Early Childhood Connections-Munjor Site has received designation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care, from Child Care Aware of Kansas and the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.

The designation recognizes programs that provide a high level of support to families of breastfeeding babies enrolled in child care. There are five criteria included in the designation.

The facility:

• creates a culturally appropriate breastfeeding-friendly environment.

• has written policies that reflect a commitment to support breastfeeding mothers.

• provides educational materials and information to breastfeeding mothers and family members.

• ensures that staff are trained in the skills needed to support and promote breastfeeding.

• has written policies that reflect a commitment to support breastfeeding employees.

Research shows breastfeeding provides infants the healthiest start in life. However, children who are routinely cared for by someone other than their parents are less likely to be breastfed. When child care programs provide support and encouragement for breastfeeding families, it is easier for mothers to continue breastfeeding after returning to work, thus their babies continue to receive optimal nurturing and nutrition.

Early Childhood Connections-Munjor Slte will receive a certificate and a window cling to market the child care as breastfeeding friendly. In addition, the designation will be recognized in the provider profile information that is distributed to families looking for child care.

"We know that providers who are willing to work with and encourage breastfeeding moms can make huge difference for that family," said Leadell Ediger, executive director of Child Care Aware of Kansas. "Continuation of breastfeeding has long-term health benefits for both mom and baby. We are pleased to offer this designation as a small way to recognize providers who go the extra mile for breastfeeding families."

All child care programs in Kansas are eligible for the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care designation. For information on how to apply for the designation, or to inquire about how your childcare business can support breastfeeding families, contact Child Care Aware of Kansas at (785) 823-3343.