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Mallard disregards breastfeeding mums

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

13 November 2004

Mallard disregards breastfeeding mums

Problems for mothers wanting to breastfeed their babies at early childhood centres is further evidence of Labour's complete disregard for parents and children, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is commenting on the release today of a report that shows New Zealand's early childhood centres are, by-and-large, not breastfeeding-friendly.

"Childcare centres are required to have policies on everything from the Treaty to gender equality but the rights of parents and children are overlooked," he says.

"Teachers are not even required to have any expertise in the area and most don't. This means that breastfeeding mothers have no support and some will have no choice other than to stop feeding if they want to keep their babies in care.

"On one hand we have the Ministry of Health trying to increase breastfeeding rates but on the other, the Ministry of Education is making it difficult for mums.

"This is just another example of Labour's anti-family approach.

"Labour's multi-million dollar early childhood strategy doesn't even mention the role mothers play in caring for infants, let alone the value of breastfeeding, despite the vast amount of research that shows it is essential to healthy and intelligent babies.

"It's time for Labour to review their early childhood strategy to concentrate on the real needs of children and families, rather than on political correctness," says Mr English.

Ends

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