Is It Worthwhile to Claim a 20-Cent Snack from the Food Program?
By Tom Copeland
All providers are eligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. You can receive a higher reimbursement amount (Tier I) if you qualify: you are low income, you serve low-income children, or you live in a low-income neighborhood.
If you don’t meet one of these qualifications, you will receive a lower reimbursement amount (Tier II). Providers will receive $0.73 for a snack under the Tier I rate, but only $0.20 under the Tier II rate (2014-2015 rates). Some providers think it’s not worthwhile to claim an 20-cent snack. Are they right? Let’s look at this example:
If you claim a 20-cent snack for the entire year, the total reimbursement for one child will be $52 ($0.20 a day x 5 days a week x 52 weeks). If you care for four children, the total is $208 ($52 x 4). If it takes you five minutes a day to record these snacks, this will amount to 21.7 hours a year (5 minutes a day x 5 days per week x 52 weeks). If we divide $208 by 21.7 hours, you will have earned $9.58 per hour for doing the paperwork. If it takes you only two and a half minutes per day, you will be earning $19.16 per hour. Conclusion: It is still worthwhile to claim a 20-cent snack. Don’t throw away this opportunity to earn money for your business.
Another reason for staying on the Food Program is that many parents are concerned about the nutritional quality of the food providers serve their children. If you decide to leave the Food Program, parents may be strongly opposed to your decision. You could lose some parents who would prefer to enroll with another provider who is on the Food program and can guarantee that their children will receive nutritious meals.
If you have further questions, see the latest edition of the Family Child Care Tax Workbook and Organizer, by Tom Copeland, available at www.nafcc.org.
Copyright 2014 Tom Copeland, www.tomcopelandblog.com