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Parent-Teacher Roles in Potty Training

by Shelley Frost, studioD

Parents often share the responsibilities of potty training with a caregiver or teacher at day care. Both parties play a key role in teaching a toddler to use the toilet. Some duties overlap, and for other duties, the parent or teacher may be the ones to teach the toddler. Understanding your role and the expectations for your toddler's teacher helps facilitate the process.


Both the parent and the teacher are responsible for recognizing signs of potty training readiness in the child. Not all toddlers are ready for potty training at the same time. When she starts to show an interest in the toilet, communicates when she needs to go to the bathroom, imitates adult behavior, follows directions and is physically able to use a toilet, she may be ready for potty training. Starting the potty training process at school just because your child reaches a certain age may cause stress if she isn't actually ready.


Communication is a role that both the parent and the teacher take on during potty training. For consistency, you need to know what happens at school and your toddler's teacher needs to know what's going on at home. Any problems that occur during the process are relevant to both parties. You should also share potty training successes. A notebook to record information about potty training is a clear way to communicate between home and school. You can also verbally share information about the potty training process with her teacher.

Teacher Duties

The teacher takes on the potty training responsibilities during the school day. She follows the school's procedures for taking your child to the restroom several times during the day. The teacher is responsible for following sanitation guidelines, such as using gloves to wipe your child, cleaning potty chairs and washing hands after every use of the bathroom. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the day care provider should communicate the school's potty training practices and provide information to parents on potty training techniques as needed.

Parent Duties

Parents work with the teacher to provide consistent potty training at home and at school. To help at school, you should provide extra clothes in case of accidents. Work with the teacher to decide if you should use training pants, diapers or underwear during the potty training process. You also serve as your child's advocate if you don't feel potty training is going well. If the teacher's approach to potty training isn't working or you feel the school is training your child too early, you have the right to speak up. At home, your responsibility is to continue potty training so your toddler gets consistent practice using the toilet.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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