Raleigh, NC Jun 3, 2015 The NC Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health (DPH) announced its second North Carolina Breastfeeding-Friendly Child Care Designations this week, awarding the distinction to three child care facilities in the state. "Breastfeeding is the best way to feed infants in their first year of life, and this program complements the work being done in North Carolina to support mothers and their babies," said Mary Anne Burghardt, Acting Head of DPH's Nutrition Services Branch. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant is to breastfeed. The designations and selected centers follow. Three Gold-Starred Building Block Designation was earned by: The Growing Place, Asheboro Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool, Greensboro One Gold-Starred Building Block Designation was earned by: A Child's Place, Greenville Child care facilities earn one gold-starred building block designation for every two steps implemented from The Ten Steps to Breastfeeding-Friendly Child Care: Make a commitment to the importance of breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding, and share this commitment with fellow staff Train all staff in the skills to support and promote optimal infant and young child feeding Inform women and families about the importance of breastfeeding Provide learning and play opportunities that normalize breastfeeding for children Make sure that families are able to properly store and label milk for child care facility use Provide a breastfeeding friendly environment Support breastfeeding employees make sure that each infant has a feeding plan that supports best feeding practices Contact and coordinate with local skilled breastfeeding support and actively refer Continue updates and learning about the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding A designation is valid for a period of three years and is renewable. Facilities that implement additional steps may reapply for a higher gold-starred building block level at any time. In this way, the initiative supports a continuum of quality improvement toward becoming 100 percent breastfeeding-friendly. "The three new designations and the eight centers which previously received one of the designations are to be commended for welcoming breastfeeding mothers by providing an environment for them to be successful," said Burghardt. "Child care programs, including those in day care homes, can be an important source of support for working mothers who want to breastfeed."