The East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s children’s centres have achieved international recognition for a baby friendly initiative.
The centres recently gained stage 2 accreditation in the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative – a worldwide programme of the World Health organisation and UNICEF.
The council has children’s centres across the East Riding, including Anlaby, Beeford, Beverley, Bridlington, Brough, Cottingham, Driffield, Hedon, Hessle, Hornsea, Howden, Goole, Market Weighton, Pocklington and Withernsea.
The initiative is designed to support breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care.
It provides a framework for the implementation of best practice by NHS trusts, other health care facilities and higher education institutions, with the aim of ensuring that all parents make informed decisions about feeding their babies and are supported in their chosen feeding method.
Institutions which meet the required standards can be assessed and accredited as Baby Friendly.
In preparation for the assessment, all East Riding children’s centre staff completed breastfeeding and relationship building training, with funding from public health.
Results of the assessment were described as ‘excellent’.
The assessment team found that staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement Baby Friendly standards to support parents to have close and loving relationships with their baby, promote breastfeeding and support mothers with feeding their baby.
Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “Children’s centres across the East Riding are committed to giving every child the best start in life and this accreditation is an important recognition of their work towards this aim. I would like to congratulate everyone who worked so hard to achieve it.”