Returning to work as a breastfeeding mother is a right for employees and parents throughout Australia and here at Kids Academy, we are committed to making this transition as easy as possible.
Affinity Education Groups national community of Centres are proud to acknowledge World Breastfeeding Week with national accreditation status by the Australian Breastfeeding Association for the second year in a row.
“The journey to achieve and then maintain national accreditation by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has been extremely positive for our employees, centre leadership teams and our enrolled families,” said Linda Carroll, Chief People Officer.
“We currently have more than 220 early education and childcare centres nationally and a community of more than 4000 female employees, along with more than 13,000 enrolled families.
“Our approach has always been breastfeeding friendly, but to achieve accreditation with the ABA we took a bespoke approach to review the facilities and practices in each centre in collaboration with their centre management teams. Adjustments were made to the environments and spaces set up at each centre, such as upgrading armchairs or providing privacy screens.
“Our national policies were also reviewed, updated to pass endorsement by the ABA and provided so that all centres operated by Affinity and each centre we add to our community have a consistent and supportive commitment to enabling breastfeeding, bottle feeding and pumping for our educators and parents.
“Of course, there is a lot more to enabling breastfeeding than the resources and policies – the most critical factor for us as an employer is ensuring our people feel genuinely supported when breastfeeding at work. We allow our team to choose between unpaid breaks or utilising paid carers leave in addition to their standard paid breaks so they can have as much time as they need during a working day to breastfeed their babies.”
Kids Academy Glenmore Parks, Educator Ashleigh Ligt, returned to the industry after supporting her husband with their own business and taking maternity leave for their two children Allie-Mae and their 10month old son Benji.
Centre Manager Erin Barnes shared, “The centre supported Ashleigh’s return to work by placing Ashleigh in the Babies’ room. This way, Ashleigh could still spend quality time with her 10-month-old son Benji and continue breastfeeding him throughout the day. Even though his Mum is in the same room, Benji has developed strong connections with other Educators in the room, and Ashleigh displays exceptional professionalism.
“During Ashleigh’s onboarding, we held conversations on how we could assist Ashleigh in having a healthy work/life balance. Ashleigh requested to work four longer days rather than five days and requested to start an earlier, even open shift so she could have a dedicated day at home with her children and an early finish to return home and start her family routine of baths and dinners.
“Further to this, since Ashleigh’s return to the industry, she realised she missed it so much that she decided to change her university studies from Bachelor of Human Services to Bachelor of Early Education (Birth to 5 years).
“This week, Ashleigh completed her Gap analysis to become the Babies Room Leader after Ellie, our previous room Leader, moved to Newcastle last month.
“We are very proud of Ashleigh and her journey in such a short time and that we as a centre could support her return to work and Breastfeeding journey.”