Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation

Submit Your Eligibility Application
Self Assessment Form and Submission Instructions
Additional Resources

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Division of Early Care and Education (ECE) is pleased to offer the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation initiative. ECE in partnership with KEYS 4 HealthyKids, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the WV Breastfeeding Alliance recognizes the many benefits of breastfeeding and the important role it serves in obesity prevention.

As most employed mothers return to work during their baby’s first year of life with limited or no support from employers with the breastfeeding process, child care providers can play a critical role in providing breastfeeding support.  Through this initiative, child care providers will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of breastfeeding in order to better support mothers and families in their choice of infant feeding plans.

Benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and nursing baby are immediate and long lasting.  The incredible bonding and sense of attachment that are formed through breastfeeding lay the foundation for future growth and emotional well-being for the child.

By achieving the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation and supporting the mother’s choice to breastfeed, prospective families will find the transition from home to work easier.  It shows a commitment by the child care provider to the care and well-being of the child.  Staff who are well informed on breastfeeding, the safe handling of breastmilk, and being in-tune to infant hunger cues will allow families to feel confident leaving their little one in care.

This voluntary program is open to all licensed child care centers, registered facilities and family child care providers who choose to participate.  Achieving this designation requires completion of ten steps.  There is help for each step along the way: Child Care Nurse Health Consultants, Child Care Health Educators and Infant/Toddler Specialists are available to lend their expertise and support.  Training, educational materials and resources to create a breastfeeding space will be available.  These steps do not have to be completed in order.  Some steps you may already have in place; others will take some time and effort.  Remember, the breastfeeding area does not have to be a dedicated space used solely for this purpose. It may be a separate room or simply a nook in the infant room created with a privacy screen.  Always check with your licensing or regulatory specialist for approval before making changes to your space.

Upon completion of the Ten Steps, each site will be awarded a bonus stipend, a certificate of designation and recognition during the Great Beginnings Infant/Toddler Conference or Celebrating Connections in addition to resources and materials for start-up.  All centers, facilities and family child care providers are encouraged to reach out to their local Infant/Toddler Specialist for more information.

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How to Submit Your Application:

  • Click the first button above to download the fillable PDF form. Open the form and fill it out and save it to your computer.
  • Click the second button above to use the form to submit your form for review.
  • Click the third button above to review the Ten Steps.
  • Click the fourth button above to download a checklist for you to record your progress. This form is for your own personal use.

The following ten steps detail the process for achieving the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation:

  1. Create a policy supporting breastfeeding.
  2. Train the staff about breastfeeding.
  3. Inform families of the importance of breastfeeding.
  4. Provide learning and play opportunities normalizing breastfeeding.
  5. Provide proper storage and handling of breastmilk.
  6. Provide a breastfeeding friendly environment.
  7. Support breastfeeding employees.
  8. Ensure that each infant has a feeding plan.
  9. Contact and coordinate with local breastfeeding support.
  10. Continue updates and learning about protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.

    Please Note: This form is for submitting your filled-out eligibility application or assessment forms for the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation. If you would like to contact us for a general inquiry, please click here to use the main contact form.

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