A new charter by the NCT aims to make the high street a more friendly and welcoming place to parents, offering a more supportive environment to breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or babies in highchairs.
The first partner, Starbucks, has signed up to the new NCT Parent Friendly Places Charter, with a training programme being rolled out to its baristas across the country. Starbucks stores will display the NCT Parent Friendly Places badge via a window sticker, alongside the Charter.
NCT’s Parent Friendly Charter recognises the work of partners who commit to ensuring that they are ‘parent-friendly’. Partners commit to offering:
- A warm welcome for you and your family.
- A place where you can feed your baby or toddler in comfort, knowing staff will support you without judgment.
- Help from staff if you need any assistance; for example if you need help finding seats or carrying anything.
- An open and responsive approach to your feedback.
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Dr. Sarah McMullen, Head of Research and Quality at NCT said: “We are proud to launch the first Parent Friendly Places partnership on the High Street with Starbucks, so that parents with young children feel welcome and supported when they walk into a store.
“We know from our members, that many struggle with unwanted attention and comments on their feeding method whether it’s by breast, bottle or in a high chair, when out and about with their baby or child. It’s important that parents feel reassured they have the support of staff and won’t be judged. We also know that it can be a challenge for establishments to understand and assist with the needs of parents with very young children.
“We believe this Charter will address the challenges parents face on the High Street and hope that other retailers will follow suit in becoming more parent-friendly.”
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Rhys Iley, vice president of operations for Starbucks EMEA said:
“We want all of our customers to have a good experience at Starbucks and we recognise that parents out on their own with very young children, sometimes for the first time, appreciate some support.
“Our collaboration with NCT and its members builds on our existing customer service principles and through working with NCT we have already refreshed our training and improved our facilities.
“We hope parents of young children visiting our stores will let us know, there and then, if there is anything we can do to improve their experience. We welcome feedback as this is just the start of an evolving collaboration with NCT and its members.”