Date of Publication

Spring 1-17-2018


Introduction. Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) is a program of the Nation- al Farm to School Network that aims to extend the core elements of Farm to School into ECE settings with the goal of improving the health of children ages zero to five and enhancing their educational experience with food and nutrition. The purpose of this project was to gather baseline Farm to ECE data for Vermont.

Methods. The 2015 National Survey of Early Care and Education Provider was used to create a 23-question survey. The survey was built with SurveyMonkey and distribut- ed through the Child Development Division.

Results. 600 providers received the survey with 73 respondents. Minimum one meal is served daily at 93% of programs surveyed, and most serve local foods (84%). Most food is purchased from grocery stores (97%), followed by wholesale provid- ers (64%) and farmers markets (43%). Cost and food quality were the most important factors when determining where to buy food. 80% respondents reported they don’t currently engage in Farm to ECE activities; however, when polled on activities at their center 96% of participants who originally answered no, marked at least one activity that qualifies as a Farm to ECE event.

Discussion/Recommendations. Vermont would like to extend the Farm to School Program to 75% of Vermont schools by 2025. Based on the results of this project, we suggest that a similar goal be established for Vermont-based early care programs targeting improved nutrition for Vermont’s youngest children and while supporting local farms and markets.


Heather Link

UVM Larner College of Medicine

Cynthia Greene



Early and Middle Childhood, Nutrition and Weight Status

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Farm to Early Care and Education in Vermont