Assessing the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and training needs related to infant feeding, specifically breastfeeding, of child care providers.
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The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and training needs of child care providers on infant feeding practices, specifically breastfeeding. METHODS: Needs assessment surveys for child care directors and infant room teachers were developed, tested and mailed to the 277 Colorado child care centers licensed to care for infants (< or = 12 months); 1,385 surveys were mailed. RESULTS: A total of 267 surveys were received for an overall response rate of 20%. The majority (79%) of infant room teachers and directors reported low knowledge on ways to adequately store breastmilk and formula. Perceived attitudes on the advantages and disadvantages of breastmilk versus formula as well as behaviors associated with offering working mothers a supportive breastfeeding environment (e.g. breast pumps available at center, offer mothers a place to breastfeed) were also examined. Directors and infant room teachers desired updated infant feeding information for themselves, co-workers and parents. They wanted English and Spanish information regarding breastfeeding, formula feeding and introducing solid foods. Eighty-six percent of directors and 67% of teachers stated they have Internet access at work. Eighty-eight percent of directors and 79% of teachers would be interested in an infant feeding website. CONCLUSIONS: According to the results of the needs assessment, child care directors and infant room teachers are in need of current, accessible infant feeding information. Child care directors and infant room teachers desired a website with bilingual and best practice infant feeding information specific to the needs of child care providers