Potty Training in Daycare

By Kristy Simons, ECE

Potty training in child carePotty training is a significant developmental step for your child, so it’s important that you and your current (or potential) child care providers are on the same page before potty training begins. Discussing the following aspects of potty training can help you clearly communicate your preferences and expectations– and help you determine if your provider’s approach to potty training will meet your child’s needs.

Questions to ask your provider:

  • What signs do you look for to determine if a child is ready for potty training?
  • Is a trip to the potty part of your everyday routines? If so, what happens if a child isn’t ready to use the potty – is he still expected to participate in the routine?
  • How do you handle accidents? What happens if one child experiences repeated accidents?

When you feel your child is ready to begin the potty training process, there needs to be open two-way communication between you and your daycare provider.  Your provider may be the one informing you that they think your child is ready to start. Do not feel badly about not recognizing some of the signs.  In many cases there is already some sort of other toileting routines going on at the facility that your child is witnessing every day.  Seeing other children use the potty may be sparking your child’s interest or readiness to be potty trained.  Peer models are often an advantage to the potty training process, so this is a good thing!

If your child has special needs that can lead to a delay in potting training, be sure to inform your child care providers.  This leads to the next important element, communication.

RoutinePotty Time makes potty training fun and easy
Questions to ask your provider:

  • Do the children take regular trips to the potty?
  • Are the trips to the potty scheduled at the same time every day?

Children thrive on routine. Establishing consistency in your potty training routine from home to daycare is important to the overall success of your child’s potty training experience. Parents should begin working with their child at home during a vacation or weekend and discuss their approach with the provider to ensure consistency. Once you come up with a plan, share and implement it with your provider and work together to maintain its consistency. This will help increase the likelihood of keeping your child’s potty training progress moving forward and help decrease the risk of any setbacks.

Questions to ask your provider:

  • How will my child’s potty training progress be documented?
  • How will this information be shared with me?

Make sure you understand the procedure by which you are kept informed of your child’s potty training progress. Your provider should have a form they fill out documenting how often your child goes to the bathroom and what they did (urination or bowel movement). They should also include any other pertinent details they feel you may need to be aware of such as anything that may indicate your child is not healthy based on the frequency or consistency of your child’s urine or bowel movements.

These journals (daily logs) usually get sent back and forth from home to daycare on a daily basis and are a vital tool in maintaining two-way communication. They also serve as a Potty Time is your partner in potty trainingparent’s opportunity to inform the provider of any information regarding changes in routine or progress.

Questions to ask your provider:

  • What kinds of clothing should my child wear?
  • How many changes of clothes should I send in for you to keep on hand in case of accidents?

Clothing should be easy to manage to encourage self-help skills. Buckles, belts, overalls and suspenders may cause a problem when a child is in a hurry to use the bathroom, so help your center out and dress your child for potty training success.

Special Needs
Questions to ask your provider:

  • What accommodations do you make for children with special needs?
  • How do you inform other teachers and staff members of special accommodations that a child may need?
  • How do you handle teasing or negative comments when they occur?If your child has special needs that may affect potty training, inform your provider. Ask your pediatrician, speech and language therapist, or social worker to give you information about potty training your child. Share this information with everyone who provides care for your child, including teacher’s assistants, the center director and office staff.

There are so many different childcare options out there for families. Be sure the potty training routines and procedures at your childcare center are something you are comfortable with. The more consistency and communication you are able to maintain between you and your provider, the better and easier the overall process with be on your child.

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