Brandie Gist, whom provides in-home childcare services, requested review of a proposed decision by the Appellee, Polk County Community, Family and Youth Services (Polk County), who sponsors and administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), proposing termination of Ms. Gist's agreement to participate in the CACFP program and disqualification from future CACFP participation, effective December 20, 2012.
CACFP is a program created by the Agricultural Risk Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. ? 1766. That Act and its regulations dictate the minimum terms of the participation agreement between the sponsor and the home provider.
The regulations at 7 C.F.R. ? 226.16 enumerate reasons why a daycare home may be terminated from CACFP. Being cited as "seriously deficient" and not correcting the deficiency is one cause for termination. A serious deficiency includes the provider's submission of false claims for reimbursement. 7 C.F.R. ? 226.16(l)(2)(ii).
This Agency has noted in previous CACFP decisions that the regulations governing that program are quite strict. While a termination from CACFP may seem harsh, the rationale for the strictness of the regulations is simple. CACFP is funded by public monies; therefore, a provider is required to be accountable to the public for how s/he operates. When such accountability is lacking, the public trust is gone, and the sponsor is required to take appropriate action. Put another way, the sponsor has a duty, no matter how unpleasant at times that duty may be, to hold its child care homes accountable on behalf of the public. Overall this agency does not find the testimony or statements of Ms. Gist credible. The parent audit supports the conclusion of the sponsor.
The termination of Ms. Gist from the Child and Adult Care Food Program is hereby ordered. Ms. Gist will remain on the National disqualified list until such time as the Bureau of Food and Nutrition determines that the serious deficiencies that led to the placement on the list have been corrected, or until seven years have elapsed since the agreement was terminated for cause.