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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Marshall

2,900 ECE providers across the nation shared the benefits & challenges of Farm to ECE

2021 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey:

Results Briefs and State Level Data Now Available

In 2021, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) launched the 2021 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey. Early Care and Education (ECE) providers were surveyed on current farm-to-ECE initiatives and their reach; motivations, challenges, and supports needed to sustain and expand participation; and the effect, if any, of COVID-19 on farm-to-ECE and local purchasing practices. The survey also gathered information from programs not participating in farm to ECE to better understand the barriers and supports needed.

With a promising 81% of respondents already participating in farm to ECE and 14% planning to start in the future, farm to ECE has steadily gained favor in the ECE community. Providers said they choose farm to ECE to support children’s health (92%), provide experiential learning opportunities (87%), and to teach children about where food comes from and how it grows (87%). Respondents agree, that farm-to-ECE activities help create high-quality learning environments that promote lifelong health and wellness for children and families. Explore the series of briefs dedicated to the survey results as they are published through early Fall to learn more about the survey’s findings and how we can use them to equitably expand farm to ECE.

Explore the briefs, state level data, and other survey resources to learn about the scope and reach of farm to ECE and opportunities to grow the movement. See the results and resources at Share these exciting results and show how farm to ECE supports healthy futures for all children.

The CACFP Roundtable is pleased to have Sophia Riemer, MPH, RDN from the National Farm to School Network join us at the Annual CACFP Roundtable conference to share more about the survey in her breakout session "Aligning CACFP and Farm to ECE: Findings from the 2021 National Farm to ECE Survey." Learn more about her session and the whole conference agenda here.


The CACFP Roundtable is committed to fostering a community of leaders who work together to build equitable access to the Child and Adult Care Food Program and nutritious meals in care settings. Your support goes toward programs and advocacy that help us get closer to ensuring everyone has the right to nutritious meals and making the CACFP an even better Food Program for all.

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