The Sunrise Children’s Center, an early childhood education center that is a program of the Regional Services and Education Center (RSEC), was recently recognized for its commitment to creating an environment and flexibility that encourages and enables mothers to breastfeed on site. The center won a 2019 Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Award from the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force. As a result, Sunrise is now listed as a “breastfeeding friendly” childcare center.
The New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force aims to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. “When childcare programs become strong partners and advocates in encouraging and supporting mothers to continue to breastfeed, the benefits to families are enormous. Childcare programs themselves also benefit from the improved health status of the children in their care. Knowing that you actively support and encourage breastfeeding mothers and babies could lead to families choosing your program over others and could make a key difference in a mother’s decision to initiate and continue to breastfeed her baby,” according to the task force website.
“At Sunrise, we have been making continuous efforts to ensure that we are a breastfeeding friendly center. This has included updating our breastfeeding friendly policy, stocking our breastfeeding room, crafting informational brochures that are available in our infant rooms and office area and participating in trainings on breastfeeding friendly policies. We’re so pleased about this designation and are truly committed to the cause,” said Lorraine Greer, director of Sunrise.
Sunrise is an early childhood education center. Its range of programs offer many options for families. The center offers full-day and half-day programs for children ages six weeks to age four, before and after-school and vacation programs for children up to fourth grade. It also offers before and after-school care and programming on school holidays, snow days and vacation weeks.
A childcare setting that is designated as Breastfeeding Friendly must include the following:
- Provides an atmosphere that welcomes breastfeeding families with breastfeeding promotion messages and designated spaces to nurse or express milk
- Helps mothers continue to breastfeed when they return to work or school
- Makes breastfeeding resources and referrals available to parents
- Feeds infants on demand and learns individual hunger cues
- Coordinates feeding times with parent’s pick up and drop off schedule
- Trains staff so they are able to support breastfeeding parents and children
- Has a written breastfeeding policy that is followed by staff and shared with families
Sunrise will be awarded a certificate and a “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” window cling, which designates the center as a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care program. The certificate and recognition is valid for two years.
Natasha Eleftheriou and Sarah Dupuis of RSEC’s Sunrise Children’s Center show off their 2019 Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Award presented by the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force. World Breastfeeding week was celebrated August 1 to 7, 2019.