Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 4: Nutrition and Food Service

4.4 Staffing

4.4.0 Food Service Staff by Type of Facility and Food Service

Each center-based facility should employ trained staff and provide ongoing supervision and consultation in accordance with individual site needs as determined by the nutritionist/registered dietitian. In centers, prior work experience in food service should be required for the solitary worker responsible for food preparation without continuous on-site supervision of a food service manager. For facilities operating six or more hours a day or preparing and serving food on the premises, the following food service staff requirements should apply:

Setting Food Service Staff
Small and large family child care homes Caregiver/teacher and/or helper (note: some large homes must have a helper)
Centers serving up to 30 children Full-time child care Food Service Worker (cook)
Centers serving up to 50 children Full-time child care Food Service Worker (cook) and part-time child care Food Service Aide
Centers serving up to 125 children Full-time child care Food Service Manager or full-time child care Food Service Worker (cook) and full-time child care Food Service Aide
Centers serving up to 200 children Full-time child care Food Service Manager and full-time child care Food Service Worker (cook) and one full-time plus one part-time child care Food Service Aide
Vendor food service One assigned staff member or one part-time staff member, depending on amount of food service preparation needed after delivery
Trained personnel are essential workers in the food service of facilities to assure the maintenance of nutrition standards required in these facilities (1-6). Home cooking experience is not enough when large volumes of food must be served to children and adults. The type of food service, type of equipment, number of children to be fed, location of the facility, and food budget determine the staffing patterns. An adequate number of food service personnel is essential to ensure that children are fed according to the facility’s daily schedule. If a facility that operates for six or more hours a day serves only food brought from home, food service staff is needed to oversee the appropriate use of such food.
The food service staff may not necessarily consist of full-time or regular staff members but may include some workers hired on a consulting or contractual basis. Resources for food service staff include vocational high school food preparation programs, university and community college food preparation programs, and trade schools that train cooks and chefs.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
Appendix C: Nutrition Specialist, Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist, Consultant, and Food Service Staff Qualifications
  1. Benjamin, S. E., ed. 2007. Making food healthy and safe for children: How to meet the national health and safety performance standards – Guidelines for out of home child care programs. 2nd ed. Chapel Hill, NC: National Training Institute for Child Care Health Consultants.
  2. Enders, J. B. 1994. Food, nutrition and the young child. New York: Merrill.
  3. Pipes, P. L., C. M. Trahms, eds. 1997. Nutrition in infancy and childhood. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  4. Briley, M. E., C. Roberts-Gray. 1999. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition standards for child-care programs. J Am Diet Assoc 99:981-88.
  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service. 2009. USDA recipes for child care. http://teamnutrition
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. 2008. Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. Rev ed.