Montessori Day Academy is Breastfeeding Friendly

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer,

While many articles and studies tout the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding babies, the actual process of establishing a secure supply of breast milk for children enrolled in a childcare facility can be tricky. Fortunately, more and more schools – like the Montessori Day Academy of Hartsville – are taking steps to support parents who choose to breastfeed.

The school recently received a designation as a “Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Site” (BFCC) from the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care, meaning they are ready and able to help parents implement a plan for safe breast milk storage and feeding while their kids are placed in childcare.

Terie Rousseau, director of Montessori Day Academy of Hartsville, says the BFCC designation helps ensure that staff and parents are both well-versed in the process of providing, storing, and feeding breast milk to children. Staffers are also trained to provide help and informed back-up during the difficult transitional time when a breastfed child is first placed in care outside the home.

“The support system is the best part about the training that we went through. The families don’t have to go through this alone; they have all of us right behind them and we’re cheering them on,” says Rousseau.

Attaining BFCC certification required school staff to undergo training in best feeding practices for infants and young children. The Academy must also provide learning and play experiences to normalize breastfeeding for children, support breastfeeding employees, provide references to local skilled breastfeeding support resources, develop feeding plans with families, and teach families to properly store and label their milk for child care center use.

Furthering the welcoming atmosphere, Montessori Day Academy of Hartsville has an open-door policy for moms so they can drop by and utilize a private breastfeeding area at any point during the day.

“We have several parents who take advantage of that. They come by on their breaks from work, their lunch break, whenever they have the time, and that’s been really nice,” says Rousseau.

The BFCC designation is valid for three years and requires yearly maintenance, such as regular education for staff on human milk feeding and breastfeeding support, keeping updated support references for staff and families, and annual follow-up parent questionnaires to ensure their needs are being met.

To learn more about the BFCC designation or other programs designed to enhance child care in our state, visit The Montessori Day Academy of Hartsville is located within St. Bartholomew’s Church at 103 Campus Drive in Hartsville, phone 843-332-8765.

Author: Duane Childers

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