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Barriers and Facilitators of Center-Based ECE Program Participation in the CACFP

In April 2023, the Indiana University CACFP Project Team published a study on the barriers, facilitators, and potential strategies to address center-based participation in the CACFP. One of the key barriers to participation shared by study participants included the cumbersome CACFP paperwork. Facilitators to participation included supports provided by stakeholders and sponsors.

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New Factsheet for ECE Providers from the CDC

CDC created three new fact sheets for Early Care and Education (ECE) providers about Early Child Nutrition and Feeding. The fact sheets offer tips and best practices for supporting breastfeeding families, information about safe storage and handling of breastmilk, and strategies for introducing solid foods.

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First National ECE Workforce Center Launched

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the launch of the new National Early Care and Education Workforce Center. The ECE Workforce Center is the result of a $30 million investment to support research and technical assistance for states, communities, territories, and Tribal Nations to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse and qualified workforce across early care and education programs.

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Getting Started with Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)

Are you interested in using more local foods in your program, but don’t know where to start? Have you heard of Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)? Farm to ECE offers increased access to healthy foods through local procurement, gardening opportunities, and food and agriculture education activities to enhance the quality of educational experiences. Our partners at the National Farm to School Network have great resources to get you going!

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Experiences of Early Child Care and Education Operators During the Pandemic

Female child care provider leaning over a table helping children with craft.

In December 2022, the Indiana University CACFP Project Team released a report describing the child nutrition and care provision experiences among early care and education (ECE) stakeholders, sponsors, and center directors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was conducted in four states and a variety of ECE stakeholders participated. The study identifies six common experiences among ECE stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A Safety Net Unraveling: Feeding Young Children During COVID-19

The study proposes critical steps to repair our nation’s fragile ECE system, including greater investment in CACFP, to ensure the nutrition, health, and development of young children during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Taking steps to fix our previous underinvestment in these areas is essential for the nation’s future and recovery from the pandemic.

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