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Nursery says my 2.8yr old can't got into preschool until he's toilet trained

(35 Posts)
Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:14:14

Hi all

My 2.8yr old DS's nursery has said he can't move up to the preschool room with all of his friends as he's not toilet trained yet.

We have recently put him back into nappies after 6months of training. We decided to stop as he was still having anything from 1 to 5 accidents a day and still not asking to go.
In our opinion he's just not ready yet.

However, he is due to move up to the preschool group in nursery in Aug with all his wee friends, who he's been with since 9m old.
Nursery says they won't move him as he's not toilet trained.

He's just as clever and socially adept as the others in the toddler group and I think they are penalising him just because he's not ready for the loo yet.
Any suggestions as to what I can do about this?

specialmagiclady Thu 11-Jun-09 19:18:37

August is still a while away. He may crack it by then. If not, it will probably be soon after that.

Try and keep plugging with potty use if you can bear it (or at least, give it a rest and then try again if he's seeming more ready)

Celia2 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:24:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:27:00

Thanks Celia2

It does seem ridiculous that a nursery can hold a child back for developing at a slower rate than others.

FiveGoMadInDorset Thu 11-Jun-09 19:27:27

That is total garbage as now they have brought in anti discrimination laws which includes having children in nappies in a pre school much to the disgust of the manager of the one I looked at.

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:28:57

Is it so unusual for a 2.8yr old to still be in nappies?
(I feel a complex coming on...)

Bunch Thu 11-Jun-09 19:29:46


FiveGoMadInDorset Thu 11-Jun-09 19:31:09

No, but I remember being interviewed for a job in a preschool that their usual starting age for children was 2 and a half but only if they were totally potty trained and that was in 2000.

coppertop Thu 11-Jun-09 19:33:47

They are no longer allowed to have this kind of blanket policy because of the Disability Discrimination Act. Basically the guidance states that childcare settings should form their policies in such a way that they would not discriminate against a disabled child. It doesn't matter whether or not there is actuall a disabled child on their books.

From the DFES site:

"The ‘reasonable adjustments’ duty is ‘anticipatory.’ This means that all
settings will need to review their policies, practices and procedures to ensure
that these would not discriminate against any disabled children. This should
be done whether or not the setting knows of any disabled children on their
current roll, or seeking admission. For some children, or groups of children,
specific changes may be needed as well as more general changes."

Full document is here with the above extract taken from section 12.

llareggub Thu 11-Jun-09 19:37:10

Does it make a difference if the child in question is not disabled? My son is still in nappies and we have had the same debate with the pre-school we had initially chosen for him. My son isn't disabled and the rather snotty nursery manager told me that she isn't being discriminatory by barring my son because he isn't disabled. I didn't quite know what to say but didn't think it worth pursuing because we clearly weren't going to have a good relationship so took DS elsewhere.

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:37:40

Thanks coppertop

I am in Scotland, does anyone know if the anti discrimination laws and DFES act apply here as in England/Wales/NI?

Noonki Thu 11-Jun-09 19:38:35

I can see it from both sides, because it means that the staff would be tied up with nappy changes and as mentionned on another thread, two staff seems to be the norm to be present.

That said along the disability line it is against legistalation (as previously mentionned)

August is ages away, have him run around naked at home for a few weeks and it's much more likely he will get to grips with it all.

Also if he is left behind I bet he makes new friends they are very adaptable at that age.

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:49:44

I can't see how changing his nappy will be any more of an inconvenience than taking him to the loo.

Also he will happily use the loo if taken, it's just that he does not ask to go - hence all the accidents.

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:51:45


Changing a nappy has got to be a lot easier than many clothes changes/clean ups due to all the accidents.

I say this because the toddler staff have said: "Just put him back into pants. We don't mind cleaning him up and then he can go to the pre school"
Where's the logic in that?

curlygal Thu 11-Jun-09 19:58:56

If your DS is not ready, he's not ready. I think you are doing exactly the right thing. If he;s not ready putting him into pants for him to have countless accidents is not going to help him in any way. Especially not in the pre-school room where all the other kids are dry.

I would double check that the nursery can do this as I am not convinced.

I totally agree with your point about taking him to the loo versus changing nappy.
As for the comment re we don;t mind cleaning him up shock surely better to change a nappy than to have to clear up accidents? Madness I tell you madness

curlygal Thu 11-Jun-09 20:00:14

Surely social development and continuity for your DS is more important then whehter he is wearing pants or pull ups?

Scarfmaker Thu 11-Jun-09 20:07:23

Six months is a long time to be potty training and then give up now. Leave the nappies off as I'm sure he will get there pretty soon.

The trouble I think with nurseries is they push the babies/toddlers forwards with lots of things but when it comes to something that can't be controlled they don't want nothing to do with it. Have they worked with you on the potty training and been keeping any observations?

As for the DDA, you're son isn't disabled, he's just taking longer with one of his milestones (boys usually do). I'm not an expert by any means but at 2.8 I think he is ready and hopefully if he does go into the next room he will see his friends and what they do and learn from them too.

Can't you mention this to the manager and ask that if he is still in nappies for them to work with you to help him?

You say he's just not asking to go and is having 1-5 accidents a day. I wouldn't wait for him to ask but every half an hour or so you should ask him and even if he says no still sit him on the potty - I know this will mean a lot of extra work for you probably but I've found it works after a while. Some kids are just so engrossed in what they are doing that they "forget" to ask.

Good luck.

coppertop Thu 11-Jun-09 20:30:08

The DDA applies to Scotland as well.

It doesn't matter whether or not children are actually disabled. The idea is that the policies should be set out in such a way that if they were applied they wouldn't discriminate against a disabled child.

As a hypothetical example, a nursery couldn't have a policy that said "Only children who can walk will be allowed in the 12-36mths room". It wouldn't be enough for them to say "Well if a disabled child came here then obviously we'd make an exception" because their policy shows no signs of them considering the needs of prospective disabled children.

It would be a bit like advertising a job for men only and then saying later "Well obviously if a woman had applied we would've made an exception..."

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 20:35:55

We did all the things you're meant to do - started with the potty then on to the loo and took him every half an hour or 20mins but if he isn't doing it after 6m then we felt it was time to give him a break.

It was becoming a BIG issue in our Ds's life. he'd wake up in the morning ( having slept in a nappy) and say "i not have an accident mama" It was breaking our hearts.
We went back to nappies a month ago and it was like a weight had been lifted from all of us.

Nursery were supportive while he was in pants but even though you try not to communicate your disappointment at another huge pile of soiled clothes it was clear to us than he was feeling like he was coming up to scratch.

We would rather he was happy then try to push him into something he's not ready for yet.

And as I said, is 2.8 really too old to still be in nappies?

curlygal Thu 11-Jun-09 20:40:31

I think you did the right thing - if he's not ready he's not ready.

It will be easy *when he is ready*

Children do not suddenly develop at some pre-destined point.

Some children are ready at 2 some at 3.5 some at 3 some at 3.5 some not til 4.

IMO it is a physical thing and can;t be speeded up. You tried, it didn;t work, I'd leave it till he shows he is ready.

I know plenty of children of around 3 still in nappies and plenty of around 4 still in nappies at night so is prefectly normal

TheProvincialLady Thu 11-Jun-09 20:43:45

Gmac it is not even unusual. Of my antenatal group only 2 of the 5 children (one boy, one girl) are potty trained at 2.9.

gothicmama Thu 11-Jun-09 20:50:04

gmac I would continue to offer him th eoption DS was 3.1 when he got it - I found using pampers pull ups worked really well as he could pull them down of he remembered and they were absorbant if he forgot and had something which allowed the sensation of being wet which he had not understood when just in pants hang in there - before august try to a have a week at home with him no distractions that also works

Gmac2009 Thu 11-Jun-09 21:01:57

Thanks all for your support and advice.
Also for letting me know my wee boy is not an oddity for still being in nappies.

Perhaps they will accept pull ups. We'll give it a try.

Celia2, I've emailed the Early Years Service and hope they'll get back with a definitive answer soon.

I'll let you all know what the outcome is. I hope I won't have a battle on my hands.

Scarfmaker Thu 11-Jun-09 22:42:33


By the way sorry if I sounded a bit formal but just to let you know my own three were nearly three (as far as I can remember) when they were out of nappies! That's only because they had to be to start the local state nursery school for a morning or afternoon session. They are now 16, 13 and 10 by the way.

I've now been childminding for 8 years and find that all the advice/actual achievements seem to expect it to be a lot earlier. Maybe it's because children are in nurseries from an earlier age. I don't know.

Just to reassure you though that 2.8 is ok to still be in nappies!

paisleyleaf Thu 11-Jun-09 23:00:40

I think this is the policy at my DD's preschool too. Something to do with the lack of facilities/OFSTED requirements etc.
It is an educational setting rather than daycare. The staff are there to help children learn, not change nappies. And the keyworkers have to be putting their focus on the children at this stage because of new initiatives (birth to 3 matters etc), writing observations etc.
I thought that these changing facilities/staff levels are the difference between preschool and nursery.
But then where I am - children don't start preschool until the year before they start school (not when they're 2), so perhaps things are different depending on LA.

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