Monitoring visits must be conducted by sponsoring authority staff. A sample monitoring form is available on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website in the Food and Nutrition Service section, under Child and Adult Care Food Program for Centers (CACFP), Sponsor Monitoring. Please note that all review elements on the sample monitoring form must be included on any other sponsor-designed form. Documentation of all visits must be kept on file for three years after the last paid allowable claim in the federal fiscal year to which they pertain.
• Preoperational Site Visit - Needed for all new sites before CACFP operations begin.
• Regular Sites and At-Risk After School Meal Programs:
To maintain program integrity, it is recommended that all three monitoring visits include observation of a meal service that will be claimed for reimbursement.
Frequency of Visits:
• Sponsors must monitor their sites three times per year.
• Two of the three monitoring visits must be unannounced.
• At least one unannounced visit must be conducted during a meal service.
• Not more than six (6) months can lapse between visits.
Site Visits Must Include:
• A Five Day Meal Count Reconciliation. This is a check of the meal counts for the previous five days to determine if there are any problem claiming patterns. If problems are noted, the review must be expanded to examine the meal counts for 30 days. Documentation is required on all follow-up.
• Document all follow-up and corrective actions taken for any problems noted.
Sponsors must have edit checks in place to ensure the accuracy of submitted claims. Routine edit checks should be in place to ensure that the number of meals claimed does not exceed the number of participants in attendance or the facilities licensed capacity. The sponsor must also have the following edit checks in their procedures for processing claims:
• Check to make sure that the meal types being claimed (i.e., breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, At-Risk breakfast, lunch or supper and snack) are approved to be claimed on the site application.
• Note: Sponsors must have a household contact procedure as part of its review process and oversight of sites. This procedure should also be included in the claims processing procedures. A copy of the household contact procedure is available on the MDE website. Adult day care and At-Risk and emergency shelter sites are exempt.
• Sponsors of multiple sites must identify “key staff” at each site that has direct CACFP responsibilities. Key site staff must be trained prior to new site participation and operation.
• Annual training must be provided to ensure that all key site staff and monitors can operate the program with confidence and accuracy. Attendance is mandatory. Provide annual training for any staff unable to attend mandatory training session.
• Documentation of the specific training must be on file.
Who are the “key site staff” persons? Any individual at the site who is responsible for one of more of the following functions:
• Menu planning.
• Meal service.
• Meal counts.
• Claims review procedures and/or submitting claims.
• Approval of Household Income Statements (HISs).
Key site staff and monitors must receive yearly training on the critical content areas:
• Meal patterns.
• Meal counts.
• Claims review procedures and submitting the monthly claim.
• Record-keeping requirements.
• CACFP reimbursement process.
Persons responsible for monitoring the sites must receive thorough training before they monitor facilities and annually thereafter. They must also receive training on the specific monitoring form elements in order to know and understand what is expected from the monitoring visit and the required follow-up activities.
All other CACFP administrative or site staff must receive annual training.
Other useful training topics may include: specific documentation or procedures required by the sponsor; CACFP enrollment forms; diet statements; infant room issues; meal service styles, refills and/or second servings; sanitation and food safety; infant, childhood or elderly nutrition concerns; dealing with picky eaters; issues with vended meals; or cooking activities with participants. These topics include “nice-to-know” information. The “need-to-know” topics are the critical content areas for CACFP and must be included in the annual training for the key staff and monitors.
Documentation of the annual training must include:
• Training date(s).
• Location(s)/specific topic(s) covered.
• Names of participants in attendance.
Documentation of the training is checked as part of the administrative review by the state agency.