Cloth Diapering in Childcare?
Background: I’m not a childcare expert nor am I an expert on children- BUT I have plenty of experience working in centers and homecare!
Should YOU use cloth diapers in Childcare?
That is really up to you.
Questions to ask yourself: Are your organized? Can you keep up with the laundry? Are you going to remember to bring clean diapers and wet bag daily/ regularly? Are you going to remember to bring the wet bag/pail/pail liner home with you nightly? Are you likely to forget the wet bag/ pail in the car on very hot days? (egh) It all boils down to- are you going to do YOUR part?
This could be your life… Laundry piles… all the time.
If you are going to commit to doing your part the next thing to do is to find a daycare center that is going to do their part. This should not prove too difficult but you need to go in with the right info- know your rights and know your info!
Cloth Diapering in: Childcare Centers
Before I begin I’d like to define what a “Childcare Center” is: Basically a profit or not for profit organization that are licensed to watch large numbers of children ranging in ages. These would be your typical YMCA childcare centers right down to the little church childcare down the street. (I’ll keep my varying opinions on these ones for a future post)
An example of a Childcare Center
Legally CAN you use cloth diapers in a Childcare Centers?
The simple answer is YES!- depending on your location…..
The complex answer:
-In Canada- New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are all for it and they have it specifically permitted in their childcare legislation. Our other provinces would be seen as “Not disallowed” as the legislation does not state it one way or the other.
-In the states my research tells me that there still are some states that disallow them, many with no mention in legislation and quite a few that specifically mention it is permitted.
Choosing a cloth diaper friendly Childcare Center
Assuming your chosen childcare center has provincial or state wide regulation that allows it or does not disallow it all you have to do is ask questions- preferably in person. Bring a few diapers with you in case but you do not have to bring your super cute but very needy and highly distracting baby.
(Can you tell I love questions? I’m that annoying kid at the front of the class with their hand up all the time!)
-Does your center allow cloth diapers?
-Have you had experience with them in the past? Are your staff members confident with them?
-What is your protocol for cloth diapers and do you have it in writing?- How many do you require? Do you rinse them, scrape them or just package them up? Do you prefer wet bags or pails?
-Do you currently have children in the center using cloth diapers?
-Would your staff like me to show and explain how the brand we use works?
So if you get good answers and feel confident in their abilities to cloth diaper then AWESOME. Now you just need to feel confident in their ability to provide awesome care for your child.
So the Childcare Center Said NO… (just like my toddler)
If you got some not so great answers you have options:
1. Check out other centers
2. Work WITH them.
-Offer to provide education to the staff about cloth diapering.
-Show them your local legislation allowing it or not disallowing it.
-Talk to them about the process and what they would be expected to do
-Talk about why you are so passionate about cloth- ie. Saving the environment, better for your baby, saving you money, being cool and having a trendy rear, admitting your addiction to cute prints and the thousands of dollars you have put into the perfect collection for your precious child etc.
-Discuss a trial run and the possibility that they would be willing to try them out.
3. Ask to speak to management that is higher up on revising their policies (if against it) or educating them
At the end of the day though I insist you choose a center based on quality care and based on you being comfortable and doing your due-diligence to check the place out, ask questions, read policies, check out their yearly reviews from health boards, talk to other parents…. (There’s a lot to consider)
***DO NOT sign your child up because they will allow cloth diapers and the pretty childcare center down the street (that you and your child loved with the beautiful classrooms and charming staff with happy children) has said no to cloth diapers. One of my mottos is try it twice to be nice. Go back and try again.
Choosing childcare should not be solely based on if they will or will not cloth diaper your child. (Just like buying a car should not be solely based on its pretty colour or the name of the car is “Matrix” and “that’s a cool movie”…BUT if you find a pretty coloured diaper named the “Matrix” it’s fair game!)