Preschool and bathroom ? — The Bump

Preschool and bathroom ?

I am going to be signing my daughter up for pre school next month and I totally forgot to ask about the bathroom routine.  I saw the bathrooms so I know they are clean, etc.

but typically for three yr olds how do they bring them to the bathroom..?

Do they have a teacher with them?

Do they go as a class at certain times?

What happens if their is an accident?

I am going to ask after the holidays when I sign her up because obviously every place might be different, but I was thinking about it last night and was really curious how things usually work.

Thanks :)

DD (8/12/09), DD (2/8/11)
BFP 12/16/14| EDD 8/19/15 |MMC 1/15/15 (9 weeks 1 day)

Re: Preschool and bathroom ?

  • Most of it probably depends on the school.  They probably are allowed to go when they ask and you will likely keep a change of clothes there in case there is an accident.
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  • It totally varies.  At DD's school the kids just go when they need to (bathroom in the classroom).  At the school I taught at this fall, they kids would ask and a teacher would take them.  
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  • At our preschool they have set times to go and then they will take the kids whenever they ask.  They take them before snack and after lunch so twice in five hours.  The older kids 3s and 4s line up outside the bathroom with the teacher who sends in two or three at a time (depending on the number of stalls) and kinda keeps an eye on them to make sure they wash their hands and see if they need help with buttons, zippers, etc.  They were totally wonderful when DD1 was in the 3-yr-old class. They got her a step stool bc she was so tiny that she couldn't get onto the toilet by herself and then got her a no-slip mat when she accidentally flipped the stool she was using and bumped her head on the door.  They understood how important it was to her to have that independence like her classmates.  In the 18-month and 2-year-old classrooms, they also take them before snack and after lunch (more often if you are PT) and they change diapers of the kids still in diapers at the same time as well as anytime they have dirty diapers.  Most of the preschools I looked at had set times when they take all the kids to try as well as taking them whenever they ask.  Every two hours or so is usually often enough to keep them dry once they get the hang of it.
  • It varies depending on the setup. My DD has 1 toilet in the room and they make the kids go before snack and lunch. (This is a pretty typical scenario so that they come out and wash their hands before eating.) The rest of the day they are on their own and need to ask, but I've seen other schools continue to make them go at various times just like before eating.  If there's 2 potties and 2 children, for sure a teacher will be required to monitor them for liability purposes. I'm not sure about single stall situations. We provide a separate set of clothes for accidents, but thankfully she's never needed them. 


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  • At DS classroom there are two  little toilets in 1 bathroom separated by small divider.  They take the children at designated times but if a child needs to go they will take them.  The bathroom has 2 doors one to the classroom and one outside to the playground area.  So a teacher can stand outside the bathroom door and see in and still watch children outside.  When they go at the set time one teacher stayts with the majority of the class and the other is in - just outside the bathroom and helps as needed.  DS is a young 3's class so the lids are all at different stages of potty training.  DS had 1 accident - he keeps a full change of clothes in his cubby.  They just sent his dirty clothes home in a ziplock.


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  • In my classroom, we have two toilets in the classroom.  There are set times  when everyone needs to try and use the bathroom (approx 9:00, 11:30, 2:00 and 4:00) however, at any point if a child needs to go, they can.  
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  • Our preschool has 2 individual bathroom stalls shared between 2 classrooms.  The kids are welcome to go when they need to, and the teachers also give reminders.  For my son, we have worked out that he  individually always gets a reminder before snack time.  They have a few extra clothes in case of accidents, but if a child has a poopy accident, the parent is called to clean it up.  At our preschool, the kids are allowed to wear pull-ups, which DS1 did for the first few months of 3yo preschool.   
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  • at our daycare/preschool, they have a girls and boys bathroom - there are 3 stalls and 3 sinks in each, but no doors.  They take each class as a group several times a day, but all the doors are open and the kids can go as needed.  The teacher stands in the door when they go and remind them to wipe, wash hands/get soap, etc. but don't help unless there's an accident. 

    We keep 2-3 changes of clothes at school.  DD has an accident 1/mo or every other month.

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  • At my daughter's preschool, they ask that we take the kids before class and also have a spare outfit for them in their backpacks. The teacher's aide takes them (there's a teacher and a teacher's aide to each class) whenever they need to go, as lining x-amount of preschoolers up to take them to the bathroom in an attempt at orderliness would definitely cut into the two and a half-hour class duration.
  • I love the preschool we chose for DD, mainly because it's run out of our church. They have 3 teachers for 20 students. They go from 9-11am and at 10am get bathroom break but can go whenever they ask (one of the teachers escorts them down) they also get snack after bathroom break (10:15am'ish) which is usually some dry cereal, graham crackers or goldfish crackers and milk or apple juice.

    Ectopic 2/07 (7 weeks), M/C 6/07 (7 weeks)
    11w6d on 6/1/11 our baby grew wings 4 in heaven, 2 on earth

    9/22/11 BFP 9/28/11 we said goodbye

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