School Family Connection Newsletter

Get school tips, recipes, worksheets, and more

Yes, send offers from carefully selected partners.

Sign up
Should preschools require kids to be potty-trained?
Yes : 69%
No : 21.5%
Maybe : 6.9%
Unsure : 2.6%

Vote on this poll   |   Select Another Poll:


  1. Posted by - Angela on Jul. 09, 2015

    If your child is starting preschool or even kindergarten and is not potty-trained, it is not the responsibility of the teacher or nurse to change them. I am not talking about children with learning or medical disorders - that is a completely different situation. I think it your child is 2 and has never been on the toilet, you are setting yourself and them up for failure. It is becoming a huge problem. Children have been learning to use the toilet forever. This is not a new thing to figure out. Children were trained on average by 18 months before disposable diapers came about in the US. They are still trained on average about that time around the world. However, the US is around 3-4 years of age now. What is that saying? Parents are becoming lazy and not wanting to put the effort in to take their child to the toilet? They rely too much on the convenience of disposables? They fall into the nonsense of "wait until they are ready" (most likely funded by diaper companies? It is pretty much common sense that if you wait until your child is 2 or closer to 3 to start teaching them to go on the toilet, they will be stubborn and fight you more often than not. Some children at that age might easily catch on and use the toilet, but refusing to poop on the toilet at 3, 4, and 5 years old is becoming a big problem with people who are delaying training.
    Teachers are there to teach our children academics, not basic skills that children of normal intelligence should be learning around 1-2 years of age. I would not want my child to miss out on educational opportunities because his pre-school teacher is changing a diaper or potty training one of the classmates. It is ridiculous. Everyone is paying tuition for preschool (if it isn't public) so other children shouldn't lose education time because other parents are not willing to train their children to use the toilet at a reasonable age. Toilet train your children. Have some discipline and consistency. Even if a child is in day-care, it is not the day-care providers responsibility to train your child, it is the parents'. The day-care provider should help, but the parent should be teaching them at home with help from the day-care. Not the other way around....and this is day-care, not preschool or public school.
  2. Posted by - Jane on Jun. 04, 2015

    Wow! It is so easy to criticize when you haven't been on this mother's position. I am a mother of 2 autistic children, my oldest was potty trained by the age of 4, my little one is 6 years old and we are still working on him getting potty trained. Yes it takes effort and discipline, but if the child is not ready, he/she will not be potty train by the likes of no one. He will do it when he feels ready. For those of you that got you children potty trainned by 3 GREAT! But don't put down the moms that have the gift of having special children. They are precious, smart and talented. What they lack on potty training most of you people lack in humility, and heart. Every child is different, and they learn at different rate
  3. Posted by - Bethany on May. 18, 2015

    This topic is very interesting despite some of the discouraging and rather sad comments posted. My child is three and half and she is not potty trained. Contrary to what some people may assume, it is not due to a lack of discipline or laziness. We started trying with her at 20 months and we continue to daily. For my daughter it is a SENSORY issue. My child like many others in America today has high functioning Autism. She is extremely bright. In the inclusion program that she is in, she is excelling beyond her peers. She has even helped some of her peers learn sight words as she is already reading at a second grade level! Its great when kids can learn from each other as well. Should she be excluded from a school because she has to wear pull-ups? Perhaps her seeing her peers use the potty, may help her learn to use the potty, Just as she helps her peers learn colors and shapes, etc. It seems a little pre-historic is such an time of knowledge and innovation to expect such a generalized rule to fit so many little precious INDIVIDUALS. The AVERAGE age for a child to be potty trained is 3, but that is an AVERAGE. Some do it before and some do it after. That is why these milestones are a RANGE of months. In fact, primary enuresis should not be diagnosed before the age of FIVE!!! I am so fortunate that my child goes to a school with such dedicated and compassionate teachers and administrators who see beyond checklists to be met by a certain age. That is why they include ALL children. They are willing to go the extra mile for the full development of EACH child. They amaze me because they are sometimes understaffed and I have never heard a teacher or anyone complain once!! It helps when a teacher loves what they are doing and are properly trained in various aspects of child development. So for all the other parents like myself who are lumped in the category of "lazy or undisciplined", be encouraged. Keep trying with your child and keep talking to your pediatrician. If a school is so rigid that they worry solely about ONE milestone, then maybe that school is not worthy of your little one.
  4. Posted by - Jacqueline Marchetti on May. 01, 2015

    It is an interesting subject-one that seems to be occurring more and more in the school system. As mother of 5-all my children were potty-trained by before 2. My last two little boys were tough, but we got through it. I think potty training is just the parent disciplining themselves to develop a bowel and bladder program for thier children. Teachers should NEVER have to potty train kids. They have too many other kids which they are trying to teach and deal with in the school system. This is NOT THEIR JOB. Parents need to take responsibility with their children they wanted to have and get it done.
  5. Posted by - Lisa on Apr. 22, 2015

    Like anything, it really depends on the program and the environment. Also keep in mind that different programs even in the same area may be licensed differently and have to follow different regulations. If one preschool is not able to accept students who aren't fully potty trained, they may be able to recommend another nearby school that has this capability. Because of the staffing, it may cost a little more, but not always. Personally, I didn't mind changing diapers in preschool, when we were set up for it. Because of the facility layout of my new school, there is no way that we would have the ability to change diapers and still meet licensing regulations.
  6. Posted by - Romero on Apr. 17, 2015

    Wow the news was not kidding when the said parents were getting lazy. You expect too much from caregivers and don't pay that much. Train your children is your responsibility. Teachers should not have to be changing your children they have other children to teach.
  7. Posted by - Tori B. on Dec. 03, 2014

    To all the teachers and others firmly stating that toddlers SHOULD be potty trained in order to attend preschool:

    How exactly do you set such expectations? No parent can FORCE a child to use the toilet - especially if they're uncomfortable with doing do.

    Also keep in mind that, as a parent myself, I pay the daycare to CARE for my child during the DAY so that I can work TO pay you. Therefore, whether that means teaching my son calculus or wiping his dirty behind, I EXPECT that he be CARED for. If you think it's okay to leave a child in his own filth simply because it is an inconvenience to take 4.5 minutes to slip on a new pull-up, you should not be working with children whatsoever. You're basically telling both the child and his/her parents that the child has a choice between learning or wearing a diaper/pull-up. That's not fair to anyone!

    Additionally, single moms such as myself do not always have the financial ability to take the suggested time off work in order to dedicate it to potty-training instead. So if you, as the teacher, or even the institution as a whole, expects to receive continuous payment, why would you bother threatening OR executing the expulsion of children?

    The thought of anyone supporting this disgusts me.
  8. Posted by - Elizabeth on Nov. 27, 2014

    This makes me a bit mad.... I'm both a preschool teacher and a mother of two and, both are not potty trained but are still in preschool; and no they don't attend the same school I teach. One of my children (Anna) who is currently struggling potty training and just turned four years old may still not be ready for the potty (no, nothing is wrong with her in anyway) and, my other child (Emily) who is three and a half does not show signs of being ready for the potty either. I think it's completely unfair to judge a parent or their child. If I need to change a diaper, I'm more than willing to do so regardless of their age. It is their child, they can choose to potty train them whenever they would like to do so. At the preschool that I teach at, a child is required to be in diapers if they have more than two accidents a week, once again, regardless of age.
  9. Posted by - maya on Aug. 17, 2014

    some of you are acting as if diaper changing isn't a big deal, part of the teacher's job, one person said deal with it and move on but like many others have said, you're ignoring the simple fact that the teacher is too busy to deal with it and move on. preschool teachers are not babysitters or daycare teachers, we are preschool teachers--- circle time, numbers, letters, activities, crafts. If 7 kids are in smocks and painting and suddenly a little one has a dirty diaper, uh yikes! not all preschools have assistants in the classroom and if they do, the assistant is likely making sure to assist the little ones in the preschool activities.
  10. Posted by - Helen on May. 17, 2014

    A child at my pre school setting is in pull ups. He is only 3 and a half so he has time. He can do it and was doing well for a while. But then mum stuck him in a pull up because she couldn't deal with the accidents. She told us this herself and has admitted that she is lazy and is letting her child stay in pull ups. I feel this undermines his self esteem.
    I am the key person of this child and he is the only child still in pull ups in my pre school group. Clearly we don't make it a big deal in front of his friends but it is frustrating as we know he can do it.
    So recently I have been refusing to change him into a fresh pull up unless of course he is soaking wet. He knows this and it appears to be working as he has recently begun to ask for the toilet and take himself to the bathroom. He comes back and says he has done a wee and I believe him as he is a truthful child.
    His pull up is normally dry throughout the day but he only releases his bowel movements at home. This proves to me he has the control to be able to manage his toilet routine.
    As I stated he has time but the longer he takes to come out of pull ups the more he may struggle and next September will be here and school will be beckoning him. So the more time he has to get used to the control and the feel of wearing pants the better it will be for him.
    I am well aware some may view this as being cruel and neglectful but allowing the child to realise his own abilities is the only way I can see this working.
    I would not leave him soaking or messy as I refuse to allow a child to remain in a soggy or messy nappy for longer than necessary. Even if that child is not in my key group I will take them and change them right away when I am the adult who notices these things.
    But my take on my pre school child appears to be going well and I will continue with this until the time when he no longer needs pull ups or when his situation changes otherwise.
  11. Posted by - terry delehanty on Aug. 16, 2013

    I have a little boy who is gonna be 4 next month he is my step great grandson who my husband has custody of and he is atarting head start school in september he can pee in the potty but its number 2 the problem is I know they are surpose to be fully trained but if a child is going threw emotional problems its very difficult for a boy to do number 2 on the potty we have tried everything with him and i spoke to his doctor and she said when he is ready he will do it and boys are harder cause the more you push them the more they are not gonna due it.. I have had 6 children and let me tell u out of all 6 of my children my youngest son was the hardest he had a bowel problem he couldnt control him it took us to work on it but he did stop but like i said there are alot of headstart staff that are willing to help and when the kids are ready they will be fully trained and honestly cant wait
  12. Posted by - TW83 on Jun. 05, 2013

    I'm dealing with this issue right now. My daughter will be starting preschool in September. They want her to be potty-trained. I do not disagree with this. Before I had a child, I would look at children who were 3-4 years old (or even older) in diapers, and wonder why. It felt like diaper companies kept making bigger sizes that children can stay in diapers longer. There was never a size 7 when I was a kid!!! Now my daughter is 3 (just turned in Feb) and still in diapers. I have tried and tried with her, and at one point she was doing well. She was barely 2, and only having one accident a day. But the teacher at her daycare was great at helping. Then she moved to the next room up, and the teachers just didn't care/didn't help. I understand it's not their job, and I am training her at home. But she spends many waking hours at daycare 5 days a week. If they're letting her think it's ok to stay in diapers all day it's really counter-productive to getting anything done at home. So now she will be going to a new school starting in Sept. She needs to be potty-trained. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I will have to get it done. At thi spoint, she knows what the potty is. She knows how to use it. She just won't ask to go. There has been so much back and forth that she knows it's something that I really want her to do, and she's holding it over me. I just have to pour myself into it, and get it done. Good luck parents!
  13. Posted by - C walk on Mar. 17, 2013

    This makes me so angry. I have 3.5 year old twins who are 10 days from the school cutoff so they are the youngest ones in their class. They had JUST turned 3 when they started 3K. So through no fault of their own they were compared to kids 6-12 months older than them re: potty training. My son finally got the hang of it a month after starting but my daughter has chronic eczema and has to take antihistamines 3 times a day which dry up EVERYTHING. Even w daily mirilax it's painful for her to go #2. She is potty trained for tee tee but still has to wear pull ups bc she has fear and anxiety ab going bc it's extremely painful. Have some compassion. She is bright and developmentally on track w everyone in her class. It's not her fault. Congrats to the parents and teachers who had potty trained children early on. I hope you will learn to have compassion when your children get older and have other struggles in life!
  14. Posted by - Carol on Feb. 03, 2013

    It shows a lack of experience with young children to say a preschooler who is not potty trained is not ready for preschool. Potty training has nothing to do with social readiness or intellectual development. Many 3 year old boys I've know are very bright and social and just not quite there with the potty training thing. To withhold them from preschool is discrimination in my point. Teaching and caring for children - young children - is intertwined. If you don't want to change a diaper every now and then you should work with school aged children. Preschoolers have accidents - both bm and urine. I am in the minority - but I am against the hard and fast rule that preschoolers must be potty trained. I think it shows a real lack of knowledge about child development, brain development and individual differences.
  15. Posted by - Courtney on Dec. 11, 2012

    children who are 3 yrs. going on 4 should not be in diapers and/or pull-ups some parents think if i slap on a pull they will be magically potty trained it doesn't work way changing a 3yr.old's diaper disrupts the daily curriculum and parents say its the teacher job not mine or oh he's my baby i dont want to potty train him yet and don't think i don't know what i'm talking about. i'm a director @ a child care center and this is what parent have told me we have parents walking saying oh he's 3 he'll be 4 next month he's in a pull up but has accidents we just push for him to be trained or can't you train him parents it a whole lot cheaper if they are trained no more buying pull ups no more diapers and wipes on outing
  16. Posted by - Star on Jun. 08, 2012

    If your child is 3 or older, they should not be allowed to attend, if not potty trained!
    Esp. if they are going into VPK...
    And as a VPK teacher, I strongly believe that!
    These children will be gping to kindergarten next year, so they better be trained, the teacher isnt going to stop class to change a child's pants, esp. this teacher!
  17. Posted by - cassie jackson on May. 29, 2012

    I work for a child care center and personally think it is wrong for pre schools to discriminate against children that are not potty trained. The child care center I work for is licensed by the state and its actually against the law to discriminate against children that are not potty trained. If educators are in this business they should be in with both feet not just one. Picking and choosing how they will care for the child is not the best practice.
  18. Posted by - Michelle Sottile on May. 29, 2012

    Of course they should be!!! It's NOT a TEACHER's job to be changing diapers during class time. When I first heard that it was not required, I sent my children to a private school where it WAS required. I do not think that diaper changing should be part of the curriculum.
  19. Posted by - Sharon on May. 29, 2012

    Congratulations to those parents who can get their child trained relatively easily. However, please consider that a lot of children are pushed to complete things earlier and earlier because it is more convenient for parents, schools, etc. If the child can do it, great. I would like to remind everyone that some kids trully are not ready and may have developmental delays and disabilities that preclude them from being trained by a certain age. Denying them access to certain programs is discrimination and blatantly accepted by those who are unaware. My child shouldn't be discriminated against for something completely beyond his control--and mine. Fortunately, we have had more understanding individuals that we have dealt with compared to the ones leaving some posts here.
  20. Posted by - Lori on May. 29, 2012

    My three children attended a play-based, parent cooperative preschool. At age 2, they attended one morning a week, age 3 two mornings a week and age 4 three mornings a week. All then entered into full day kindergarten in our neighborhood public school. None of my children were trained at age 2, but all three were day trained by 3. The preschool did not required that the kids be potty trained, nor did they do any potty training. Parent helpers or teachers would change diapers or pull-ups if necessary, in a matter of fact manner. This is the type of preschool program that my kids (and probably lots of others) were developmentally ready for. The kids were only in school 2.5 hours in the morning and pottying just wasn't a big issue.
  21. Posted by - jolene petersen on May. 26, 2012

    I've worked worlds of the daycare center and the home daycare. The potty trained rule is a must when you have the larger class room setting. To pull another teacher into your room to watch your class is unfair to everyone. For those few minutes, her watchful eye must cover double the children.
    In my home daycare setting it was much easier to deal with. I loved potty training! What a big girl/boy moment that is and I was privledged to be part of it. Yes there are parents who take advantage of it and once I got past that being "used" feeling, I felt sorry for the parents, I was the one who was part of helping a little one take such a big step in their life.
  22. avatar

    Posted by MsEwe on May. 25, 2012

    Being a Child Care Provider for 20 years, I have successfully potty trained over 76 children. Potty training starts here at 11 months. Parents are totally blown away that a one year old can tell you potty and use the potty. My book is soon to be published...Potty Training 101. When an adult can see their one year old as a child not a baby, training is fast. Once a child passes the point of knowing they are ready for training (age 1 or 2)and no one has worked with them, then they will give their parents a hard time. Am I a doctor? No. Just someone who works with children ages 0 to 4 five days a week for the last 20 years. Potty trained for pre-school-totally should be required!
  23. Posted by - Cheryl on May. 25, 2012

    I have taught preschool for over 27 years. While children are all different and all do things in their own time A Child is in complete control when it comes to potty training. I feel that most teachers understand what the children need and what they are going through emotionally. It's difficult to deal with toilet learning when in many cases there isn't enough staff to cover the children who are potty trained. Children who are in the process of toilet training need time, attention and care. This isn't a time that should feel rushed or pressured for the child. You need a lot of staff to cover the needs of all the children. So if not enough staff to meet all the children's needs, then yes, preschool children should be potty trained.
  24. Posted by - Y.Johnson on May. 25, 2012

    I have seen instances where children that was not potty trained was accepted into school and parents took advantage of this and basically left the responsibility of potty training up to the teacher. It's not the teacher's responsibility to potty train-it' the teacher's responsiblitiy to meet the educational needsof each child.
  25. Posted by - Michelle on May. 25, 2012

    I am a teacher of a 2 and 3 year old class. There are 2 of us with a daily total of 10-11. Trust me a potty trained child does not always mean he or she is ready for preschool. Potty training and self-help skills are a constant and equally important as the rest of curriculum. Having a lower ratio would definetly mean higher fees for families. More importantly are the teachers suited for this and communicate with families? It works our families and the center.
  26. Posted by - Patricia on May. 25, 2012

    I think parents should make time to potty train their own kids because they know them better than anyone else. Aslo it can be traumatizing with children with low self esteem if strangerts are the ones to teach them and can cause a fear of going to pre school.
  27. Posted by - teach4az on May. 24, 2012

    Preschool is not daycare. I worked in a day care center with 2s. The only ones who weren't potty trained before they turned three turned out to be the only ones who didn't have a potty chair at home. One boy didn't get one until his third birthday -- although he used the potty daily at school. There are plenty of day care centers for 3s and 4s; send them there if you aren't ready for them to move onto the next stage.
  28. Posted by - T on May. 24, 2012

    I am a school nurse in an elementary school. I believe children do learn to be potty trained at thier own pace but if they are not potty trained before preschool, they are not developmentally ready for preschool. I have assisted many children with accidents. each one takes between 10-30 minutes to change/ cleanup/etc. I can't imagine mulitplying that by 20 every day! The teacher would not teach anything. I also see a huge maturity level in the kids that do not have potty accidents and those that have them frequently
  29. Posted by - Andrea on May. 24, 2012

    Oh Yes! Teachers have lots of responsibility right now, a child that is not potty- trained will only add to their list of things to do that are not educated related.
  30. Posted by - Betty Sy on May. 24, 2012

    Teachers job is to teach. If you put a bunch of potty untrained kids in school, it will take up most of the learning time. Changing diapers and cleaning a kid's mess at school could take up a lot of time. This is the parents job not the teachers. Some parents are just too lazy and don't put up extra time to do this with their kids. It's not a rocket science, kids are not dumb. You'd be surprise how they try to manipulate you but you have to show them that you're in control.
  31. avatar

    Posted by rothwell.polk on May. 24, 2012

    I raised five children as an active and involved father with my wife. This included potty-training, of course.

    I also have a Bachelors and a Masters in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. I a Spanish-English bilingual classroom of 30 three-to-five year olds with two aides.

    I ran four very large non-profit child development centers and educated and cared for the children of 100s and 100s of families--maybe thousands.


    If a child is not trained, he or she is not developmentally ready for preschool. We don't have the human resources or the space for privacy.

    Now that my wife are retired and on Social Security, we work as nannies. I willingly trained a four year old in diapers for two parents who had not even attempted potty-training.

    Now we run home daycare. We have a 2-year-old, a 3 and a 7. I wade right into the two year old boy's poopy diapers. My wife cleans up the three year old girl's accidents for modesty's sake.

    If a child is not trained, find a home daycare or hire someone to take care of and train the child.
  32. Posted by - Frances on May. 24, 2012

    Not all children have been completely potty trained prior to preschool. As a nurse, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother I know each and every child is different and some are not ready or completely potty trained by 3-4 yrs. One cannot force this on children, they will be ready when they are ready. None of my children were completed potty trained at the same age, this is true of my grandkids and great-grandkids. To much pressure is placed on children at a young age and this is the one thing they can control themselves. If preschools don't want to deal with this, then they are in the wrong business- work with kids that are 8 yrs. old and up.
  33. Posted by - Jenny Elaine on May. 24, 2012

    I voted maybe, because if a school/center is potty training then they will need to be patient, have the extra staff to take them, plus teaching the children about wiping, pulling up pants, flushing, correctly washing hands and etc...while also cleaning the seat between each child.
  34. Posted by - Josie Smith on May. 24, 2012

    I think preschoolers should be potty trained. If they are not ready to be potty trained, then they are not ready for preschool activities. Teachers should not have to take time from potty trained children to change children who are not potty trained. I am a preschool teacher who teach 4 year olds and they are all potty trained. If your child is not potty trained by four, then you should have the child evaluated by a professional. It could be the parent who is not spending enough time with their child and working on basic needs.
  35. Posted by - Julie DiTraglia on May. 24, 2012

    Generally, children who cannot be encourged to use the potty also cannot be taught much in preschool. Daycare and preschool are two different things. I think at the preschool level, teachers should not be required to go through the arduous task of changing diapers. The teacher's time should not be taken up by diaper changing. That is for a daycare setting.

    When my son was ready to start preschool, he was on the verge of pottying on his own. he knew that he could not go to preschool unless he was potty trained. A few weeks before he was scheduled to start, he decided to start using the restroom so that he could go to school!
  36. Posted by - ttfnqt on May. 24, 2012

    It a sad day when ppl think they are above assiting and changing with it and move on.
  37. Posted by - Amy on May. 24, 2012

    In some cases, it's not a rule imposed by the preschool but rather the State. The schools are considered day cares and have to have a different child-caregiver ratio if the children are in diapers or even pull-ups.

    I do think it helps for some kids to see other children using the potty. And I also believe that it really depends on the child. First one was torture - I kept trying and going back to pull ups. Then I waited until she was ready (age 3 1/2) and she trained in less than a week. The second child really wanted to go to camp like her big sis. So I said if you use the potty you can go - and bam! Hardly any effort on my part and she wasn't even 3 yet.. Every child is different.
  38. Posted by - Tracy on May. 24, 2012

    The point of being ready for classroom, is being ready for some activities, letters, socializing, games, field trips. That's what I want our teachers focused on, not following kids to the potty.
  39. Posted by - Nanette McMurdo on May. 21, 2012

    I personally cant understand why mothers dont want to share this natural progreshion with their child I was lucky my daughter was no problem it does take a little effort but its such a great accumplishment for both child and mother !

Add Comment