Alison Thewliss MP for Glasgow Central and NCT, the UK’s largest parenting charity, met in Westminster to welcome its new charter to make the High Street a more supportive place for parents with very young children. They were joined by Starbucks, who is the first retailer to adopt NCT’s Parent Friendly Places Charter, pledging to provide a parent-friendly environment in 800+ stores across the country.
The Charter commits to ensuring a supportive environment for parents, particularly when it comes to feeding their child whether by breast, bottle or high chair – or a mix of all three.
A training programme, designed by qualified professionals from NCT, has been delivered by Starbucks to its baristas across the country. The training increases understanding of the needs of parents with young children or babies so parents can feel confident to ask for help where needed. Starbucks stores will display the NCT Parent Friendly Places badge via a window sticker, alongside the Charter.
NCT hopes their work in developing the Parent Friendly Places Charter with Starbucks will lead the way for others on the High Street to offer a welcoming environment for young families.
The NCT Parent Friendly Places 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.
Alison Thewliss MP said:
“I am pleased to welcome this joint initiative from NCT and Starbucks to help make the High Street more friendly for parents of very young children.”
Jeremy Payne, Director of Fundraising at NCT said: “We are proud to launch the Parent Friendly Places Charter on to the High Street with Starbucks as the first partner, so parents with young children feel welcome and supported when they walk into a store.
“We know from our members that many struggle when out and about with very young children. This can include unwanted attention and comments on their feeding method whether it’s by breast, bottle or in a high chair. It’s important that parents feel confident they have the support of staff and won’t be judged.
“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.”
Rhys Iley, Vice President of operations for Starbucks EMEA said:
“We recognise that parents out on their own with very young children, sometimes for the first time, appreciate some support.
“This collaboration with NCT and its members has helped us build on our existing customer service principles and identify what we can do to assist parents when visiting our stores. Meeting with Alison Thewliss MP has been a great opportunity to outline our work with NCT and explain how we have refreshed our training and improved our facilities.
“We hope parents of young children visiting local 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.”