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East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s children’s centres, two of which are in Goole, are celebrating after achieving international recognition for a baby-friendly initiative.

The children’s centres, including Kingsway Children’s Centre and Marshland Children’s Centre, have successfully achieved full accreditation in the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, a worldwide programme of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

The initiative is designed to support breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care. It aims to ensure that all parents make informed decisions about feeding their babies and are supported in their chosen feeding method.

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation process takes several years to achieve and is a nationally recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers.

The children’s centres have gained full Stage 3 accreditation through a process of assessments looking at policies, staff education and interviews with parents about the care that families receive.

The assessment team commended staff for the efforts made, and said it was clear that pregnant women and new mothers receive a very high standard of care.

“It was evident the needs of pregnant women, mothers and their families were placed at the centre for all care planning, resulting in a service responsive to their needs and much appreciated by all those interviewed,” their report said.

Councillor Julie Abraham, the council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said:  “Children’s centres across the East Riding are committed to giving every child the best start in life and this accreditation is an important recognition of their work towards this aim.  I would like to congratulate everyone who worked so hard to achieve it.”

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