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Update: Home-Based Child Care Providers Need Help Accessing Nutrition Supports

New Mexico’s home-based child care providers need more support in accessing federal nutrition subsidies, according to new research by the CCPI team and our partners at the UNM Health Sciences Center. The research focuses on home-based providers’ access to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which subsidizes the cost of nutritious meals and snacks served to children in child care. You can read our findings in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. They are open access and available without a journal subscription.

New Mexico has some effective policies, such as requiring most home-based providers to participate in CACFP, even if they are license-exempt. But our interviews with CACFP sponsors found some providers still struggle to participate in the program due to barriers to becoming registered with the state. These include the cost of fire extinguishers, required upgrades to providers’ homes, and the cost and fear associated with fingerprint background checks for all members of their households. In the next stage of our research, we’re talking to providers themselves for more insight into their experiences.

The research will be featured at the national Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management conference, and at the 2022 National Child Nutrition Conference. In March, CCPI’s Hailey Heinz moderated a panel featuring the findings at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, alongside former team member Julia Martinez (now at the HSC Clinical and Translational Science Center), longtime CACFP sponsor Adela Trujillo, and Yuka Asaka of the University of Illinois Chicago.

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