Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.4 Space and Equipment in Designated Areas

5.4.1 Toilet and Handwashing Areas Location of Toilets and Privacy Issues

Toilets should be located in rooms separate from those used for cooking or eating. If toilets are not on the same floor as the child care area and not within sight or hearing of a caregiver/teacher, an adult should accompany children younger than five years of age to and from the toilet area. In centers, males and females who are six years of age and older should have separate and private toilet facilities. Younger children who request privacy and have shown capability to use toilet facilities properly should be given permission to use separate and private toilet facilities.
It is important to prevent contamination of food and to eliminate unpleasant odors from the food areas.

Supervision and assistance are necessary for young children. Although cultures differ in privacy needs, sex-separated toileting among people who are not relatives is the norm for adults. Children should be allowed the opportunity to practice modesty when independent toileting behavior is well-established in the majority of the group. By six years of age, most children can use the toilet by themselves (1).

Compliance is monitored by observation.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Gender and Body Awareness
  1. Shelov, S. P., R. E. Hannemann, eds. 1998. Caring for your baby and young child: Birth to age 5. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.