The Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance, and Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA) has teamed up to offer a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation. The purpose of this designation is to provide Early Childhood Education (ECE) professionals with the knowledge and tools to support breastfeeding children, families and employees in their setting.
ECE programs play an important role in supporting breastfeeding mothers and their infants by welcoming breastfeeding mothers and making sure staff members are trained to handle breast milk and follow mothers’ feeding plans. Increasing access to ECE programs that support breastfeeding families will help women start and continue breastfeeding.
ECE programs can earn breastfeeding friendly designation by creating and implementing a breastfeeding policy that meets the minimum requirements outlined in the application and by completing the Ohio Approved online training, “Supporting Breastfeeding in the ECE Setting.”
Model Breastfeeding Policy
- Ohio Licensing Rule 5101:2-12-07 & Ohio Licensing Rule 5101:2-13-07, Appendix B, states “Programs shall have a policy in place describing supports for onsite breastfeeding or pumping for mothers who wish to do so (if the program serves infants or toddlers).”
- ODH and partners have created a model policy for ECE professionals to adopt. The key elements of the policy include:
- Environment: Provide an atmosphere that welcomes breastfeeding families.
- Support: Help mothers continue to breastfeed when they return to work or school.
- Education: Train all staff in essential breastfeeding knowledge and practices.
- Sample Child Care Policy
The training, Supporting Breastfeeding in the ECE Setting, is available online and at no cost through the Ohio Professional Registry. The training is approved for 2.0 Ohio Approval (OA) credit hours. Once registered through the OCCRRA registry, the course will be completed on OhioTRAIN.
- Instructions on how to complete the course on OhioTRAIN.
- The program administrator is required to take the training in order to be eligible to apply for designation. All program staff should be encouraged to take the training.
Programs can apply for breastfeeding friendly designation once a policy is in place and staff have completed the required training. Please refer to the model policy for guidance.
- Applications can be submitted at any time and will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Please allow 30 days for a review decision.
- Three levels of achievement will be awarded: gold, silver and bronze.
- Designation is valid for 2 years. A renewal application will be required to continue designation.
- Programs may reapply at any time during their designation period to increase their award status (ex. bronze to gold).
- The application must be completed online, but a printable version is available for guidance.
For Child Care Centers
For Family Providers
Please direct questions to breastfeedECE@odh.ohio.gov.
- ECEs achieving breastfeeding friendly designation will receive a letter, certificate, and award for display
Designated Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Sites
- Green Bean Junction, Fairfield County
- Kids are Special People Family Child Care, Hamilton County
- The Johnson's Day Care Center LLC, Hamilton County
- Cora's Angels, Mahoning County
- Breastfed Babies Welcome Here
Ohio Licensing Rules
Programs shall have a policy in place describing supports for onsite breastfeeding or pumping for mothers who wish to do so (if the program serves infants or toddlers).
Prepare and serve infant food in a manner appropriate to the developmental needs of each child. The center/family child care provider shall introduce new foods only after consultation with the parent. The center/provider shall comply with written feeding instructions from the infant's parent, physician, physician's assistant, or certified nurse practitioner (CNP) which shall include the following:
- Type of food and/or formula/breast milk.
- Amount of food and/or formula/breast milk
- Feeding times or frequency of feedings.
Require the parent to update the written feeding instructions as needed.
*Basic Infant Information for Child Care is a sample form that can be used for the feeding plan. Or, centers/providers can create their own form, as long as it has the rule mentioned and includes the following information:
- Type of food and/or formula/breast milk.
- Amount of food and/or formula/breast milk.
- Feeding times or frequency of feedings
Not feed any foods, other than formula or breast milk, to infants under four months of age, unless there is written documentation on file from a physician, physician's assistant or CNP.
Ensure that formula, breast milk, or other liquids in a bottle are not heated in a microwave oven.
- If formula or breast milk is to be warmed, bottles shall be placed in a container of water not hotter than one hundred twenty degrees or be placed in a commercial bottle warmer. The container of water shall be kept out of reach of children and shall be emptied and cleaned each day. The bottle shall be shaken well, and the formula or breast milk temperature tested before feeding.
- Frozen breast milk shall be thawed under cold running water or in the refrigerator.
- Ensure that the unused portion of formula, breast milk or food remaining in a container from which the infant has been directly fed shall not be reheated or served again.
- Store, prepare and serve food, formula and breast milk in a safe and clean manner.
Ensure that if breast milk is provided by the parent, it shall be labeled with the infant's name, the date pumped, and the date the bottle was prepared. Centers shall follow the chart in Appendix A to this rule for storing breast milk: Storing Breast Milk Appendix A
If the breast milk is stored:
Then keep it as long as:
At room temperature (up to 78 degrees Fahrenheit)
6 to 8 hours
In the refrigerator (39 degrees Fahrenheit or lower)
Up to 5 days counted from the day the breast milk was pumped
In a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator (5 degrees Fahrenheit)
In a freezer compartment of a refrigerator with separate doors (0 degrees Fahrenheit)
3 to 6 months
Chest or upright deep freezer (-4 degrees Fahrenheit)
6 to 12 months
Ohio Department of Education
If breast milk is provided by the parent or guardian, it shall be labeled with the child's name, date expressed, date of receipt, and shall be immediately refrigerated. Breast milk or formula shall not be stored for more than twenty-four hours. The unused portion of formula, breast milk, or food remaining in the container from which the infant has been directly fed shall not be reheated or served a second time and shall be discarded.
Breast milk or formula shall not be heated in a microwave oven.