Magrini recently made a trip to Florida to talk childcare with activist and father of three Donte Palmer.
As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of commercial childcare equipment Magrini have worked closely with individuals and groups with a focus on parental rights and helping make the everyday lives of on-the-go parents as simple as possible. One individual who has been making waves recently is Donte Palmer, a father of three and activist from Florida.
Last year Donte’s oldest son snapped a photo of him changing his youngest child’s nappy. At first glance the image looks cute. Donte’s baby boy is stretched across his dad’s knees while Donte fixes his fresh nappy. They both look so comfortable with the situation you’d be forgiven for thinking this is their personal preference (anyone with kids will tell you that sometimes you just have to do whatever works!) Look more closely however and you will notice that the bathroom lacks any baby changing facilities. There is no table, no safety equipment, nothing at all to help men to care for their young children while out and about.
Donte’s photo was first shared in September 2018. Since then fathers from all over the world are sharing their baby changing experiences to highlight a very serious issue - men's restrooms are notoriously under-equipped with baby changing facilities. This is more than a simple inconvenience and it shows how as a society we tend to place more parental responsibilities on mothers rather than giving fathers equal opportunities to care for their kids.
In the UK there is no legal mandate ensuring that baby changing facilities are available in public spaces. Having said this, the British Toilet Association recommends that there should be at least one unisex baby changing facility per 10,000 people using the area. At the moment this is purely advisory and establishments such as offices, restaurants and hospitals can use their discretion to decide whether to include changing facilities or not. The reality is that there simply are not enough baby changing facilities, and the ones that are available are largely inaccessible to fathers, male guardians and carers.
In 2019 this kind of inequality seems out of touch with a society which strives for and values equality and shared parental responsibilities. A lot of fathers have always wanted to take a more hands-on approach with childcare but have found a lack of support and the scarcity of baby changing facilities has been a major drawback. Donte’s campaign ‘Squat For Change’ is showing that fathers and male guardians all over the world are refusing to accept the baby changing status quo and are fighting for their rights to care for their kids.
An establishment which has invested in high quality baby changing facilities can enjoy plenty of benefits. Finding out whether a place has baby changing facilities is a high priority for most parents and they are much more likely to visit places which are family friendly. This in turn will see your establishment become a firm favourite among families, inspiring loyalty and bringing visitors back time and time again.
If you are interested in making your establishment more family friendly then please do get in touch with us at Magrini. Our range of commercial childcare equipment will provide you with everything you need to ensure your smallest customers’ needs are met, and we pride ourselves in our knowledge and expertise so are more than happy to help you select the right options for your business.