ECEC services can support breastfeeding mothers better: Some tips from ABA
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > ECEC services can support breastfeeding mothers better: Some tips from ABA

ECEC services can support breastfeeding mothers better: Some tips from ABA

by Freya Lucas

August 29, 2022

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has released information for families about early childhood education and care (ECEC) obligations when it comes to supporting breastfeeding in services, which may also support early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers to understand their obligations. 


Legal obligations of ECEC providers 


It is against the law for an ECEC service provider to discriminate against a family or prospective employee because they are breastfeeding. The right to breastfeed is protected under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984


In addition, individual Australian States and Territories have passed their own laws to protect the rights of breastfeeding women in areas such as work, education and the provision of goods and services.  


All ECEC services are covered by this requirement including long day care, occasional care, family day care and in-home care. It doesn’t matter if the service is not-for-profit or commercial. 


In practice this means that: 


  • Parents can keep breastfeeding their baby who attends the centre. 
  • Parents can provide the centre with expressed breastmilk and the child’s carer must feed the expressed breastmilk to the baby. 
  • Parents can breastfeed their baby and express for their baby at the centre.  
  • An ECEC provider must support a parent to keep breastfeeding or giving breastmilk to their baby while they are in care. 


ECEC centres can be made more ‘breastfeeding friendly’ if they: 


  • Let parents know that they support breastfeeding when the parents first make contact with the centre.
  • Set up a comfortable place in the centre for parents who want to breastfeed or express milk. 
  • Be positive about the baby’s parent leaving breastmilk for their baby.   


Breastfeeding and Childcare is a pamphlet put out by the ABA and ACT Human Rights Commission. The pamphlet outlines the rights of parent and baby regarding breastfeeding and early childhood education and care.


The pamphlet has been translated into the following languages:


தமிழ் (Tamil)    Hrvatski (Croatian)    Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)     हिन्दी (Hindi)      فارسی  (Farsi)

Thuɔŋjäŋ (Dinka)    简体中文  (Chinese)    العربية  (Arabic)    አማርኛ (Amharic)   Burmese    Assyrian      


Translation of this pamphlet was funded by an ACT Government grant.


Access and download Breastfeeding and Childcare here.

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