Here is a short, easy-to-use checklist of the key indicators of the breastfeeding-friendliness of an early childhood centre, kindy or daycare.
It has been developed by My ECE in consultation with Dr Sarah Alexander following research undertaken in ECE centres and a review of the international literature in conjunction with Dr Judith Galtry.
The Early Childhood Centre Breastfeeding-Friendly Checklist
1. There is a comfortable dedicated space (e.g. not the staff office, storeroom, or the toilet) that is private, with comfy armchairs, access to fresh drinking water for parents and older siblings, and good-sized cushions/pillows.
2. The adults are relaxed about and happy for mothers to breastfeed in the main play area if they choose.
3. The adults make a point of asking parents at the time of enrolment about breastfeeding and infant nutrition and what they can do to support them and their infant. The adults continue to have ongoing communication with parents about this after enrolment.
4. The adults demonstrate in their conversations and in their actions that they are non-judgemental, supportive, and knowledgeable about breastfeeding.
5. The adults show they are comfortable with mothers' breastfeeding an older infant or toddler and support this.
6. There is a written breastfeeding policy that management and parents can use to remind staff and share with new staff that supporting breastfeeding is one of their key roles.