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Farm to Early Care and Education (F2ECE) enhances the health and education of young children through the development of policies, processes, and experiential learning practices that connect children and their families to local food and farms. Farm to ECE includes all types of child care environments that incorporate local foods through meals and snacks, taste tests, lessons, farmer visits, cooking, growing food, and/or community and parent involvement.

Organized and facilitated by The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) of NC State, Smart Start of New Hanover County has participated in the North Carolina Farm to Early Care and Education collaborative since 2017. New Hanover County licensed child care facilities that have participated are Children’s Cottage of Wilmington, Kiddie Academy of Wilmington, and The Learning Tree. Joining this project are Children’s Learning Center, Happy Kids, The Learning Center, and Training Up A Child.

Check out one of the many success stories from F2ECE! Kiddie Academy of Wilmington shares how they implemented F2ECE into their everyday practices and center policies, including access to healthy food in their center.

If you are interested in learning more about Farm to Early Care and Education and how this project can help you learn about nutrition, healthy eating, gardening and more, contact LaKeasha Glaspie at