Wirral’s children’s centres have been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award, gaining much-deserved recognition from the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Baby Friendly Initiative.
The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global programme which aims to transform healthcare for babies and their families as part of a wider global partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). The initiative also focuses on enabling public services to better support families with all kinds of feeding methods and developing close, loving relationships, ensuring that all babies get the best possible start in life.
The award has been presented to the borough’s children’s centres.
Simone White, Director of Children, Families and Education services at Wirral Council, said: "This award from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to supporting families, whatever their choice of feeding method, and improving care for all parents who visit our children’s centres.
"While breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses, we know that this is not a simple journey for every parent and their new baby.
“In our children’s centres, we strive to make sure that all parents are supported to form a close and loving relationship with their little one, as this is the best start for every baby or young family.”
In the UK, the Baby Friendly Initiative works with public services to better support families with feeding and developing close, loving relationships to ensure that all babies get the best possible start in life. The award is given to health facilities after an assessment by a UNICEF UK team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.
And, while the initiative is hugely supportive of breastfeeding, accredited organisations such as Wirral’s children’s centres, also support parents who are formula feeding by providing information on choosing milks and making up feeds, helping them to feed safely and responsively.
Sue Ashmore, UNICEF UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, said: "We are delighted that Wirral’s children’s centres have achieved full Baby Friendly status.
“Our work to support breastfeeding is based on extensive and resounding evidence that breastfeeding saves lives, improves health and cuts costs in every country worldwide, rich and poor alike. Parents in Wirral can be confident that their children’s centres will provide high standards of care.”
About UNICEF UK
The United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) is a registered charity that raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work around the world and advocates for lasting change for children worldwide.