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Breastfeeding Friendly at Central Kids Strathmore


Breastfeeding Friendly at Central Kids Strathmore

A focus this year for Whakatane’s Central Kids Strathmore Kindergarten has been improving the health and wellbeing of the children in its care, and their wider family and whānau. This has seen the kindergarten become the latest organisation to achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Accreditation from Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service.

Head Teacher at Central Kids Strathmore Kindergarten, Jacqui Johnston says, “We know that breastfeeding has many health benefits for children and we want to ensure we provide a welcoming environment for all of our kindy mums who wish to breastfeed.”

Although Central Kids Strathmore has always welcomed breastfeeding women, recently a mother asked where she could breastfeed and this caused staff to reflect upon how welcoming and informed they are. “We always assume mothers know they are fully supported to breastfeed within our centre. As part of our recent breastfeeding accreditation, we have signage on display and information readily available for any mother who needs further support,” Jacqui adds.

Central Kids Strathmore Kindergarten has adopted Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service’s breastfeeding friendly policy to ensure that breastfeeding is included in their annual reviewing schedule. They also include information in their newsletter to ensure everyone is aware that they are breastfeeding friendly.

Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service’s Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces project aims to normalise breastfeeding within communities. Tasha Westeneng, Health Improvement Advisor at Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service says, “By creating breastfeeding friendly environments we hope mothers will feel more comfortable to breastfeed their babies in public spaces. Early childhood education services like Central Kids Strathmore are perfectly placed to provide opportunity and encouragement for the continuation of breastfeeding.”

Central Kids Strathmore’s breastfeeding accreditation is also part of their wider health and wellbeing initiative under Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service's Building Blocks for Under 5s tool which has been developed to support early childhood education services to improve and sustain health and wellbeing.

The Ministry of Health recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. After six months, breast milk is not enough on its own for a baby to grow and develop. Therefore breastfeeding should be continued until a baby is at least one year old with the addition of solid food from six months. Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby and also makes a positive contribution to the health and wider wellbeing of mothers and whānau/families.

Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly is simple and it’s free; call Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service on 0800 221 555. For more information visit

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