- How It Works
- Online Claiming
- Benefits for Sponsors
- Training & Support
What is Minute Menu HX?
Minute Menu HX is a comprehensive CACFP management system for Sponsors, designed both to radically reduce operating costs by automating virtually all aspects of a Sponsor's operation and to substantially improve program integrity by helping ensure federal and state policies are accurately and easily followed. It is used by about 300 sponsors in 40 states covering 85,000 family child care providers -- roughly 60% of the food program nationwide has chosen to use Minute Menu because the features it offers (and the support we provide our Sponsors) are without comparison. And it's used by Sponsors with anywhere from 20 family child care homes to 5,000 family child care homes. So regardless where you are, or how large your food program is, Minute Menu is for you!
Minute Menu helps Sponsors manage all aspects of their operations, allowing detailed analysis and reporting on:
- Provider files
- Child files
- Home visit / review files
- Claim files
- Menu & attendance records
- Provider payments (checks & direct deposits)
- Provider training
- Messages / call logs & issue (corrective action) tracking
Besides providing detailed management tools (with over 100 reports) in each of those areas, it also automates several key areas of your operation:
- Claim processing
- Home visit planning & tracking
- Annual child re-enrollments
The most useful automation tool that it provides is claim processing. Minute Menu HX will actually examine meal & attendance records for you, determine which meals are valid and which ones aren't, check a provider's capacity, make sure school aged children aren't claimed when they shouldn't be, ensure no child is claimed more than 2 meals & a snack (or 2 snacks & a meal)... it actually performs over 150 edit checks on every food, every child, every meal, every day. And from these edit checks, it produces a claim for each provider with Tier 1 & Tier 2 meal counts and a detailed error letter that the provider can review (in English or Spanish).
What makes this possible is Minute Menu's automated data collection. Providers can submit claims via the Internet using our Minute Menu Kids system, they can submit claims on scannable forms (in several different formats), or they can submit traditional paper claims, and you can use Minute Menu to automate the processing of all these claims. It saves a tremendous amount of time. More importantly, it dramatically improves your program integrity: it is simply impossible for a human being to do all the checks the food program requires, accurately, on every claim. It's just too much work. When Minute Menu does it, it applies the same rules to every claim every time, so that you can be certain that your claims are being processed consistently. It virtually eliminates audit findings related to claim processing.
Its the beginning of the month. You're preparing claims. Your Providers have been recording their meals each day with easy-to-use Internet software. You sit down in front of your computer. You point and click a few times. And you're done with your claim.
- Your state claim is prepared - summarizing Tier 1 and Tier 2 Hi, Lo, and Mixed Provider meal counts, with the exact detail required by your state.
- Provider meal counts and error reports are ready - including a reason for every disallowed meal to help train your Providers.
- Provider claim reimbursement checks are printed - with adjustments itemized on their check stubs. Direct deposits are made as well.
What's even better, your employees are out in the field training Providers, not combing through paperwork! And you process this entire claim with the knowledge that you won't have any troubles when the auditors come.
For more information, contact us and we can send you a full interest packet describing the software in detail.
For CACFP management software for Sponsors look no further than Minute Menu Systems. We are your #1 source for childcare management software specializing in child and adult care management programs. Contact us today at (972) 671-5211 to learn how Minute Menu Systems can help with your CACFP software needs.
How does Minute Menu HX work?
Minute Menu HX gives you many options, so you can easily manage claims from ALL of your providers, whether they have a computer or not!
Each Provider with access to the Internet will submit their claim on-line. If you choose to purchase a scanner (which is necessary with the Minute Menu HX Full license, but not the Lite license), then the remainder of your providers can submit claims on scannable forms which are then fed into a high speed NCS Pearson scanner for processing. Alternatively, you can enter claims by hand when they are submitted by Providers on hand-written meal & attendance forms.
Regardless how a provider sends their claim to you, the Minute Menu HX Claims Processor will determine how much those Providers should be reimbursed. The system will issue error letters with details on any problems with nutrition, child enrollment or schedules, or any other area of their claim. The system even automatically checks for block claims -- and will automatically reschedule upcoming reviews to ensure you meet with the 60 day block claim follow up requirement!
And that's really only the tip of the iceberg!
For more information, contact us and we can send you a full interest packet describing the software in detail.
Launching October 2015: KidKare
KidKare—the future of online claiming—is launching this October at the CCFP Roundtable conference at Universal Studios in California! KidKare.com is the replacement for WebKids and Minute Menu Kids that you and your providers have been waiting for!
Say goodbye to WebKids and hello to freedom:
- 100% of CACFP recordkeeping on any device: phone, tablet, or computer… including Macs!
- Enroll children (and collect parent signatures) online
- Log in/out times with a quick tap on the screen
- Send claims to sponsor from a phone or tablet
- Everything saved on the server as soon as it’s typed
Get ready to be blown away by how easy KidKare is to use!
- De-cluttered design
- Streamlined functions
- Super-fast performance
KidKare.com is a responsive website—which means it looks great on any size screen and there’s no special software to install. You can use it from any browser—Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari—on any platform—PC, Mac, Andriod or iOS. And just like our current online claiming, all of the provider data is stored safely on our servers in real time.
KidKare is what you’ve been waiting for. A single solution for all of your providers and all of their devices. A way to make food program recordkeeping easier than it’s ever been—making staying in compliance easier than it’s ever been.
Be there when we make CACFP history in California this October. In our exclusive pre-conference you’ll learn how to use KidKare.com to record meals, enroll children, track in/out times, submit claims, and more. You’ll also learn how to develop your rollout plan to implement KidKare with your providers—support tools, training materials, and strategies that work. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the only face-to-face training in 2015 on the future of online claiming for your food program!
Click here for the pre-conference class descriptions.
Click here to register for the CCFP Roundtable Lights! Camera! Take Action! Conference.
Click here to go to www.kidkare.com and sign up for the newsletter to receive updates.
Do all of my providers have to switch at once?
No. Just like when you started online claiming, you’ll make a rollout plan. Each of your providers has the opportunity switch over at the start of any new claim month.
How different is it from WebKids and Minute Menu Kids?
It’s very different—in a good way! The screens are cleaner, it’s easier to navigate, and the functions are easier to use. It’s an entirely new product, from start to finish.
Is there an upgrade fee? What’s the cost per claim?
There is no upgrade fee to roll your providers over to KidKare.com, and the cost per claim is the same as with WebKids/Kids.
What’s the deadline for all of my providers to switch over?
There is no deadline yet, but the deadline for implementing the new meal pattern will be the deadline for switching your providers over to KidKare.com. We will not be updating WebKids or Kids with the new meal pattern rules, whatever they end up being.
What do we have to do on our end to make this work with our Minute Menu HX?
Nothing. Your foods will stay the same. Your settings will stay the same. You just have to train your providers and have them start using KidKare. And we’ll have plenty of resources to help you do that.
Do we have to do something different to process the KidKare.com claims?
No. They will import into HX during Transfer Data just like the current online claims do.
Can my providers with Pro use it?
The Pro accounting features won’t be available until Spring 2016. In the meantime your providers who have subscriptions to the Pro features can keep using Minute Menu Kids, or they can switch to KidKare for their claims and keep using Minute Menu Kids Pro for their accounting only. We recommend that they wait though, if possible, so that all of their records can stay in one place.
What training materials will we have to use? Will we have help from Minute Menu to get our providers moved over?
We’ll be with you every step of the way and provide as many training materials as we can create! They will include videos, e-learning, webinars, and paper training materials. We’ll even be offering face-to-face training at the Roundtable Conference in October 2105. Keep an eye on our training site, training.minutemenu.com, for updates.
On-line Claiming with Minute Menu Kids
When you choose Minute Menu, you get the best software system available for Food Program Sponsors. But you also get industry leading software for your child care providers to help them claim on-line and even help them with other areas of their child care business.
What is Minute Menu Kids?
Minute Menu Kids is a software that can either be run thru the Internet Explorer web browser or downloaded and installed on a provider's computer. It allows your providers to quickly and easily record their food program claims on-line, completely free. They can enroll children (sending you signed copies of those USDA enrollments, but dramatically reducing your time to deal with new enrollments), withdraw children, mark children as being served a meal, record daily in/out times (if you require that), record foods served, plan foods ahead of time, and submit their claims to you. They can even review claim errors after you process the claim, and print their own direct deposit receipts, which can completely eliminate your monthly paper and postage costs to those providers!
We have extensive supporting material to help you roll out on-line claiming, including color flyers that we can print out with your agency's contact information to help encourage providers to claim on-line. Click here for a sample.
Minute Menu Kids Pro
But with Minute Menu Kids, you get more than just an on-line claiming tool. With an upgrade to Minute Menu Kids Pro, Providers get a wealth of family child care business management tools. They can invoice parents, collect payments from parents electronically, do their taxes (with tips to maximize tax savings), print out certificates for the children, create charts, even put together daily reports for parents. And thanks to our partnership with NAFCC, Minute Menu Kids Pro offers lots of business and child development resources, allowing providers to plan activities and lessons for the kids and otherwise stay totally organized. Minute Menu Kids Pro can be purchased by Providers, or you can buy it at a discount to make it available to all your Providers. Click here for lots of detailed information on Minute Menu Kids and Minute Menu Kids Pro.
Recruit Providers by Offering Free On-Line Claiming
Either way, Minute Menu Kids is a great way to recruit new Providers to your food program. Think especially of those Tier 2 providers that previously dropped off the food program because it was too much work for not enough money. With Minute Menu Kids, you can go back to these Providers and offer them free software to record their food program claim info in seconds, so there's no more paperwork hassle. And to top it off, using Minute Menu Kids Pro they get all kinds of other features to do their taxes and help manage their child care businesses!
For more information, contact us and we can send you a full interest packet describing the software in detail, and we can even give you a demo login to see what on-line claiming will look like for your providers.
Automatically Process Provider Claims
Minute Menu HX will actually read all of your provider menus, determine whether USDA nutrition guidelines have been met, make sure the provider isn't in violation of your state licensing capacity rules, and will then calculate all the Tier 1 and Tier 2 meal counts that the provider is eligible to receive. Automatically. The process that now takes you anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes per claim will take only a few seconds. Imagine how more time you and your field staff will have to work with providers!
Proven to Reduce Administrative Costs
We analyzed a small sample of Sponsors around the nation to find out how much they saved after they began to use Minute Menu.
The results were startling. No other system can offer you a comparable cost reduction, because no other system is as comprehensive nor as automated as Minute Menu.
Proven to Improve Program Integrity
Minute Menu HX performs over 150 individual checks on every meal claimed by your Providers. Every requirement written into regulations has been built into Minute Menu. And we've got the results to prove it. Minute Menu has processed over $2 billion in provider claims since 1993, and almost 300 Sponsors in 40 states representing 85,000 family child care providers throughout the nation trust it to handle their needs. Since Minute Menu has undergone countless audits at the state and federal level, Minute Menu is the only system you can trust to maintain the highest standards of Integrity.
What Sponsors Say About Minute Menu
"I changed our software to Minute Menu in September 2004 to accommodate all the changes taking place in the CACFP. I was not a computer person AT ALL! I was terrified to make the change but I worked very hard on a start up plan and followed it along with help from Minute Menu. It was the best decision I have made in my 21 years as a director. We did not have one complaint from our over 2100 providers. It took the hassle out of processing menus and now after almost a year I can say I don't worry about new regulations from the USDA concerning meal reimbursement. Minute Menu makes changes to it's software to meet the new regulations and we just process our forms as usual. There are so many neat reports that this software creates that help me in ways I didn't even dream of. Our staff has more time and less stress over getting the menus processed on time."
For more information, contact us and we can send you a full interest packet describing the software in detail.
Great Technology & Great Training
What truly makes Minute Menu a great product is not just the product itself. In truth, you can have the greatest software in the world installed on your computers, but if your staff doesn't know how to use it, then your computers are glorified paperweights.
With Minute Menu, you get training and support that is as top notch as the software itself. Our staff includes former sponsors and a former provider, with tremendous expertise in the CACFP and child care. Our team devotes itself to being expert on all the regulations -- including federal regs, state CACFP regs, and state licensing regs. And we truly engage with each of our clients: we try to understand your existing business processes while helping you adapt to the changes that Minute Menu will bring. In fact, we have a detailed new client orientation process that we follow with each new customer -- working with you every step of the way to help you become completely successful with Minute Menu. Transitioning to an automated system as comprehensive as Minute Menu takes time and patience -- and it's a major undertaking for any organization -- but we work with you every step of the way to ensure you craft appropriate goals and timetables, and help follow thru to ensure those goals and timetables are met.
Our team of 15+ people are dedicated solely to meeting the needs of our Sponsors and their providers. Our support team answer calls and emails every Monday thru Friday, 9 to 5 central time. Beyond our support staff, we have over 400 pages of documentation that includes details on every aspect of the software, information on training your providers, and even best practices discussions based on what we've learned from the roughly 300 Sponsors that we already work with. We even offer a biennial training conference, for sponsors and state agency staff, that covers not just the software, but also detailed discussions on CACFP operating best practices unrelated to Minute Menu -- including how to improve the success of your outreach activities.
The value of the support we provide to our customers can't be overestimated -- imagine what would happen if you used software to pay providers and something went wrong within the 5 days regulations give you to cut checks to those providers after you receive funds from the state! If you choose a software vendor that is just one person, what happens when that person isn't available that week? Or what if they decide to stop supporting the software entirely?
All software has bugs -- even Minute Menu will have the occasional glitch. The difference with Minute Menu is that you can always count on our team to be here when you need us, and to remain completely dedicated to your success. Since 1993 we have been completely dedicated to the Food Program, and there is no other place you can turn that has similar resources or a proven track record of success.
And our customers rave about the support we provide. Here's what one of our Sponsors, Valerie from Oregon, said after we helped answer some questions related to food processing rules: "Thanks for helping with the food list-it's amazing what a difference it makes having it fine-tuned and letting the program do most of the work. We LOVE Minute Menu-I haven't had a day when I regretted choosing MM."
Sponsor Software Computer Hardware/Software Requirements
Minute Menu HX is a client-server application. As such, you can use more than one computer with the software, where one computer runs the Minute Menu HX database and all other computers run the application and connect to that single database. Smaller agencies (with fewer than 300 claiming providers) will typically run Minute Menu HX from only one machine. As such, we’ve split our hardware requirements into categories depending upon networking environment and size. Ranges indicate the difference between minimum and recommended requirements:
|Single Machine Install Requirements||Networked Installation|
|Data Entry Workstation||Scanning/Processing Workstation||DB Server|
|RAM||2GB - 4GB||2 GB||4GB - 6GB||4GB - 8GB|
|Processor||1.0 - 3.0+ GHz||500+ MHz||1.0 - 3.0+ GHz||1.5 - 3.0+ GHz|
|Available Hard Disk Space||20GB - 40GB||1GB||5GB||40GB - 60GB|
|Battery Backup||UPS recommended||UPS recommended||UPS recommended||UPS recommended|
Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2, Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista with Service Pack 2, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Not Supported:Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows NT, and older Windows versions.
Large Sponsor Notes: Large Sponsors (with 300+ Providers) will be required to purchase a license for SQL Server 2008 R2, Standard Edition. This requires the Microsoft Windows 2003 Server or Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 operating system. Both the operating system and the database software is available for non-profits at extremely discounted rates (prices vary, see vendors below). We recommend that Large Sponsors have a dedicated database machine for Minute Menu HX (that does not run the Minute Menu HX application), as they will see much better performance within the software. For those Sponsors with existing SQL Server 2005 systems, Minute Menu HX requires a SQL user with database ownership (dbo) privileges on the Minute Menu HX database. Very Large Sponsors (1200+ Providers) may be interested in purchasing a more enterprise-caliber database server, with at least a 3 drive RAID-5 hard disk array to maximize hard disk I/O performance. SQL Server 2000 is no longer supported for HX installations.
Scanners: OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) scanners are the scanners that read the forms that are scanned into HX. In order to be compatible with Minute Menu HX, the scanners must have a pencil read head (not an ink read head). These scanners come in several models that are compatible with Minute Menu HX:
OpScan6, OpScan4, InSIGHT4, OpScan3
The following scanner models are no longer manufactured but are usually compatible with Minute Menu HX if they have a pencil read head:
Sekonic SR-360, Sekonic SR-601, Sekonic SR-700
New scanners must be purchased through Minute Menu. Click here to view our pricing. For additional questions or information, please contact us.
Printers: We do not support dot-matrix printers, except when printing checks. Inkjet, bubble jet, or laser printers are recommended, with speeds of 10ppm (for smaller Sponsors) to 30ppm or greater (for larger Sponsors). When evaluating the speed of a printer, consider printing claim reports: 3 reports of one page each (X) the # of claiming providers = the total number of pages needed.
Sponsor Internet Connectivity / Bandwidth
Dedicated Internet access is required in most cases for Minute Menu HX. This can be in the form of DSL, cable modem, wireless point-to-point, satellite/Direct-TV, or a dedicated telecommunication line like a T1. Below are ranges for required connectivity. If you plan on accessing Minute Menu HX off-site, you may need to greatly exceed these minimums.
|# of Providers||Min. Upstream||Min. Downstream||Equivalent Product|
|0-50||128 Kbps||128 Kbps||ISDN/DSL|
|50-200|| 256 Kbps
|| 256 Kbps
|200-1500|| 512 Kbps
|| 512 Kbps
|| DSL/Cable Modem
|1500+|| 1.5 Mbps
|| 1.5 Mbps
Provider Kids (Internet) Hardware/Software Requirements
See the WebKids User’s Manual for more information. In general, any Windows computer will work for WebKids. Internet Explorer 6.0+ is required. A printer will be required. Internet access of some kind is required; high-speed Internet access is recommended. Macintosh operating systems will only work if Virtual PC is installed, and then only the downloadable Minute Menu Kids software will function.
Sponsor LAN Firewall/Routing Configuration Requirements
The Minute Menu HX system transfers large amounts of information over the Internet via the Transfer Data function. To ensure your data remains completely secure, special encryption mechanisms are used, as well as specific Internet ports. These ports are typically open on an outbound basis, even when Firewalls are used. But any software or hardware Firewall in use must be configured to allow Minute Menu HX to communicate via the Internet. Please contact us for specific information on the ports used, and the connection types employed.
Non-profit agencies can typically acquire licenses for Microsoft Windows & SQL Server at highly discounted rates. For more information, check out either of the following:
- http://www.ccbnonprofits.com/ You can call Consistent Computer Bargains at 800-342-4222, ask for Kevin Rochol ext. 120. You will need to contact Kevin directly for the discounted rates.
- www.techsoup.org You can also call Techsoup at (800) 659-3579 x700
hx2go™ is the perfect tool for conducting provider reviews that integrate seamlessly into your Minute Menu HX™ software. Using your mobile device to conduct provider reviews eliminates double entry and mistakes.
Customize Your Review
Use the Admin site to build the review questionnaire that meets your agency’s needs. Add questions, hide or remove questions, and reorder them with an easy drag-and-drop.
No Internet Connection Needed
No Internet connection is required on site at the provider’s home. Download provider data before you leave the office, and upload completed reviews when you’re back—or from any wireless Internet connection!
Providers and monitors sign the review directly on your mobile device screen. It’s their real signature, saved on screen and printed on the review report that the sponsor and the provider receive.
Click to Import
Reviews import directly into the HX database, where you can check the observed data against the provider’s claim.
One Low Price for Unlimited Reviews
hx2go is just $20/month per monitor. And you authorize each monitor to use the app individually in Minute Menu HX, so you only pay for the monitors that you want to use it.
Known Issues with Version 1.1.0
The following issues are know and are scheduled for the next release.