Potty-training support at preschool

Hi everyone, wanted to get some thoughts on potty-training support for preschools. I am researching preschools "normally", assuming that I will send my 3-year old to a preschool in Fall 2020 so asking the usual questions, which include the potty. (If they aren't physically open due to SIP still, that's another bridge to cross if we get there.) So, putting it out there for parents who've considered these same questions:

  1. Some preschools require the child to be potty-trained and do not offer potty-training support. If your child was not yet potty-trained by the time you found this out about the school, did you try to put your child on a potty-training schedule to be full-trained by school start? Or would you not consider this preschool?
  2. One preschool I called (that did not have potty-training support) said that while a teacher will accompany the child to the toilet, they do not assist the child in wiping. The admin explaining this to me was very clear that the teacher does not "touch" the child. I wasn't sure if this was supposed to put me at ease because it actually made me wonder why they would not help a child clean themselves. Are there legal issues surrounding a teacher helping a child wipe their private parts? Is this standard policy? I am asking because while I train my child, it is extra stressful to also expect that he can fully wipe himself clean without any assistance. I'm still battling to get him to poop in the toilet, and to tell him that on top of it he has to wipe until clean without help is going to send him running back to diapers... The admin also told me that if the child has a poop accident, he has to be sent home for the day. Is that also standard policy?
  3. I am leaning towards a preschool that at least provides the potty-training support option if my son would need it, even though there is always an additional diaper fee. However, I do see a lot of good preschools that simply just require that the child be potty-trained. We're in May, and if school begins in September, how realistic is it to expect that my son could be fully potty-trained in 3.5 months? He is in pull-ups and will pee in the potty if reminded, but not really poop in the potty yet. It's a challenge to not know what is actually going to be the state of things by then but be expected to commit to something still!

Thanks for your thoughts!

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I don't know if this is helpful or not, but my son didn't poop at school - ever. Not even in high school.  If your son is toilet trained to the point of being able to reliably pee in the potty -- and from your description, I think that's where he'll be by September -- you'll be fine for any preschool.  And if he does poop at preschool and doesn't wipe himself, that'll be OK too.  

We are on our 2nd kid at Duck's Nest Preschool (there are 3 campuses in the East Bay, 1 in Berkeley and 2 in Oakland) and they start at 2 y/o and do NOT require the child to be potty trained before starting. Neither of my boys were potty trained at 2; the eldest trained at 3 y/o in his 2nd year at the school, and the youngest is still in his 1st year and in diapers. There is not a lot of pressure to potty train, but definitely some good exposure to other kids further along who are using the potty, for encouragement. The teachers absolutely change diapers and wipe/clean - I've never heard of a 'no-touching' rule. The decision to start potty-training is basically parent-driven, but the teachers have so much experience that they were helpful with our questions, etc. I just wanted to let you know in case DN is on your list - zero stress related to potty training. Good luck! 

We send our daughter to a Montessori where they have a separate toddler room versus preschool room; being fully potty trained is a major marker of being ready to move on to the preschool room. We started our daughter at the Montessori, in the preschool room, only after she was fully potty trained. Each kid is different, but a couple months is how long it took for our daughter to get the hang of potty training where she had very few accidents.

She's now 4 and we still check her wiping at home, just to reduce the skidmarks on the underwear, but sometimes she does it solo (thus the skidmarks). The teachers at the school are willing to help if asked, but it's not regularly offered, from my understanding. 

Also, neither of my kids pooped at preschool or daycare either. Weirdly, for my younger child who's now 21 months, the "saving the poop for home" started in diapers at like 13 or 14 months, basically after she started walking. I'd be really surprised if she pooped at school either.

Another Duck's Nest parent here- your preschool or daycare should absolutely support your child's potty training. I (personally) would avoid a preschool that wouldn't support with potty training. This is such a developmental milestone I can't imagine that they wouldn't create an environment to assist. 

DN takes it at the pace that the child is going at and are happy to help support transitions like no diaper at nap time. They have the kids "touch their toes" for wiping bums. My 3 year old could absolutely NOT wipe himself to cleanliness without help. He'd come home itchy and with a rash if his teachers didn't help with wiping. They even let him practice "stand up potty."

Don't rush the potty training. Offer encouragement and maybe even a prize after you reach a goal like 1 week of consistent effort (accidents will happen). Every kid is different so figuring out what motivates your little will help. My son liked coming the restroom with my husband or I initially to see what we were doing, then we made a big deal about getting him his own potty and big kid undies with his favorite characters. Being able to flush the toilet after we poured his waste into the toilet was really gratifying for him. 

Pooping was it's own journey. He knew when he had to poop and simply didn't want to do it on the toilet (he'd run into his room and close the door every time). We would let him know it would be a good idea to go on the potty instead of his diaper, but let him do what he needed to do. At a certain point he was waking up with a poopy diaper every morning and we really wanted this to stop. We continued to remind him that pooping in the potty would let him having to lay down for diaper changes and that he didn't want to have the yucky poopoo on him. To be clear we didn't shame him for pooping but tried to let him know that in the same way we don't want poop on his hands, we don't want it all over his booty either.

Just as I had begun to give up on getting him to poop in the potty he made the leap. Now he calls us from the bathroom to "come wipe his booty cuz he went pooo poooo!" Lucky us ;)

Our preschool had the same rules that you mention in #1 and 2. We were at the YMCA. 
So regarding 1, we just started potty training a few months prior to start of school. It was stressful at the time but it worked out fine. 3.5 months is plenty of time. Some kids in the class were not fully potty trained when school started and they were allowed to enroll. 

Regarding 2, our policy slightly differed stating that they send kids home after the 3 potty accident in a week. The reality was that it was never enforced. Teachers were not allowed to help kids wipe. My kid rarely pooped at school. Reason is that kids always had to use the bathroom with a buddy kid and teacher present. However, if they had a messy accident, they would step in to help clean the kids.