It’s no secret that daycare cost a fortune these days.
So for all that tuition you might be wondering…
… do daycares help with potty training? Does your child need to be potty-trained before starting daycare and when will daycare start potty training your toddler?
Good news — daycare providers often play a significant role in the potty training process, as they are frequently among the first to recognize when a child is developmentally ready for toilet training and they are usually more than ready to help teach the child proper toilet techniques. However, daycare policies regarding potty training can vary, so your child may not be able to enter toddler, older toddler, or pre-K rooms until he has mastered potty training.
You also have to do your best to keep the potty train rolling at home to see results!
Let’s learn more about daycare potty training policies, when to start thinking about daycare potty training, and some helpful tips for parents.
Do Daycares Help Potty Train Your Child?
Good news, parents!
Yes, many daycares participate in potty training your child.
In fact, daycare might actually be one of the best possible places for your child to learn to potty train — they’re surrounded by other kids who are also learning, and the environment is perfectly set up to accommodate their needs throughout the day.
Here’s how it usually happens. When you think your child might be ready to start potty training (anywhere from 2-years-old on the early side), look for signs like:
- She can follow simple directions
- She’s interested in what YOU do in the bathroom
- She requires less frequent diaper changes
If you’re sensing that your toddler is ready, have a conversation with the teachers at daycare.
The teachers need to be on board, as they’re the ones who will be taking on a lot of new responsibility!
They can provide insight into your child’s daily routine and give their opinion on your toddler’s readiness. From there, you can create a plan that works with both the daycare’s schedule and your child’s needs.
Usually, you’ll start sending underwear and pull-ups to school, along with a hefty supply of extra clothes and shoes.
(You can also try training pants, which are just slightly more absorbent than normal underwear.)
You’ll also want to begin potty training at home at the same time for the best results.
The teachers will prompt your toddler to try using the toilet throughout the day, and if your daycare has an app (ours uses Procare), you’ll get updates on successful potties and accidents throughout the day!
Daycare Potty Training Policies & Rules
So how does potty training work at daycare?
Policies regarding potty training differ across daycares and schools, making it a bit challenging for parents to navigate.
Some daycares and preschools have specific requirements or timelines for potty training, while others are more flexible in their approach.
For instance, some daycares may require your child to be fully potty-trained before they can move from the toddler room to the preschool room.
(Some daycares have an in-between room, called Older Toddlers or something similar.)
Other daycares might have a more lenient policy, allowing children to continue wearing diapers or pull-ups in older rooms, with the understanding that potty training is a work in progress.
(Here’s my guide to some of the most popular daycares.)
It’s important to discuss the policies and requirements at your child’s specific daycare or preschool to ensure a smooth transition during this critical developmental phase.
Generally, kids are expected to be potty-trained by the time they leave daycare/pre-K and enter kindergarten, though accidents and nighttime mishaps at this age are still totally normal!
So don’t panic if your child is still struggling here and there.
Daycare teachers and providers also often have some rules and boundaries in place of what they will and won’t do.
Generally, don’t expect them to sit your child on the potty every 30 minutes (too time-consuming) or completely clean poopy underwear (they’ll probably just rinse it, bag it, and send it home).
You also shouldn’t expect them to alter the food and drink schedule at school just for your child.
These rules and policies may be laid out in writing in a potty training letter when your child begins training at school.
Tips for Parents with Potty-Training Toddlers at Daycare
It’s pretty awesome as a parent to have a trained professional in charge of your child’s potty-training for a majority of the day.
A lot of kids make progress at lightning speed this way!
But you still have to carry your weight and create some consistency between home and school.
Here are some tips if you’re sending your child to daycare and he or she is ready to potty-train.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
The teachers in your child’s daycare room are critical to how quickly your child picks up potty-training (or if they do at all!).
Keep them informed of everything you’re doing at home, concerns, progress updates, and ask how they think your child is doing along the way.
For example, they may be doing something that you’re not, and implementing it at home could really help.
The more information you share, the smoother the process will be.
Try for consistency when it comes to type of toilet
Your child may be using a separate potty or a seat attached to an adult toilet at daycare.
Make sure you’re familiar with the type of potty your daycare uses so you can maintain consistency at home, if possible.
Most daycare facilities will use a low-sitting regular toilet instead of a standalone toddler potty.
To reduce accidents, use easy-to-remove clothing
You’ll probably want to skip the overalls and rompers when your child is potty-training at daycare.
Stick to basic elastic-band pants and shorts that can be pulled down easily. Remember, the ultimate goal is for your child to be able to do this themselves! Don’t make it overly difficult on them when they’re practicing.
Don’t forget to send lots of extra clothes, underwear, and even shoes!
Accidents are unavoidable during potty-training, so make sure your daycare teachers have plenty of backups.
Don’t forget the socks and shoes!
Shoes will often get soaked with pee during accidents, and daycare is unlikely to have loaner shoes on hand.
Pay attention to your toddler’s diet
A lot of toddler’s learn to pee on the potty far before they can go number two — it’s normal for that to take longer, and it’s a lot harder for many kids.
In any case, you’ll want to make things as easy on your toddler as possible with a healthy diet. Lots of fiber (whole grains, fruits, vegetables) will encourage him to be more regular. Good hydration will help with regular pees, too!
If they don’t have to go, they can’t practice!
Having your child in daycare can be such an amazing boost to their potty-training.
They’ve got pros working with them all day long, cleaning up their accidents, and giving you progress reports along the way.
What could be better?!
Just remember to communicate with the staff as frequently as possible and pull your weight at home — consistency in home and at school will get you the fastest potty training results.
And also remember that speed isn’t everything! All kids take to it a little differently, and as long as there’s not a medical or developmental reason for delay, they’ll all get there eventually.
For more daycare guides, see:
- Do you have to pay for daycare when your child is sick?
- Why don’t daycares list prices online?
- Do daycares use sleep sacks?
Hope this helps!