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Potty Requirements

  • 1.  Potty Requirements

    Posted 14 days ago
    I run a preschool/prek in home program. I have it so the children do not have to be potty trained to attend my program. I have run across parents who are forcing potty training because they want their child to attend a well rated program. My question is:

    Is this rule developmentally appropriate for the Preschool crowd and is it a sound rule for program attendance.

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    Temesha (Ms. Tessie) Ragan
    Family Child Care IF Facilitator
    Perfect Start Learning
    Family Child Care Provider
    Edwards, CA
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  • 2.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 13 days ago
    Good Morning Temesha,

    At our school we do not require children to be potty trained at any age. My opinion is that if you say you believe in developmentally appropriate curriculum and practices, you believe that all children grow and learn at their own pace. This includes physically and emotionally as well. We have had four year old children who are still in diapers because the refuse to use the toilet and even some children who will use the toilet at home but never outside of the home.  The teachers who work here are hired with the understanding that we can encourage children to use the toilet and talk about how "grown up" it is to use the toilet, but we never force children or belittle them. We had one boy who was in underwear who would tell us when he needed to use the toilet and then take his pull up out of his backpack, go to the bathroom, take off his pants, put on his pull up and take care of business. When he was done he put the pull up in a plastic bag and put on his pants. When he was three, we did the "work" for him, but as a 4 we told him he was able to do everything himself. He finally got tired of all the work involved in going to the bathroom and on his own just started using the toilet. I always tell parents that "no one ever got married in diapers" . It is one of the few things children have control over and sometimes they just want to hang on to that control.


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    Barabara Klein
    Director
    Huguenot Nursery School
    Pelham NY
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  • 3.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 12 days ago
    Barbara,
    I love your response!!  We too do not require children to be potty trained in any of our classes however we are in the minority. Most programs do require children to be potty trained at 3 which to me is pretty demanding (even according to pediatricians!)

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    Shannon Skeens
    Pleasant Valley Co OP
    Camarillo CA
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  • 4.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 11 days ago
    Before I became an ECE teacher I had watched a friend attempt to get her son potty trained in time to use a spot in a 3 yr classroom they depended upon him attending. The stress within the entire family was immense, and of course it did not work. She sent her child to school just hoping he would make it through the morning (1/2 day) with no "accidents" and pretending to the teachers, what a shock it was when he did have one.

    My perspective as a teacher only reinforced the unfairness and futility of potty training requirements. It does not matter what age the child is, or where they are in their process of training (themselves.) Children need to be clean and comfortable, and it is a stress on me if I don't have the tools - extra diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, to care for each child in a friendly, hassle-free way. At one point we had a 5 year old who would not use the toilet, and would pee and poop in her underwear every day. We worked with the family to both get medical advice, but also to return her to diapers so we could care for her competently. We worked with the classroom community to change the perspective from diapers are for babies; to change the language around "being grown up or old enough" to use the potty/toilet to: diapers are there for all the people who need them. Let's remember there are people of all ages who need them for a wide range of reasons. We want our children to be welcoming of all kinds of difference and in this case to relate to diapers as tools to use when needed.

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    Karen Lefkovitz
    Independent Consultant
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 5.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 11 days ago
    I don't think anyone could argue that it is developmentally appropriate to force or delay children's ability and interest in using the toilet but unfortunately centers may assert that due to facilities and staffing that they can not accommodate preschoolers who do not use the toilet or toddlers who do. As a former center director I also believe that it is possible to do meet the developmental needs of all children in this area.
    I urge you to continue to practice your developmentally appropriate practice and to encourage parents to question and challenge other program's policies while understanding that the programs may not change their requirements and that parents may still choose to meet them. I think change happens slowly but by continuing to raise the conciousness of the parents and programs around this issue that you are contributing to the eventual acceptance of policies that are developmentally appropriate in all programs.

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    Margery Heyl
    Chicago IL
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  • 6.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 8 days ago
    I really appreciate everyone's response here!  It it awful when children are excluded from beginning preschool due to potty training requirements. Quite frankly, it is not only developmentally inappropriate, but it is also discriminatory.  I am really moved by Karen's story. As a special education teacher, I always had children in my class who were a little later than the norm making the transition from diapers to underwear.  Deadlines and stress around learning to use the toilet always back fires and can even cause serious health issues (withholding and constipation).  I think that anyone who works in early childhood education should be prepared to change diapers - not only should we expect that some children will need more time and support through this process, but we should also remember that even those who are "trained" will sometimes have regressions and everyone has accidents somewhere along the way.  Learning to use the toilet is a big milestone and as early childhood teachers we all have the opportunity to respond to children and families with care and expertise that respects each child's time line. When we see these caring rituals as special times for connecting with children and opportunities for supporting life long health and positive growth we elevate care as a pedagogy.  Learning to use the toilet, wash hands, dress, take a nap, try new foods, share meals with others - all these caring rituals are essential to our teaching the whole child.  Care is education.

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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 7.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 8 days ago
    I myself, do not understand the need to rush potty training. I have had children who were learning to read but still wearing pull ups. And those who were not ready to read yet but were fully potty trained. 

    We have to stop with broad general terms when it comes to children and what they can do and what it means when they dont meet our set timeline. I think it's harmful and could create issues later on. 





  • 8.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 8 days ago
    Yes! And leaders and directors and parents can give teachers permission to slow down and take care of children's most basic needs as a priority. It takes a culture shift to unify care and education.  We cannot place a hierarchical value on the way we spend time with children- helping them in the bathroom is equal (or even more essential) than circle time lessons. The old argument that we don't have proper facilities or time to change diapers doesn't hold up. In NY the cut off for kindergarten is late (December 1) so we have many kindergarteners who are still four.  Our pre-k programs might have children as young as 2.9. The state department of education here recently released a mandate that it is discriminatory to withhold education from young children on the basis of toilet learning.

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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 9.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 7 days ago
    I think too much emphasis is placed on potty training.  Parents rush to potty train to get lower rates or yo stop buying diapers. If you have to chastise a child or punish them,  they are not ready developmentally.

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    J. Malone-Barnes
    Practicum Coordinator
    Children and Families Program
    Henry Ford College
    Dearborn, MI
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  • 10.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 7 days ago
    My program is licensed for 3-5 year olds, but we are not licensed to change diapers. We are kinda stuck in requiring a child to be able to use the toilet. We do give exception for children with special needs.

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    Karen Rude
    Preschool & Tots Coordinator
    Palatine Park District
    Palatine IL
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  • 11.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Karen,

    In NY there is no special license for changing diapers. There are regulations you need to follow for sanitation and safety reasons, but any licensed center can change diapers if they choose to. Is there a reason your state or city requires a different license if you want to change diapers? Just curious
    Barbara

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    Barabara Klein
    Director
    Huguenot Nursery School
    Pelham NY
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  • 12.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 6 days ago
    I believe we have to have a changing station, which we do not have the room for. We would need a changing table near a sink and a special garbage can to throw the diapers in. We are only a half day preschool as well.

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    Karen Rude
    Preschool & Tots Coordinator
    Palatine Park District
    Palatine IL
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  • 13.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 6 days ago
    I worked at a center that was 18 mo and up and didn't have a diaper changing table we changed the children standing which is very easy! I honestly now prefer to change children standing now

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    Joya Jeffery
    Lead toddler teacher
    Brightside Academy
    Cleveland OH
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  • 14.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 4 days ago
    I love the responses, as I also feel it is not developmentally appropriate if the child is not ready..it can be potty training or learning any concept or developing a skill. Our job as "Educarers" is to facilitate learning and not impose on young children and each child grows and develops at their own pace.
    In my home child care program - we start potty training when we and the parent feels that "the child is ready" (I offer Infant-Toddler program). Some are ready by 2 years, some are not yet ready when they leave my program!!

    One of the points in DAP is "individual appropriate" so why confusion or requirement??

    Jagruti Patel
    Family Child Care, Redlands, CA
    FCC Committee Chair (CAAEYC)

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    Jagruti Patel
    Owner/Provider
    Patel Family Child Care
    Redlands CA
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  • 15.  RE: Potty Requirements

    Posted 4 days ago
    While I agree with allowing each child to develop on their own timeline, and both of my children potty trained at different times, the true issue for some schools is state licensing. The state of Indiana had different and much stricter licensing requirements for schools that accepted children who were under the age or 3 or were in a diaper. The school I worked at was never set up to accept infants and toddlers. We were a preschool through 8th grade school. We did provide full day classrooms for 3s and 4s for those parents who worked. We had teachers with early childhood degrees who were also licensed by the state to teach. We also had part-time preschool. We had to follow the same regulations for those students as part of our licensing. Of course we would assist those students who had started the process, but we could not accept students who were still in diapers because of our licensing. That is something that would need to be changed at the state level.

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    Heather Finnegan
    Preschool Teacher
    Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School
    Delavan WI
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