Toilet Training

GSLP receives many questions about our toilet-training requirement for children in the Early Pre-Kindergarten 3 and Pre-Kindergarten classes. Our official policy is stated in our Parent Handbook, distributed at registration and at Parent Orientation. For additional clarification, please read the FAQ below or contact us.

Are students required to be toilet trained?

Students enrolling in the Early Pre-K 3 and Pre-K programs are required to be toilet trained. Students enrolling in the Early Pre-K 2 or the Early Pre-K 3 STEAM program are NOT required to be toilet trained.

My child will be old enough for the Early Pre-K 3 program but is not yet toilet trained. What should I do?

It is important to remember that every child only learns to use the toilet when they are ready. Physically, a child's body matures enough to sense and control toilet needs between two and two and a half years of age. However, that does not mean a child necessarily is ready for toilet training at age 2! When a child shows signs of being ready (soiling a diaper at predictable times, stopping play when they are soiling their diaper, and noticing when they need a clean diaper, among other signs) and shows interest in using the toilet, toilet learning will often happen within a couple weeks. Children may still have accidents after they have learned to use the toilet, but they will become infrequent. Summer is often the best time to work on toilet training with your child, as fewer clothes need to be changed with each accident!

If you are unsure about whether your child will be toilet trained in time for school, please let us know when you register your child so that we can discuss your situation. If you have a younger three-year-old and are particularly concerned about readiness, consider enrolling your child in our Early Pre-K 3 STEAM program. Our Early Pre-K 3 STEAM class offers the same number of instructional hours as our Tuesday/Thursday Early Pre-K 3 class, but with a smaller class size (a maximum of 12 students) and no toilet-training requirement. Both Early Pre-K 3 STEAM and Early Pre-K 3 use Creative Curriculum, and teachers adjust their instruction to the needs of the class and each individual student through small-group instruction. Enrolling in Early Pre-K 3 STEAM does not preclude you from enrolling your child in Pre-K for their second year at our school as long as your child will be four by September 1 of that year.

My Early Pre-K 3 student is toilet trained but still occasionally has accidents. Can I send my child to school wearing Pull-Ups?

No. Children in the Early Pre-K 3 and Pre-K programs may not wear Pull-Ups or any other kind of diaper to school. This policy is stated in Good Shepherd Preschool's Parent Handbook. Teachers will remind parents of this policy should children arrive in Pull-Ups, and repeated use of Pull-Ups will lead us to conclude your child does not meet the class's toilet-training requirement and may lead to removal from the class. Students in Early Pre-K 3 STEAM and Early Pre-K 2 may wear Pull-Ups or diapers as needed.

We strongly recommend that children wear regular underpants once they have begun toilet learning, as this will help children to learn their body's signals and to recognize when they are wet and thus need to use the toilet. Accidents are part of early childhood and the toilet-learning process, and we believe that children should not be made to feel ashamed for having a misstep. Good Shepherd Preschool keeps extra clothes for children on hand to deal with toileting accidents when they arise.