Nine local child care providers in the La Crosse area have recently been certified as Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Providers. The recognition will benefit more than 500 children enrolled in these local daycares. The child care sites certified in 2016 include: Children’s Palace (locations in Holmen, West Salem, and Galesville), Children’s Treehouse in Onalaska, Children’s Treehouse in Holmen, Merri’s Munchkins in La Crosse, YWCA in La Crosse, Coulee Children’s Center in La Crosse, and Creative Child in Onalaska. All nine of these local centers worked throughout the past year to implement the “Ten Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare” with guidance and support from the Maternal & Child Health Team at the La Crosse County Health Department, the Western Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition, and The Parenting Place.
Shar Weibel, YWCA Child Center Director states “The YWCA Child Center is proud to have earned Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Certification. By simply expanding a few existing policies and building greater awareness of the value of breastfeeding, we were able to increase our support for families during these critical Early Childhood years!” A parent who attends the YWCA child center states “How nice it is to have a childcare center that is supportive of breastfeeding. I struggled with milk supply for my girls. I ended up stopping at 3 or 4 months because I wasn’t producing enough. The second time around I vowed to make it 12 months and I did. It wasn’t easy but I did it and I thank the YWCA staff for supporting my efforts to do so.”
Providers that completed the process were required to establish supportive breastfeeding policies for enrolled families as well as employees, maintain a culturally competent and breastfeeding friendly environment, and be able to provide accurate breastfeeding information and resources to families. Childcare providers that meet the 10 Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care must pass reassessment every 2 years to maintain recognition.
The Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Initiative will continue in 2017 and can certify an additional 10 daycare locations.
To learn more about the initiative or to apply to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Provider visit the Western Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition’s website: www.wwbcoalition.org.