Potty training tips for nurseries

It is really important that childcare practitioners work closely with parents to support children with potty training - especially as there has been a rise in the number of children going to school who are not toilet trained.

Child potty training

A recent NDNA survey has found that 70% of nursery practitioners had received no training in potty training.

Here are our top tips to support you. 

Generally, children will start to show an interest in learning to potty train at around two-years-old to two-and-a-half, but every child will be different and they should not be pressurised to start before they are ready.

Signs that children are starting to develop bladder control include:

  • Knowing when they've got a wet or dirty nappy
  • Becoming aware when they're passing urine and telling you about it
  • Fidgeting or going somewhere quiet. 

Tips for potty training are:

  • Children need consistent routines to feel safe and secure so do not start when there are changes in the child’s routine, such as just settling in a new setting
  • Ensure you have a clear potty/toilet training policy and procedure in place to share with parents 
  • Share useful guidance and tips with parents and carers to support potty training
  • The key to toilet training for any child - and specifically for a child with additional needs - is consistency between the setting and home
  • Adapt visual prompts to meet the needs of individual children.


These tips are provided as part of NDNA's FREE online early years community myNDNA, for practitioners, packed with activity guides, factsheets and childcare tips.

Join myNDNA here