“Farm to Childcare” – Making the connections for kids

Most days the scholars  and policy wonks at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) ponder the complexities of world trade policy, the health hazards of GMOs, and/or the precarious state of the family farm. Then, just when we need it most, they produce a creative, practical, accessible tool that helps us all see the possibilities in an everyday situation.

Just this week IATP issued its Farm to Childcare Curriculum program, a useful guide designed to make the local farm to table story real for young learners/eaters!

IATP collaborated with New Horizon Academy (NHA) to create this kid-ready Farm to Childcare Curriculum. They have also published complementary materials including Farm to Childcare: Highlights and Lessons Learned Report that “tells the story of using that curriculum to start a comprehensive Farm to Childcare program.” Such programs, the designers note, are currently operating at 62 NHA childcare centers throughout Minnesota.

The curriculum package includes a range of resources, including:

  • Designing a Farm to Childcare menu;
  • Implementation schedule;
  • How to highlight local farmers to make the connection real for children;
  • Detailed examples of family engagement strategies;
  • Experiential learning activity suggestions to incorporate the farm to childcare themes into the children’s daily routines.

This summer IATP is building on past experience with their Farm to Head Start pilot program. They’ve been working in partnership with a Head Start program in St Paul and with the Hmong American Farmers Association who farm in Dakota County.

All of the Farm to Childcare resources are available at www.iatp.org/farmtochildren.

The work is supported in part by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Bue Shield of Minnesota

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