Running into difficulty getting your daycare to continue your commitment to cloth? Or are you a new mom returning to work and trying to find a daycare that will accept cloth? Unfortunately, the daycare industry has been slow to join the cloth diapering movement. Citing health concerns and time-management issues as the main roadblocks, many daycare providers may just need to be educated to make cloth diapering at daycare a success! The Real Diaper Association advocates cloth diaper usage in daycare and helps parents educate providers about the practice.
Here are a few tips for making it work.
- Be upfront. Whether you are just looking at daycares or have already committed and are trying to change the policy, let them know from the first meeting that this is something that is important to you. It may even be worth a phone call to each provider on your list before you visit to see how they will react. If the reaction isn’t positive, maybe it’s not worth a visit.
- Be thorough. Consider all types of daycare when doing your research. When a daycare center might not be flexible, an in-home provider might be your answer. There are many daycares popping up that do support cloth diapering…in fact some prefer it, so get online and start hunting for ones in your area.
- Be prepared. Have a plan for how cloth diapering with work and come to the meeting prepared to share your ideas. Many daycares don’t have formal policies regarding cloth diapers, so hearing a plan of how it would work may make some providers more comfortable with the idea.
- Be instructive. Bring a sample diaper along with you to show the provider exactly how it works. Most are probably thinking of the cloth diapers their mother used, so show them how far cloth has come! Don’t forget a wet bag and other accessories you’ll be providing so they can see the whole picture.
- Be flexible. There may be a compromise to your proposal that would make everyone happy, so be open to their concerns and suggest an alternative that will work for both.
- Be a guinea pig. Suggesting a trial-period might be the best way for both daycare provider and parents to test the waters. After 30 days, most will likely be converts, but having an “out” will make everyone more comfortable. Be sure not to sign a long-term contract until the trial is over to ensure you are not tied into something that isn’t going to work.
- Be calm. Nothing is going to change with a negative or quick-tempered attitude on your part. A calm, kind demeanor will let the provider know that you are serious about making this happen and you want to work with them not against them.
For more tips of bringing cloth diapering to daycare, check out the Real Diaper Association’s Tips for Using Cloth Diapers at DayCare. Good luck!