Farm to Early Care & Education (ECE)

“Cultivating healthy habits for our littlest eaters”
– National Farm to School Network

What is “Farm to ECE”?

Farm to Early Care and Education (farm to ECE) promotes child health and well-being through a collection of strategies that are centered in experiential learning, as well as family and community engagement. The three key strategies of farm to ECE include: sourcing local food, school gardens, and food, nutrition, and agriculture education. Collectively, these strategies can ensure that children of all identities and backgrounds can access and learn about local, nutritious food. Farm to ECE strategies extend to all types of ECE settings, including early learning centers, family home programs, preschools, Head Start/Early Head Start, and programs in K-12 school districts.

Connect through our Community of Practice

Learn and share ideas, resources, questions, and best practices with other network members across Washington about gardening, sourcing local food, education, and other food & agriculture topics in ECE settings. Our Community of Practice cultivates connection among farms and ECE settings to work towards an equitable, environmentally responsible food system. Connection is driven through a listserv and regular conference calls. The Washington State Department of Health is the lead organization for this Community of Practice.

Join our Community of Practice and email listserv by following these steps:

  • Click on “Join the Network” in the red toolbar at the top of this page
  • Complete the “Washington State Farm to School Network Membership Form” and select “Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)” as your Community of Practice
  • Members can email the listserv by sending a message to this email address:
  • You can also join the listserv by registering here.

Upcoming conference calls:

Past conference calls:

Current Farm to ECE Community of Practice Members:

Farm to ECE Resources

Establishing and enhancing Farm to ECE programs:

Racial equity assessment tools for Farm to ECE programs:

Food, nutrition, and agriculture education:

Sourcing local food:


Resources for Farm to ECE During COVID-19:

Questions or comments? Please contact us here:
Visit the Department of Health’s Nourished & Active in Early Learning page here and the National Farm to School Network here.

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