top of page
Toddlers in Daycare

Child Care Centers

Any public or private nonprofit center, or any for-profit center that is licensed or approved to provide nonresidential child care services to enrolled children, primarily of preschool age, including but not limited to daycare centers, settlement houses, neighborhood centers, Head Start centers and organizations providing day care services for children with disabilities. Childcare centers may participate in the Program as independent centers or as sponsored sites.

Eligibility Guidelines



       Child Care Centers, whether they are public institutions, nonprofit or for-profit organizations, must meet the following criteria:


  • Be licensed by federal, state, or local authorities to provide child care, or exempt from licensure (and has documentation of exemption when required);

  • Provide nonresidential child care;

  • If a nonprofit, have tax exemption under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

  • If a for-profit child care center, outside-school-hours care center, or at-risk afterschool care center, demonstrate that either one of the below conditions was true during the month preceding initial application or renewal:

    • 25% of the enrolled children or 25% of the licensed capacity (whichever is less) are eligible for free or reduced-price meals; or

    • 25% of the enrolled children or 25% of the licensed capacity (whichever is less) receive Title XX benefits and the center receives compensation from amounts granted to Texas under Title XX;

  • If an emergency shelter provides temporary shelter and food services to homeless children, including a residential child care institution (RCCI) that services a distinct group of homeless children who are NOT enrolled in the RCCI’s regular program; and meet applicable state and local health and safety standards.

  • Complete an application for participation, submit all required application documentation and enter into a Permanent Agreement Between Sponsoring Organization and Child Care Site – Sponsoring Organization Provides Meals/Snacks with Strengthen Our Nation.




A childcare center  is ineligible to participate in the Program if:

  • A member of the organization’s governing body, an agent, a consultant, a volunteer, or an employee has been convicted of any activity that occurred during the seven years preceding application or renewal that indicates a lack of business integrity. A lack of business integrity includes fraud, antitrust violations, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, receiving stolen property, making false claims, obstruction of justice, or any other activity indicating a lack of business integrity.

  • The organization, or a principal within the organization, is on the National Disqualified List (NDL), or the Texas Excluded SFSP List (TEXSL).

  • The organization’s, or any principal’s participation in a publicly funded program was terminated for violating that program's requirements during the seven years preceding application or renewal, and eligibility to participate in that program has not been reinstated. A publicly funded program is defined as any program or grant funded by federal, state, or local government. An organization must submit documentation that demonstrates that the program noncompliance was corrected and that eligibility to participate in that program was reinstated, including repayment of any funds owed if applicable. The organization’s application will not be approved without this documentation.

  • The organization does not meet the eligibility requirements detailed above.

  • The organization does not meet any other criteria as determined by TDA.


      Childcare Centers must submit all information and documentation to Strengthen Our Nation by the 20th day of the month for the request to be effective for that same month. 

      If the information and/or documentation submitted by the childcare center is incorrect or incomplete, TDA will return the incomplete information and request incomplete documentation before approval.


      Submitting incomplete or incorrect information or documentation may result in the effective date being a month or months after the initial submission, so Strengthen Our Nation recommends documents are submitted as early in the month as possible to allow for corrections to be made during the same month.



  • Sites and site staff disqualified or excluded from participation in a Child Nutrition Program may not participate in the CACFP.

  • Sites that lose their license/certification may not be claimed or participate in the CACFP.

    Childcare Centers must submit a copy of the site's current license/certification to provide day care services or exemption from licensing and/or health and safety documentation; 

Accompanied by a copy of the following: (if applicable)

  • Articles of Incorporation, Assumed Name Certificate, or Certificate of Formation;

  • IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exemption (if applicable);

  • Organizational chart; and,

  • Governing Body Awareness


If exempt from licensing, documentation of compliance with health and safety requirements.

NOTE: A site cannot be approved if it does not meet the licensing and/or health and safety requirements.


 Prior to open enrollment, Strengthen Our Nation cannot and will not recruit nor enter into a Permanent Agreement Between Contracting Organization and Child Care Site for the next program year with childcare centers that are currently participating or had participated with a sponsor in the CACFP in the current program year.


    Childcare centers that can document good cause for transferring from a sponsor may, with prior approval from TDA, enter into a Permanent Agreement Between Contracting Organization and Child Care Site with another sponsor at any time during the program year.

If a childcare center wants to transfer to another sponsor, the site must:

  • Request in writing, and receive, prior approval for the transfer from TDA.

  • Demonstrate good cause for the transfer request.

  • Submit a letter to its current sponsor stating the intention to terminate its agreement and the effective date of termination.

     "Good cause" for transferring from the sponsorship of one sponsor to another during the program year is limited to the following conditions:

  • A sponsor denies site access to the Program.

  • A sponsor reduces the level of benefit a site receives under the Program, for example, the sponsor:

    • Will not allow sites to claim suppers or weekend meals because the sponsor does not want to monitor those meal services.

    • Requests and receives approval to withhold more than 15% of the meal reimbursement annually for allowable administrative costs thereby reducing the reimbursement received by the site.

  • Any other good cause as determined by TDA.

***It is the childcare center's responsibility to demonstrate that such conditions exist.***

Example of a Good Cause Transfer:

A site moved to an area where the current sponsor does not provide service.

bottom of page