How to Potty Train your Child for Daycare + Preschool

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Of all the potty training problems I hear as an Oh Crap Potty Training consultant, one of the toughest challenges for parents is potty training for daycare and making sure a child is considered potty trained for preschool.


When I'm working with parents about to begin potty training, here are some common worries I hear about daycare or preschool:


There are a thousand possiblities for how things can look depending on your child, the toddler preschool or daycare rules, and how much time you have to work with your child to begin potty training at home first. So here's your go-to guide to potty training with daycare and preschool!


What to do for Potty Training at Toddler Daycare and Preschool


Before daycare starts

Before your child heads back to toddler daycare or preschool (diaper-free) make sure your little one can push down their pants!


What to find out about the preschool bathroom

As you prep for your child being back at preschool or toddler daycare as a newly potty trained child, here's what to find out about your daycare's potty training policy.

Kindergarten Classroom

Is your toddler potty trained

at home but not at daycare?

Sometimes toddlers have a mild performance anxiety around using a new bathroom or toilet. You want to be looking for ways to normalize using bathrooms outside your home. 

Golden Reminder for toddlers
who won't go to the potty at daycare

If your child is NOT solid with potty training at home:

Don't have the expectation that your toddler will be instantly solid at daycare.

When there's potty resistance, often toddlers need to first feel comfortable at home BEFORE feeling okay with using daycare's bathrooms. Especially when it comes to potty training and poop anxiety.

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Let's Look at Why Potty Training May Not Be Working at Daycare or Preschool

It all starts with understanding the toddler brain! 
Check out these episodes listed below from Jamie Glowacki's podcast. Jamie has a parenting book out, Oh Crap I Have a Toddler that shares how to be a more conscious parent to toddlers, dealing with all the challenging behavior that comes up at this age. 
What we know: When you understand your toddler's behavior, it's easier to prep your child for being back at preschool or toddler daycare, diaper-free

Good Reads for Toddlers in Preschool

Your Expectations

“We expect these kids to be so compliant and yet we also underestimate them at every single turn.” - Jamie Glowacki

The Big Transition  

Jamie talks about common transitions your child will go through and solutions that help kids through big and small transitions. 

Setting Boundaries

“The tricky thing about boundaries is that kids will keep moving them.” - Jamie Glowacki

Related blog posts

More resources! Here are blog posts Jamie (author of Oh Crap Potty Training) has shared about potty training at daycare and preschool: 


What to consider when potty training is not working and you're hearing back from your toddler's daycare that their daycare potty training policy includes diapers after seeing any accidents


A little more on self-initiation when you're looking to toilet train your child. What you should know about the toddler who won't tell you when they need to pee in the potty. 


Preschools and potty training and why you don't want to wait too long to begin potty training. It will be a big step for your child to use the preschool bathroom!


When you're headed back to preschool with your newly potty trained toddler, here's a checklist to set up your toddler for the preschool bathroom and potty training schedule at school. 


If you just began potty training and it's looking like a mess (and you're thinking about your potty training schedule to get back to daycare in a matter of days!), keep in mind this tip about how it looks when potty training clicks.


If you feel like potty training is not working, it helps to know how many accidents are normal

Ninja Potty Break

My all-time favorite book for normalizing using public bathrooms (like a potty ninja, yeah!).

Gotta Go, Buffalo

Adorable lift-the-flap book that shares silly ways to make goodbyes more fun at daycare dropoff or your toddler's preschool 

Everyone Poops

Normalizes how everyone poops, and people poop in the potty..grownups and kids alike. 

Mind Your Manners

Animals show reminders for being a sharing, friend with better manners, even at quiet times at school.

The ultimate list of children's books for kids potty training and heading back to toddler daycare or preschool.
Potty Training Schedule

Seeing Pee Accidents at Daycare?

If your toddler won't tell the teacher when they need to potty, or your toddler is refusing to sit on the daycare potty to pee, here's one trick we found can be helpful.

Star Stickers
Potty Rewards

Do Potty Training Rewards Help?

What to consider before you jump into rewards when you begin potty training your toddler.