Working with Childcare Providers to Support Potty Training


Potty training is a milestone for children, parents and childcare providers alike, but it can also be a long and challenging road for all involved parties. Children do tend to reach full potty training on their own schedule, though many childcare providers do specify the age by which a child must be potty trained in order to continue care. Ideally, a childcare provider will adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, which stress potty training at the appropriate developmental level above chronological age.

For busy, working parents, helping to support the progress made in a childcare setting also presents its own challenge. In order for childcare providers and toddlers to be successful in their efforts, parents must work to actively support potty training at home.

Formulating a Plan to Support Potty Training

Successful potty training for children in a care setting will be dependent upon a clear plan, and ample communication between parents and caregivers. In order to support childcare providers as children master this important new skill, parents must be prepared to listen, to communicate their own experiences and find a common method which works in both settings. The key to supporting any new milestone or developmental achievement is for parents and childcare providers to foster a consistent, stable environment. Parents and caregivers should work together to ensure as seamless a transition as possible between care settings and home. This means using the same encouragement techniques and positive reinforcement methods.

Disparate approaches to potty training creates confusion in the mind of a toddler, which can actually lengthen the training process and create more hardship for the child. Moving beyond diapers to a more self-reliant system is a major lifestyle change for a small child, and has the potential to be confusing enough on its own. Pairing this significant change with two different sets of training methods increases this confusion, and can substantially impede potty training progress. Before beginning a potty training regimen, it’s wise for parents and caregivers to work together in order to draft a plan for success to which both parties will adhere. This includes the use of potty chairs versus potty seats on a regular toilet, whether or not disposable training pants will be used, and what types of positive reinforcement will be used to encourage successful potty visits. There’s no one correct approach, but it is imperative for parents to reach an agreement with childcare providers which allows them to support potty training efforts at home.

Practical Support for Potty Training

In addition to working towards a common goal through consistently applied methods, parents can support potty training efforts made by childcare providers by offering practical support. This includes dressing children appropriately, and sending a change of clothing to be used in the event of an accident.

While mastering potty training, children will need to be dressed in clothing they can easily remove. Struggling with overalls, jumpers and other difficult-to-remove items of clothing can cause a child to have an accident while attempting to use the potty, which can cause them to feel frustrated or even to regress. One of the most important ways to practically support potty training in a childcare setting is to simply dress children in clothing they’re able to manage without assistance. Because accidents can and often do happen, parents should also equip childcare providers with a change of clothing in the interest of preparedness.

By working together closely, childcare providers and parents can mutually support potty training efforts and provide the greatest benefit to the child in reaching this challenging milestone. Potty training doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle for children in a care setting, but it will require an open line of communication between caregivers and parents. Together, parents and childcare providers can help toddlers take the next developmental step on the long road to independence.

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