency shelter shall comply with applicable State or local health and safety standards.
A meal or supplement eligible for reimbursement shall be reimbursed at the rate at which free meals and supplements are reimbursed under subsection (c).
A meal or supplement claimed for reimbursement shall be served without charge.
Participating child care centers and family or group day care homes shall make available to children, as nutritionally appropriate, potable water as an acceptable fluid for consumption throughout the day, including at meal times.
The Secretary shall provide technical assistance to institutions participating in the program under this section to assist participating child care centers and family or group day care homes in complying with the nutritional requirements and wellness recommendations prescribed by the Secretary in accordance with this subsection and subsection (g).
At a minimum, the technical assistance required under this paragraph shall include a handbook, developed by the Secretary in coordination with the Secretary for Health and Human Services, that includes recommendations, guidelines, and best practices for participating institutions and family or group day care homes that are consistent with the nutrition, physical activity, and wellness requirements and recommendations of this subsection.
In addition to the requirements of this paragraph, the Secretary shall develop and provide such appropriate training and education materials, guidance, and technical assistance as the Secretary considers to be necessary to comply with the nutritional and wellness requirements of this subsection and subsection (g).
On October 1, 2010, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the Secretary to provide technical assistance under this subsection $10,000,000, to remain available until expended.
The Secretary shall be entitled to receive, shall accept, and shall use to carry out this subsection the funds transferred under clause (i), without further appropriation.