Farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) is a natural extension of farm to school that offers increased access to healthy, local foods, gardening opportunities and food-based activities to enhance the quality of the educational experience in all types of ECE settings (e.g., preschools, child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start/Early Head Start, programs in K-12 school districts).
Kids win! Farm to ECE can increase children’s willingness to try healthy foods and create positive, powerful connections to food and community at a critical time in their lives. These enhanced experiential education opportunities engage children in a fun and productive way that aligns with Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards.
Farmers win! Farm to ECE can represent a new wholesale market opportunity for growers. It also gives farmers the chance to connect with potential customers and grow the next generation of farmers.
Communities win! Farm to ECE is a strategy that aims to strengthen a community’s food security and create lasting connections among farmers, suppliers, ECE professionals, parents, caregivers, and children.
In Pennsylvania, the Ready Set Grow aims to advance farm to early care and education across the Commonwealth to the benefit of kids, farmers and communities.