Cen-Tex Family Services, Inc. serves 106 infants and children up to 3 years old in Bastrop and Lee Counties. Cen-Tex received Breastfeeding Supportive Child Care Practices grants in 2011 and chose three centers to use the grant funds — Bastrop Child Development Center, Elgin Child Development Center and Giddings Child Development Center. Because Cen-Tex operates a total of 10 facilities, serving preschool children in a four-county area, the benefits of these grants are expected to reach all 461 families the organization serves.
Providing a Comfortable Space for Breastfeeding
At the Bastrop Child Development Center, the funds have been used to create a welcoming and private area where mothers can breastfeed or pump their milk. The area was designed and built specifically for nursing mothers. Cen-Tex also purchased a state-of-the-art chair that supports proper positioning for nursing. Other practical additions include a refrigerated compartment for storing breast milk.
Taking the Message to the Community
Cen-Tex is also using grant funds to expand breastfeeding education in Bastrop and Lee counties while providing more training for the staff members as well as the parents and their older children.
Outreach and training efforts include:
- Connecting with pediatricians and OB-GYNs in order to place helpful breastfeeding information in their offices
- Helping to distribute pamphlets and a useful backpack containing a bib and educational materials for parents and grandparents
- Partnering with WIC and attending the WIC annual conferences on breastfeeding
- Training staff and parents on breastfeeding support and the benefits of breast milk
- Purchasing books and educational materials for staff, parents and older children to teach them that breastfeeding is the norm
Making it Sustainable
With any grant project, the ultimate goal is to make improvements that can be sustained long after the funds have been used. The improvements made by Cen-Tex accomplish that goal. The breastfeeding area will benefit nursing mothers for years to come. Also, the training programs, policies and outreach efforts have been established in a way that ensures their continuation.