Farm to Early Care and Education
Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) is a set of strategies that addresses community health outcomes by engaging early care and education sites in the three core elements of Farm to School: local food procurement, education and gardening.
The preschool years are a formative time when children begin to develop their own taste preferences and model adult habits and behaviors. National farm to school research shows that making changes in childcare facilities may help children become more willing to try fruits and vegetables at school and home and increase children’s knowledge on healthy eating, gardening and agriculture.
University of Idaho Extension, in partnership with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, connects childcare providers with curriculum, resources, marketing materials and fresh local foods. Our statewide Farm to ECE implementation includes:
- Connecting early care providers with local farmers and local products
- Increasing children’s exposure to nutritious, fresh and local foods
- Developing an Idaho specific curriculum using an experiential education “Harvest of the Month” approach
- Establishing on-site school gardens and gardening activities
- Making workshops and trainings available to IdahoSTARS certified providers
- Engaging parents and families in Farm to ECE activities
Contact us to inquire about University of Idaho Extension Farm to ECE programs and resources.