Child care centers may not be getting state reimbursement

Friday, February 14, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Hundreds of eligible child care centers are missing out on federal money they could be getting to reimburse them for the cost of feeding their children, a state official said Thursday.

About 1,000 Missouri child care centers currently are signed up for the Missouri Child and Adult Care Food Program, said Ann McCormack, chief of the state Bureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance.

To sign up for the federal money, child care centers must either be nonprofit or have one-quarter of their children receiving assistance from the state.

If child care centers meet that threshhold, a federal program will reimburse them for meals -- no matter how rich or poor the children are.

The child care centers receive greater aid if the children's family income is less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $23,500 for a family of four.

McCormack said the program's only requirement is that the centers serve nutritious food to their children.

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