National Farm to Early Care and Education Resources
Farm to early care and education is happening all over the United States and there are plenty of national organizations to learn from, including the USDA, Let’s Move, and the National Farm to School Network.
- USDA Farm to Preschool
Local Foods and Related Activities in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Farm to preschool works to connect early child care and education settings to local food producers with the objectives of serving locally-grown, healthy foods to young children, providing related nutrition education, and improving child nutrition.
- USDA, Grow It, Try It, Like It
Grow It, Try It, Like It! Nutrition Education Kit Featuring MyPlate is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to: three fruits - peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables - spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash
- National Farm to School Network – Farm to Early Care and Education
Cultivating healthy habits for our littlest eaters: The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) began working to expand its robust farm to school networks and expertise to include early care and education (ECE) settings in 2011. Since then, NFSN has acted as a lead convener and facilitator for the farm to ECE movement, providing vision, leadership, and support at state, regional, and national levels. The website includes key resources for Farm to Early Care and Education.
The website is administered by the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and contains many resources, policy information, news, and events.
- Farm to Early Childhood Programs – Michigan Farm to School
A Step-By-Step Guide to starting a farm to early childhood program
- Farm to Child Care Curriculum Package – Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Inside this curriculum package, you will find activity ideas and resources for implementing Farm to Child care at your child care center. Many of these resources are ready to use, while some are examples that offer opportunities for you to customize to your own context. Lesson planning charts are provided to help you introduce the children at your center to locally grown food items and concepts
- Nutrition through the Seasons, SNAP-Ed Connection
Seasonal Produce Guide
- Farm to Preschool Curriculum
Created by the Farm to School Coordinator, Ecotrust Portland, Oregon
- Growing Up Wild
Resource for early childhood educators with a broad focus on nature-based education, including garden activities and healthy recipes
- Early Sprouts
Early Sprouts Institute includes gardening and nutrition curriculum for early care and education settings and trainings for early childhood educators.
- Color Me Healthy
Resources to get kids excited about eating smart and moving more, including teacher’s guide, parent newsletters, posters, and recipes
- Growing Minds – Farm to Preschool
Includes weekly preschool garden newsletters and Farm to Preschool lesson plans
- Harvest for Healthy Kids
Harvest for Healthy Kids gives you everything you need to inspire children with fresh food grown close to home. Download their free activity kits developed by teachers and childcare providers, and join in helping a new generation thrive
- Kids Gardening
As a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, KidsGardening.org offers children learning experiences that begin in the garden and stay with them the rest of their lives — resulting in improved academics, better eating habits, greater environmental stewardship, and ultimately healthier, more secure and engaged communities
- MSU Farm to ECE Webinar Series
This series developed by the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University is designed for early childhood program staff including food service directors, cook staff, administration, teachers, and family day care home providers, and can also be beneficial for those seeking to support farm to ECE efforts.
For questions about this information, contact Shiela Coulton (608) 267-9129