Daycare and Breastmilk for Children Over the Age of One
The following is a compilation of links and information compiled by members of our mother-to-mother Facebook group that you may use if you are being told (incorrectly) by your IL daycare that there is a problem with providing your breastfed child your expressed milk in daycare if your child is over the age of one.
- If your daycare center is state-licensed and non-residential, your child may continue to receive the breastmilk you provide for your child after the age of one. There is NOTHING in either ISBE or DCFS policy that states you may not provide your child with breastmilk. Your daycare does NOT need to require you to provide a doctor’s note, you do NOT need to sign a “special diet form” and they may NOT hold your child back from the toddler room because you are continuing to provide optimal nutrition for your child.
- The following are links and supporting documentation:
- Section 407.210 #21 of the IL Licensing standards for daycare states “Children between 1 and 2 years of age who are not on human milk or infant formula shall be served whole milk, unless low-fat milk is recommended in writing by the child’s medical provider.” (Source) This indicates that expressed breastmilk is a perfectly acceptable option for children between 1 and 2 years of age in a daycare setting and they do not need to be provided with cow’s milk in place of or as a supplement to their mother’s expressed breastmilk over the age of one.
- If your daycare (residential or non-residential) participates in the CACFP meal program and there is a concern about reimbursements for your child’s meals when you provide your expressed milk, please share page 2 of this document with your daycare provider.
- It should be recognized that a daycare’s concerns about another child accidentally drinking your child’s expressed milk if your toddler is drinking your expressed breastmilk from an open cup in the toddler room are no different than concerns about children with cow’s milk allergies who must be provided alternative milks. This is a supervision issue rather than a policy one.
- The following links may also be of interest:
- USDA Child Nutrition Program and Breastfed Toddlers in Daycare (Lactation Matters Blog)
- Ditching the Pump (Breastfeed Chicago Blog)
The following is a letter template you may customize and send to your daycare:
[Your Name & Address]
My child [child’s name], [XX] months old, is enrolled at your facility and I have been incorrectly informed that [he/she] can not continue to receive the breastmilk I provide each day instead of formula or cow’s milk in the toddler areas of your facility. There is nothing in the IL State Daycare Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers that indicates my child must wean from the expressed breastmilk that I provide or transition to cow’s milk after the age of one. There is no need for a doctor’s note or special diet form.
Section 407.210 item #21 of the Administrative Code for IL State Daycare Licensing Standards states very clearly that “Children between 1 and 2 years of age who are not on human milk or infant formula shall be served whole milk, unless low-fat milk is recommended in writing by the child’s medical provider.” This statement explains that my child does not need to be provided alternatives or supplements to the expressed human milk I provide. Whole cow’s milk is considered appropriate for children who are not receiving expressed breastmilk or formula, but does NOT need to be provided in place of them. The full IL State Administrative Code can be viewed at: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/089/089004070E02100R.html
Therefore, please continue to provide the expressed milk I provide for [child’s name] in the toddler areas of your facility. Water may also be provided at my direction since my child continues to nurse outside of daycare hours. If you are concerned that another child may accidentally drink the expressed milk I provide, please supervise them more closely in the same way you do children who have allergies to cow’s milk and must be provided with alternatives.
If you have any further questions about the Licensing Standards, please follow up with DCFS’s Chicago office at (312) 814-6800. If you have questions about CACFP claims, please see page two of this document: http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/pdf/mealtime/mealtime_0612.pdf