Farm to Early Care and Education

Farm to Early Care and Education

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 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).


Early Childhood Gardens

Gardens are a favorite farm to ECE activity as they offer a setting for hands-on nutrition education, access to fresh produce, and opportunities for family engagement.  Whether on a window sill in the classroom or in a raised bed outside, gardens help shape the nutrition environment of early care and education sites around Wisconsin.  

Look below for early learning garden resources to help you plan, implement, and sustain a garden.


Got Dirt

In an effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services' Nutrition and Physical Activity program developed this resource to assist with the implementation of school, community, and child care gardens.


Got Veggies

Got Veggies is a garden-based nutrition education curriculum created with the goal of getting children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Got Veggies? features seven full lesson plans as well as fun recipes and helpful tips for cooking and eating in the garden. 



Cultivating Childhood Wellness through Gardening

This online video training was developed by the Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program and Community GroundWorks in partnership with UW-Extension Life Lab, Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Network, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.


Healthy Bites: A Wisconsin Guide for Improving Childhood Nutrition

This guide is based on current scientific evidence and provides a self-assessment to allow child care programs to freely assess their own environment, program policies, and practices as they relate to nutrition.  



Growing Healthy Children

This garden-based toolkit from Community GroundWorks and the Oneida County Health Department includes age-appropriate activities for ECE sites.


Wisconsin School Garden Network

Youth garden training, support, and resources for ECE providers.


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Information and resources for all components of farm to ECE, both nationally and Wisconsin-specific.