ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationThe lead public advisor on early childcare and education

National organisation for the ECE sector

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Our position is that legally every ECE must be required to be breastfeeding-friendly. Breast-feeding friendly practices must be implemented at every ECE service.  

This is to support families with breastfeeding.  It is also to let new mums know that they do not have to choose between enrolment in ECE and continuing to breastfeed their infant or young child. 

At all ECE services there should be: 

  1. An openness and willingness among staff and managers to learn more about the necessary requirements for supporting breastfeeding in the ECE setting, including correct techniques for storing, handling and feeding expressed breast milk and appropriate complementary feeding.
  2. A written breastfeeding policy outlining support for breastfeeding and breastmilk expression.
  3. An awareness among service managers and staff of their educative role as early childhood education and development specialists. Where appropriate, advising parents about optimal infant nutrition, including ways to continue breastfeeding.
  4. Information provided for parents on accessing health professionals and breastfeeding specialists.
  5. An emphasis on communication between families and staff. This includes written and verbal communication about the ECE service's policies and provisions for breastfeeding, including for storing and preparing expressed breastmilk as well as the parents’ expectations regarding infant feeding, including breastfeeding schedules.
  6.  An understanding of family requests for infant feeding and identifying ways in which staff can support and encourage the breastfeeding relationship.
  7.  Provision of reassurance to mothers experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding, and supporting mums with the time they need. 
  8. A physical and attitudinal environment conducive to parents wanting to stay in the centre and feeling comfortable about breastfeeding and seeing mums breastfeeding.

"When I first started coming here, there were often two or three of us sitting in there breastfeeding away, getting each other glasses of water. It was very easy".

"They have got the parents’ room upstairs and that makes it easy to go up there and feed him and have some quiet time." 

9. A non-judgemental and supportive attitude towards families that make or have already made the decision not to breastfeed or to continue breastfeeding, including knowledge and awareness of correct methods of preparing breastmilk substitutes.

Go to the parent section on our website for more on breastfeeding support.

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