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Gallery+Story: Kids, Vegetable Gardens Growing at Local Day Cares

This summer, El Pasoans will see more than their kids growing at local child care facilities.

Through a program spearheaded by Workforce Solutions Borderplex Child Care Services (CCS), vegetables are being grown by children and their child care providers at over 45 child care facilities.

The projects include two raised vegetable beds per facility, installed with soil ready for planting.

“Getting involved with nature supports the social and emotional development of children.  In this program, the children will learn about the natural elements by taking care of their gardens and watching the vegetables grow over time,” said Vera Olivas, Provider Services Director at Workforce Solutions Borderplex Child Care Services.  “We hope they will want to eat their home-grown vegetables too, as well as including their parents in their new love for gardening.”

The participating child care facilities are found all over El Paso. All are affiliated with the Texas Rising Star (TRS) program which is a voluntary, quality-based child care rating system of child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program.

TRS Certification is available to Licensed Center and Licensed and Registered Child Care Home providers who meet the certification criteria. The TRS Provider certification system offers three levels of certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage providers to attain progressively higher certification requirements leading to a Four-Star level.

With funding it received through the Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions Borderplex invested $20,000 in the Raised Vegetable Garden project which reinforces the point based criteria for child care activities involving natural elements for outdoor environments.

While summer has just begun and the vegetable plants are at various stages, each child care provider is encouraged to continue their outdoor gardening activities as the seasons change.

For more information on the Raised Vegetable Gardens, please contact Vera E. Olivas or call 915-500-7648.  For more information click on Texas Rising Star, or call Workforce Solutions Borderplex at (915) 500-7666.

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