Daycare Provider Inside Secrets: The Scoop from Seasoned Professionals
by Lisa A. Goldstein
Planning your child’s potty training schedule can be a tricky task. But consistency, patience and open communication between parents and daycare providers can lead to a more successful training routine. Here we have real-life accounts of parents and child-care providers working together to create seamless training schedules.
Consistency is Key
Debra Pritzker in Framingham, Mass., has been a family daycare provider for 17 years. While she doesn’t have a potty training policy per se, she requests that the children wear a product like Pull-Ups® Training Pants. She says this creates a less upsetting experience for the child, as accidents are contained.
“The most important thing is the consistency between home and daycare,” says Pritzker. “I would not say that I necessarily adapt to the parents or they to me. It is on an individual basis. Some parents keep their children naked while at home and potty training. Clearly this would be unacceptable in the daycare setting!”
Pritzker has encountered a few situations where a child would act clueless at daycare with regard to toileting and then come in one day wearing underwear. “I need to trust the judgment of the parents, just as they would trust mine if it were the reverse situation,” says Pritzker. Communication is key, she adds. Parents need to communicate with the provider to make sure everyone is on the same page. A child may be physically ready but not emotionally, she says, and when they’re ready emotionally, it’s usually a painless process.
Marcus Hopper was worried that the potty training progress his daughter made at home would be set back on the three days a week she attends daycare. Initially, this was the case. “She really didn’t start making consistent progress until the provider agreed to work with us in allowing her to wear underpants at daycare,” says Hopper, of Pleasant Hill, Calif. The process was initiated when the provider asked what was working well at home.
Each Child Is Different
Kim McMonagle, director of Tender Care Learning Center in Greentree, Pa., says she and the other staff members at the daycare adapt to the child’s routine, as it’s best to help a child learn to listen to his or her body.
“Because all children are different, so are their routines for learning new tasks,” she says. “You have to experiment to find what will work for your child. Also, remember to discuss new findings with your childcare provider and ask them what works for your child at school. Together, you can help your child succeed.”
One tip McMonagle has is to provide many changes of clothes for your childcare provider, as they never know how many changes they’ll need in a day. It’s always better to send more than you think is necessary.
Constant communication with your childcare provider is essential for a successful training program. Ask questions daily, such as: What’s working? What’s not working? How did training go each day? By working closely with your child’s care providers and being consistent with a potty training routine, your child will be on their way to being a potty pro, both at home and at daycare.