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I work in a nursery attached to a school with children aged 3 and 4 years.

 

I would like your opinions and views on your tiolet training policies. If you too work in a school with pre school children.

 

I have worked in schools for many years and the policy used to be that children needed to be out of nappies and using the tiolet independently before they were allowed to start school. Since the introduction of the disability act things have changed but we have had no definate policy in place as to what we should be doing now. As far as I know children don't have to be tiolet trainined in order to start school and this is causing us many problems at the moment.

 

Out of our January intake we had 4 out of six new children who are still in napppies one of them is statemented and will be getting suport so this is not a problem but the other three children have no medical reason why they cannot be tiolet trainned as far as we know at the moment.

 

We are spending most of the morning taking children to the tiolet, changing nappies, dealing with messy accidents etc and obviously this isn't what we want to be doing. We have less time to spend teaching and doing our jobs well another fact is that we have no chaning facilities, no nappy bins, no protective aprons, we have been out and brought our own antibacterial spray to clean the changing mat for our health as much as the childrens. At one point last week we had one adult changing a child, one adult taking a child to the tiolet every 15 mins which left adult to suprvise the other 32! We have one child who messes every morning within the first half hour even though we keep taking every few mins.

 

My job satisfaction is very low at the momment as I don't want to be changing children we do not have enough staff to be able to tiolet train children and effectively implement the foundation stage curriculum please let me know what the policies at your schools are and how you manage children who cannot use the tiolet by themselves maybe you have some ideas we could use that could help parents with tiolet training at home, Is anyone else in the same situation how do you manage it? Many Thanks! :o

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hi Jo Jo

our policy is that we dont take children unless they can go to the toilet themselves. The exceptions we had last year was a child with Cerebral Palsy who had full time support but we did encourage her mother to take her out of nappies for school and surprisingly she had very few 'accidents'

We find if we tell parents on initial visits that the child cant start until they are toilet trained they soon make an effort. Everyone expects the odd accident but sometimes its a case of leaving eveything for the schools to sort out

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I sympathise and often we have sessions where all we seem to do is clear up after accidents or change nappies :o

 

In my previous setting we had a policy whereby children had to be toilet trained before they could start but fully accepted that with 3yr olds there would be accidents now and again.

 

However, I may be wrong here, I was under the impression that no setting was allowed to deny a child a place simply on the grounds that they were not toilet trained. Whilst we cannot discriminate against a child with any form of disability neither can we discriminate against a child without a disability who has simply not yet reached the stage of being reliably clean/dry.

 

Hope someone can clarify the position as I can't remember where the 'ruling' came from but know that in my current setting we are 'not allowed' to stipulate children must be toilet trained before they start.

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we too at one time did not take children umtill they were toilet trained now we take them in nappies or pull ups but they stay on the initial 2 sessions untill dry (with exceptions of course)

This term we seem to have a lot in nappies and yes there are sessions when we do nothing but change bums and clothes etc :o

But that is just a sign of our changing times nothing we can do unfortunatly

which type of setting our you in because 3 staff to 34 children cant be right and if you mean reception age then yes that does seem excessive I dont know of any child gone up to reception (unless special needs)that hasnt been toilet trained in all these years I have been in childcare poor you!

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1-13 is the correct ratio for LEA nurseries and the recommended ratio for foundation stage units. I will check tomorrow but think it is still our LEA policy that children must be toilet trained before they can be admittedcant comment on other settings

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I thought you weren't allowed to refuse oo but I know that at least one out of the 4 preschools in our area doesn't take them unless trained.

We are fortunate to have a purpose built building to rent that has toilets off the main room meaning we can change but still be 'around' but some other halls etc don't have this luxury and as a parent I would rather the kids were fully supervised!

We have a policy that the parents have to sign to say whether they want us to contact them should the nappy need changing or to say we can do it and so far nobody has asked for us to call them (surprise surprise!)

We ask that they arrive freshly changed and then in theory unless they poo, they should not need changing.

We also feel that we don't have sufficient staff to be toilet training and also feel tbh that often childrne who are still in nappies are also not ready to be in a preschool environment. I'll get on my high horse now! I feel the government are making parents feel guilty if their kids aren't in some form of 'education' by 3 and we are finding so many of our little ones (we take from 2 years 9 months) just aren't ready to sit at tables to play or to sit for a story time etc and much as we would like to properly differentiate it is impossible in one room with 3 staff to run effective provision for both ends of hte age/ability scale.

 

Phew and relax!

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In our nursery we take the children and if a parent says they are still in nappies we just say well bring them in knickers or undies and we will change them as we have not got nappy changing facilities. We do however have lots of spare clothes. (Obviously this does not include SEN children with an actually problem with toiletting)

 

It tends to be a hard few weeks but we find that they are all toilet trained more or less within a couple of weeks. In the past we have got health visitors to visit home to support the toiletting process at home as well - for those who wear a nappy all day then take it off for nursery. I have found that most of the children who are still in nappies have parents who dont know how to toilet train. So we actually have to go through the process at the beginning of term of systematically taking the children on a regular basis until they can do it independently. From our new intake last August 5 children were not toilet trained but all were using the toilet within two weeks. We just routinely have this as part of the settling in period when they start nursery.

Sue

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Last month in the Under 5's magazine there was a letter to ofsted on this subject. A pre-school asked whether they were within their rights to phone parents to come and change soiled nappies because they didn't have the facilities to do this and their current policy was to accept children in pull-ups but phone the parents if they soiled them. Ofsteds reply was under no circumstances should a pre-school refuse to accept children who were not toilet trained and that it was wrong to phone parents to change them. This is because of the equal opportunities act and the pre-school was recommended to review their policy a.s.a.p.

We have since had to accept that we couldn't enforce children to be toilet trained. We now say to parents that in the interests of their children we encourage them to be fully toilet trained but if they are not quite there then we will accept them in pull-ups. We take children from 2 1/2. In fairness the majority of our children are toilet trained by the time they start pre-school.

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We have a few children who come in pull-ups and to be honest it's easier than them coming in pants and wetting themselves. A few years back parents would say they were trained knowing full well they weren't and it was back and forwards to the toilet all the time, changing pants, socks, trousers or skirts. We always have loads of spare clothes, but these rarely found their way back to us! Since children have been coming in with pull-ups, they are fine. If they do 'wee' it's not such an ordeal for the child or us!

We were told that you couldn't refuse them if they weren't 'dry' because it is a 'learned' skill, just as using scissors.

It is time consuming, but we have the luxury of having 5 members of staff at each session, so it's not as bad as only having 3!

In our policies it does say that we will phone parents if they have soiled their pants or pull-ups, so maybe we will have to re-think this. A couple of my staff feel physically sick with this side of things, but it doesn't really bother me. I have changed them, but have asked the parent's permission first - and it depends on the child too, if they are upset by this, I wouldn't do it, the parents would have to come back.

Oh, and they always take the pooey bags home with them! :o

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I dont agree that children should be dry before they can attend pre-school and I wouldnt be happy with them having to be dry for school either if they werent developmentally able to tell or go themselves, but schools have a much lower adult to child ratio so I dont actually think they can really spare someone to do it, but if schools are going to take these young children then I do think they should find away of addressing this. I dont agree with phoning parents either and I have heard of some settings where the child is left dirty until the parent arrives, hows that for neglect? The most I ever did was ban parents bringing their own potty in, that caused far more problems than the odd nappy or accident. Pull ups were ok to a point but once they were soiled they were the very bugger to get off and contain! The nursery I'm at now has a 3 yr old who wets/soils her pants sometimes as much as 4 times a day, a member of staff said to me 'I wonder why she's being naughty' xD It makes me really angry that these little souls are being pushed, so instead of being free to play this little girl is being interupted at intervals to ask if she needs the toilet, she always says no and then wee's anyway. Reminds me of some lyrics...'Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone' :o:D

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we take children regardless of their whether they are toilet trained like Tracy we ask that children start sessions in a fresh nappy and unless they soil we tend to leave them for the two and half hour session. we have a designated "toilet person" every session and we dont push parents to get their children out of nappies. But we are a preschool playgroup that has national standards staff ratio rather than LEA ratios so we have the staff to spare to operate like this and I agree pullups and nappies do reduce the changes of clothing rather than the parent saying "yes my child is dry" when realy it's obvious they are not!

 

I know its difficult in LEA nurseries to accomodate nappy changing with such low staff ratios and I totally agree that staff ratios should be equal to all other preschool provision of 1:8 to accomodate all childrens needs but as said that is another debate!

 

as a parent of a child who was late out of nappies I know that not all children can be pushed to be out of nappies at 2 1/2 and I dont believe they should be pushed. It is a stage of devlopment that needs several sences to develop and well timed trips to the toilet do not work for all children. I have noticed that the children in my setting that are late out of nappies once they are out of nappies have fewer accidents than many who where dry at 2 1/2 so we dont rush children to be dry before they come to us.

 

my daughter missed out on 8 months of preschool because settings wouldnt take her in nappies and no amount of persuation, routines fancy pants and toilet seats would get her to the toilet I was pulling my hair out!!! it was a portta potti on a caravan holiday that did it in the end she was so nosey she went to the toilet every hour all weekend and finally we cracked it!!!

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We recently changed our policy in line with the new legislation.

 

But it is very difficult for staff, who were employed to clean up 'accidents' only to now be told that they are changing pooey nappies and pull-ups on a daily basis! Job descriptions have had to be changed too!

 

Our toilet is outside the main hall and down a corridor, we work to between 1:6 and 1:7 ratios and it very difficult for one staff member to be on a toilet run and another to be changing a child. This means that our ratios in the hall are down.

 

But we know that we don't have a choice in the matter, so it's business as usual.

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Rea, I agree with you about the schools, if they take younger children, then it really should be expected that accidents occur. Unfortunately it is the teachers and assistants that are having to deal with it and not those who make the rules (so no change there then!).

A child from my pre-school started school in September and has had enormous problems with wetting and soiling herself. NOT ONCE did she do it while she was with us, she was confident, constantly chatting and just a thoroughly lovely little girl to have around. She was 4 in the June of last year, so only just 4 when she started and through one moment of forgetfullness, she wet herself and her mum was called, the following day, through nerves, I suspect, she soiled her pants, again her mum was called and told that it really wasn't acceptable and asked if there was an underlying problem at home! The problem escalated and it took many visits and reassurances from her parents and teacher that she finally went to the toilet independently.

We used to have a small step (from woolies) in our toilets for the smaller children and this is how they overcome the problem. Mum brought one and kept it in school for her to use.

I really do sympathise with teachers as it does interrupt the routine, but this is just a consequence of having a younger intake.

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Guest MaryEMac

We too used to say that children had to be clean and dry before starting playgroup but have had to revise our policy. We run to 1 adult to 5 children and the cloakroom is just off the main room so the ratio is kept. Most of the children are trained when they start with only a couple in pull ups(no nappies thank goodness). We find that once they get to playgroup they watch the others and are soon announcing that they are wearing proper pants.

It's not ideal by any means but as usual, us at the sharp end just get on with it.

Mary

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Hi. We have recently changed our policy in line with best practice, equal opps and as part of researching this subject I found out that it is 'abuse' to leave a child in a dirty nappy/pull-up until Mum or whoever can get there to change them.... When you consider sitting for any length of time in a dirty nappy I certainly favour changing the child, provided your ratio's are not compromised of course. We are all very committed to providing the best possible childcare and education aren't we, so changing should actually be a positive, learning experience for the child who will hopefully be toilet-trained all the quicker. I am happy to post our revised policy and practice if anyone is interested.

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Hi Jo Jo,

I agree with Rea's comments and thiink that you will find the Surestart document very useful to take to your Head ( of Nursery or school), because they have a responsibility to ensure there is enough staff for you all to be able to meet the childrens care and educational needs.

However, I can understand your frustration, and that you feel a lack of job satisfaction if the need to support childrens physical development was not included on your job description.

 

 

As for practical advise, the little steps are useful if children only have access to adult sized toilets. Working with ( not against) parents is paramount, agree a course of action, a starting date and small steps towards independence. Ask parents to ensure clothes are easily manageable, thick wooly tights are impossible for little hands to pull down or up unaided. Agree with parents a routine time for going to the toilet, before they leave home, then you follow regular times at school, then parent continues regular times at home ie: when they arrive home, after tea, before bed. The child may not go each time, but this will help them to recognise their body clock. I'm sure I shouldn't need to say this but no child should ever be made to feel inadequate, embarresed, naught for having an accident...this is definately one area of positive behaviour management where lots of praise for success really does work.

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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The following might be of interest to some of you

 

http://www.surestart.gov.uk/_doc/P0001663.DOC

 

I came across it when I was researching it for an assignment.

50730[/snapback]

 

Thanks for that I will pass it on tomorrow. We do have all the required facilities ie large disabled toilet with wash basin and electric changing table we did have a shower but that was removed by the LEA last year as unnecessary :o

Last year I had a child with Cerebral Palsy who was not toilet trained and I was told by the LEA I did not have to accept her into reception year xD

Maybe I should send the LEA a copy too

Edited by Marion
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What can one do with a child who is in Reception and still wets himself? The thing is that with the winter season he comes with double clothes and most of the times you don't notice he is wet !

 

His mum complained to me that every day he was wet, but I didn't notice and the boy never said anything about it. Now I take care that he goes to the toilet before every session (arriving, after playtimes..3.. and before leaving back to home). This morning I asked him to do so and, within seconds, he was back (our toilets are about 25 meters from our classroom). I asked him if he had gone to the toilet and he said yes, but it was not true. I asked him why wasn't he telling me the truth... if he was afraid of going alone to the toilet or what was the problem. Then he said he just didn't have the need to go so he didn't go. I explained to him that I only wanted to give him the chance to give it a try so he wouldn't feel unconfortable when getting wet.

 

He stayed dry during the morning, but at Home Time he said to me with a smiling face: 'I am dry'... but it was not true. I asked him then: Did you wet yourself? (without getting angry or so) and then he accepted it was true.

 

His mum says she has that same problem at home, but that he doesn't get wet at night. She says he is lazy. The sad thing is that she dared to tell him that she wouldn't love him if he wets himself and that no one else would love him! I begged her not to say that because children at that age don't understand it is not true. I suggested for her to tell him how she felt, but never to tell him she doesn't love him because that only puts more presure on him. She had been saying he didn't have this problem before in his previous school, as if we were the cause.

 

I don't know what is the real problem. I know that lots of times he is so entertained in what he is doing that he just tries to held! It is not that he doesn't like to be in our classroom. He is constantly saying how much he enjoys it!

 

I am the only one with my Reception group (13 children) and, as I said, the toilets are 25 meters outside of our classroom yet withing the Primary building... so I can't just leave the classroom alone just to change a child. He doesn't have any Special Needs. He knows very well how to change himself, independently... the thing is he doesn't say he is wet and then he arrives wet at home.

 

I've used positive reinforce, dailiy 'super face' stamps yet it is not working. What can I do? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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Its difficult, we all expect the occasional accident.

Could there be a medical reason for his accidents? Has mum seen a doctor? In the past we had a child with undiagnosed diabetes who needed the toilet often and didnt always have time to get there (and our toilets are in the unit)

We also had a little girl last year who deliberately wet herself because she liked the clothes we changed her into.

Also had a child who was afraid if our toilets :o (they are child sized but painted with scenes from Commotion in the Ocean)

Can only suggest checking him before he goes home to make sure hes dry and to keep reinforcing times to go to the toilet eg playtime lunchtime or anytime he might have sit for a prolonged time such as assemblies etc.(some children are warry of asking to come out when there are lots of people there)

Edited by Marion
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I know its a bit personal but sometimes understanding what the child might be thinking helps in the way we approach the problem,

 

I remember as a child that when I moved into "big school" from playgroup at 4 1/2 I had lots of accidents for two reasons:

 

1) I kept leaving it too late, not because I was absorbed in play and forgot... I knew I needed the toilet, but I wanted to finish what I was doing rather than stop and come back to it. this stems from not trusting that my activity would still be where I left it when I returned, would it be tidied away? would another child have scribbled on my picture or taken my toys? and I have noticed in our setting some children wont got to cafe because another child will take their toy and they cling to the toy rather than have snack and like wise avoiding leaving an activity to go to the toilet, we call these children the "jiggers and dancers" xD and sometimes they need reasurance that youll keep an eye on their toys while they leave the room.

 

2) I was also too shy to ask the teacher if I could go to the toilet :o particularly at the end of the morning when we would all sit on the carpet and have a story read I wouldnt put my hand up and ask. The free access of many preschools and nurseries mean that shy children can go to the toilet without anouncinging it to the whole class but then as they move up into school and have to ask to go out of the class it can be a daunting prospect no matter how nice and freindly the teacher is or how close the toilets are, discreatly asking and reminding does help offer the shy child the oportunity to speak up without feeling the whole class is listening even at this tender age children are aware and do get embarrassed.

 

hope this helps?

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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions can I just confirm that the ratio in my setting is 1:13 and we aren't taking children any younger than we always have they start the term after they are three.

 

We are just getting more and more children starting school who aren't tiolet trained. We try our best to help train the children taking them regulary praising them etc wee's aren't the problem but quite a few children in the morning session regually soil themselves and don't tell us or indicate that they are dirty it takes up a lot of time finding the culprit getting someone to be in tiolet while you change them (on the floor) and with another intake not too far ahead I don't know how we'll cope if the percentage of children still in nappies is like last time.

 

I think it is a issue that needs addressing in schools and staff need support the ideal solution would be a extra person employed to work with those children and parents so that children can be encouraged to use the tiolet and be out of nappies with confidence and a sense of achivement but that will never happen!!! I feel we are letting these children down by not being able to work closely enough with them because of the ratios visits to the tiolets are often hurried and not consistent and it's difficulut to go from a job role that didn't include dealing with pooh to onne that does!! Especially for the teacher!!

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A ratio of 1:13 is presumably because you are a teacher? I wonder who or how it was decided that if you have QTS that you have more hands and minutes in the day than non QTS people working with children of the same age. It doesnt seem fair to teachers or the children xD:o

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I also work in nursery class in a school. We have children who are still having accidents. Some just wet others soiled. It can be difficult as I work with the ratio of 1:13 with 2 Nursery Nurses.

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I think unfortunately the government have always put more value on childrens education ( it's easier to measure) above the care, so funding is for this, now they want to "actively" integrate both ( which is how it should be), but to do so successfully THEY MUST FUND enough staff to provide the care. Because they don't basic care needs are compromised. And it is the dedicated early years professionals that have to cope "for the sake of the children".

 

Peggy

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Thanks for the link Marion :D

 

I knew it was 1:8 for pre-schools and 1:13 for school nursery classes and thought this also applied to maintained nursery schools but have just seen this:

 

Maintained nursery school

Children Act guidance, volume 2

2:20 (qualified teacher status + NNEB)

2:26 (where the headteacher does not teach)

 

Am I being thick here :o why does it increase from 1:10 to 1:13 if the head teacher does not teach??

 

Bet there is a simply answer and I have just got addled brain and will feel a twit when someone replies xD

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