NC Farm to Early Care and Education
Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) enhances the health and education of young children by developing systems and experiential learning that connect children and their families with local food and farms. It includes any type of activities in ECE environments that incorporate local foods through meals and snacks, taste tests, lessons, farmer visits, cooking, growing food, and/or community and parent involvement.
NC Farm to ECE connects local farms with local childcare centers to empower the development of community-based, equitable food systems. To achieve this goal, CEFS and its partner organizations assist in developing food procurement systems, connecting resources and people across food systems and early childhood education, and providing children with experiential ways to engage with food.
NC Farm to ECE seeks to create an equitable food system to ensure that children, regardless of geographic location, race, gender, and socio-economic status, are introduced to and have access to local and healthy food.
To sustain this work, this initiative integrates aspects of Farm to ECE within existing and well-established organizations conducting outreach and training for both childcare facilities and producers, such as NC Cooperative Extension and the NC Partnership for Children.
This initiative helps to lead the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network and serves on the Farm to Early Care and Education Work Group of National Farm to School Network. To learn more and connect your center or ECE program to the movement, visit the NC Farm to Preschool Network page and subscribe to the network newsletter!
NC Farm to Early Care and Education News
New Resource: Serving Local Foods in NC Child Care Centers – Guidance on Food Preparation and Gardening
In collaboration with the Children’s Environmental Health Branch in the Division of Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services, the NC Farm to Preschool Network has released “Serving Local Foods in North Carolina Child Care Centers – Guidance on Food Preparation and Gardening.”