ECE Nutrition

Similar to our state-funded contributions to K-12 meals, policymakers should fund a per-meal reimbursement for all early childhood education programs that participate in the federally funded Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

CFPA Primary Contact

Elyse Homel Vitale
Nutrition Policy Advocate
510.433.1122 ext. 206


6.11.14 Budget Conference Committee eliminates Assembly's ECE Nutrition proposal
5.29.14 Budget Conference Committee conferees announced
5.22.14 Assembly Budget Subcommittees pass $10.1 million ECE nutrition budget item
5.13.14 Governor's Proposed May Revision Budget: No significant increases in child nutrition funding
1.9.14 Governor's Proposed Budget: No significant increases in child nutrition funding

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Subscribe and receive email updates on CFPA sponsored legislation. link

Child Care Nutrition Resources

For more on ECE Nutrition, visit
CFPA's Child Care Nutrition page.

Early Childhood Education: Nutrition Investments



ECE Budget Infographic

Children grow and develop rapidly within the first
five years of life. They need nutritious diets to support
a healthy start. Having access to healthy foods early in
life also helps children develop long-term, healthy eating
habits. However, serving nutritious foods is a heavy and
all-too-often unmanageable financial burden for many early
childhood educators, particularly those serving our most
disadvantaged kids.

State budget conditions are improving – and it's time
for policymakers to acknowledge the value of investing in
early childhood nutrition. A small, state-funded contribution
to each nutritious meal served in early childhood education
settings (similar to the State's investment in school meals)
can bolster the financial stability of early childhood educators,
improve the overall quality of care, support crucial brain
development, and prepare our youngest children for success
in kindergarten.

Updates & News

Advocacy Materials

  • Who to Contact?

    From June 2 to June 9 the Budget Conference Committee will meet to resolve any differences between the Assembly and Senate’s budget proposals. Advocacy should be targeted to Conference Committee Conferees.

    Conferee contact list. PDF

  • Budget Alert

    Share this leave-behind document with Budget Conference Committee Conferees. PDF

  • Sample Call Script

    Use these instructions and sample script to call your local legislators reminding them of your support for ECE Nutrition Investments. PDF

  • Sample E-Mail

    Use these instructions to send a brief e-mail to your local legislators reminding them of your support for ECE Nutrition Investments. PDF

  • Sample Letter of Support

    Personalize this sample letter of support to tell the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees why investments in ECE nutrition are valuable and needed! doc

Supporting Documents

Useful Background Materials

  • California Legislation Related to ECE Nutrition

    AB 290 (2013) – Chaptered link

    AB 1872 (2012) – Vetoed link

    AB 2084 (2010) – Chaptered link

  • Relevant Articles

    Nutrition and Physical Activity Environments in Licensed Child Care: A Statewide Assessment of California. CFPA, Samuel & Associates, Center for Weight & Health, 2009. Relevant findings: Sites participating in CACFP served more healthful foods and beverages than non-CACFP sites. PDF

    Improving Early Care Obesity Prevention Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Nemours, 2013. Relevant findings: Financial incentives were found to be a successful strategy to improve the nutritional quality of meals and snacks served. PDF

    Obesity Is Found to Gain Its Hold in Earliest Years. The New York Times, 2014. Relevant findings: “A major new study of more than 7,000 children has found that a third of children who were overweight in kindergarten were obese by eighth grade. And almost every child who was very obese remained that way.” PDF

  • Additional Background Materials

    CACFP meal pattern chart link

    CACFP eligibility for child care centers and homes link

    CACFP reimbursement rates for child care centers and homes in California link

    Child Care in California, data from the California Resource & Referral Network PDF

Page last updated 6.17.2014