Farm to Early Care & Education

Creating a Farm to Early Care & Education (ECE) Program

Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) is a nutrition education program that aims to give children, ages 1 to 5, the opportunity to learn about healthy, local foods through:

  • Gardening
  • Cooking activities
  • Taste tests
  • Field trips
  • Farmer visits
  • Meals and snacks
  • Nutrition lessons

Farm to ECE is different from other nutrition education curriculums because it teaches children where food comes from and how it is grown. When children help to grow or prepare fruits and vegetables, they’re more willing to try them!

Farm to ECE Goals

  • To increase access to nutritious food and experiential opportunities in an effort to grow healthy children.
  • To positively influence the eating habits of young children while their food preferences are forming.

Farm to ECE Program Expectations

Child care programs will provide the following:

  • A weekly gardening activity
  • A weekly nutrition education activity
  • A monthly communication to parents about program activities
  • A monthly update on activities you’ve completed

Colorado Shine Points

colorado shines logo
Meeting the Farm to ECE program guidelines can count towards Colorado Shines points for levels 3-5. Specifically, points can be allotted related to:

  • Standard 5.6: Program offers nutrition information and education programs, annually, led by nutritionist or registered dietitian (2 points possible)
  • Standard 5.7: Program has a garden and serves fruits/vegetables from the garden for children to taste (2 points possible)

Farm to ECE Support

Boulder County Public Health staff is available to support your program. You will be provided with:

  • A toolkit with monthly calendars of activities and a blank calendar. Calendar activities are not mandatory but we’ll ask for an update on the activities you’ve completed each month. If you are implementing your own activities/curriculum, you can add your activities on the blank calendar. Calendars can be shared with Tori Lee.
  • A template for family communication is provided with each calendar. You may use the template or create your own communication.

Readiness Self-Assessment

Complete this form to understand if your child care program is ready to implement the program.
Self-Assessment Form

Boulder County Farm to Early Care & Education Participants

FacilityCityAddressPhone
Aspen Center for Child DevelopmentLongmont501 5th Ave.303-772-4320
Aspen Grove PreschoolNederland303-258-0390
Boulder BilingualBoulder2700 29th St.303-815-8086
Boulder Day NurseryBoulder1518 Spruce St.303-442-7605
Children’s Alley @ YWCA of BoulderBoulder2222 14th St.303-449-1951
Children’s House PreschoolBoulder3370 Iris Walk Ct.303-444-6432
Cottage School LongmontLongmont1941 Terry St.303-651-3780
Exploring MindsErie4051 NE County Line Rd.303-828-3452
Family Learning CenterBoulder3164 34th St.303-442-8979
Here We GrowLongmont630 15th Ave #105720-600-5927
Jumpstart Early Learning CenterLongmont209 S Bowen St.303-776 1692
Junior Jets Child Development CenterLongmont2175 17th Ave.720-652-6626
Miss Catherine’s Creative Learning CenterBoulder6525 Gunpark Dr. #340303-530-1820
Mount Calvary Rainbow Child Care CenterBoulder3485 Stanford Ct.303-499-3038
Off Broadway PreschoolBoulder1235 Pine St.303-800-0324
Rainbow Children’s CenterLongmont2100 Collyer St.303-684-7584
YMCA LongmontLongmont950 Lashley St.720-652-4720

Farm to Early Care & Education Impact

The Farm to ECE program has already made an impact in Boulder County.

  • In 2016, the program reached about 540 families.
  • In 2016, around $2,000 in Farmers Market Veggie Bucks were distributed to child care centers and used to buy fruits and vegetables.
  • 92% of centers participating in 2016 reported that as a result of the program, children were more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and children were more likely to try a new vegetable.

Contact Us


Child Health Promotion (CHP) Program

Main: 303-413-7500
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Location

Boulder
3482 Broadway
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Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F