Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Should My Toddler Be Potty-Trained before Starting Preschool?

While not every preschool demands that your child needs to be potty-trained before entering preschool, the fact of the matter is that many, if not most preschools do indeed require that your child be potty-trained before entering their preschool.  The good news for working parents is that few, if any, day care facilities follow the same practices in terms of needing your child to be potty-trained.

There are several reasons that your child may need to be potty-trained before entering preschool.  First, it is unsanitary and unhealthy both for the preschool workers and the other preschool children when a child has an accident.  Second, preschool teachers are, generally, concerned more with academics than with activities such as potty training.  Also, because preschools often have a much more limited amount of time with the children than day care facilities have, dealing with potty accidents can take away from valuable learning opportunities.

Still, if your child is not potty-trained but you would like for him to be able to enter preschool, it is probably best to wait if at all possible, rather than forcing potty training on your child before he is ready for it.  Some experts suggest that the damage you could possibly cause by forcing potty training before the child is ready for it can last for a long, long time.  The benefits that your child might get from that extra year of preschool are probably outweighed, these experts suggest, by the detrimental effects of rushing your child into potty training.

Some preschools may have a partial potty-training policy.  It may be that your child only needs to be potty-trained for bowel movements, and not necessarily for urination, in order to enter their preschool.  Also, because of the emphasis on letting the child determine when to potty train, many preschools are relaxing their policies regarding entering preschool, in terms of being potty-trained.  To know for certain if your child needs to be potty-trained before entering preschool, you should speak with the particular preschool you are considering.

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