Cloth Diapers in Daycare as Advocacy: Guest Post from Heather McNamara of the RDA

Today’s post comes from Heather McNamara, Executive Director of the Real Diaper Industry Association.  The RDA is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the use of cloth diapers.  They have an extensive amount of information on cloth diapers via their website Real Diaper Association.  Heather has written an article on why using cloth in daycare is part of that movement and linked the RDA’s most helpful resources to get you started.

The Real Diaper Association aims to help more families find and use reusable cloth diapers. Part of that mission involves greasing the wheels for cloth diaper use in whatever situations YOU encounter. Starting from our founding in 2004, one of the most frequent requests we received is regarding the use of cloth diapers in daycare.

Getting Your Cloth Diapers into Daycare
So, a few years ago, we conducted a project to facilitate the use of cloth diapers in daycare in conjunction with the Real Diaper Industry Association. To start, we researched the government regulations regarding cloth diaper use in daycares, familiarized ourselves with the existing scientific studies regarding the safety of using cloth diapers in the daycare setting, and interviewed a number of daycare providers who accept cloth diapers (including several who use cloth diapers exclusively in their facilities). Using this information, we created a comprehensive guide for parents to get their cloth diapers into daycare. †It includes all the information and resources a parent would need to educate themselves and convince their provider to use cloth diapers on their child.

Cloth Diaper-Friendly Daycare Directory
We also created a directory of cloth-diaper-friendly daycare providers. Anyone can add a daycare provider to the map for other families to find when they are researching daycare options for their babies. In fact, the map DEPENDS on people to add information to keep it current, so if you or someone you know is using cloth diapers in daycare, please add your provider today!

Educating Daycare Providers about Cloth Diapers
Another area where Real Diaper Association volunteers have made headway is in educating daycare providers about how to handle cloth diapers in their facility. In New York, one of our Circle Leaders, Mary Jo Giufre, has even worked with the state to create a class for daycare providers to attend, for which they can receive required continuing education credits. More volunteers wishing to conduct similar outreach to daycare providers in their communities might be interested in the Leader Enrichment webinar we’re conducting in October for RDA volunteers on the topic. (If you’re interested in volunteering to educate and support people about cloth diapers in your community, please join us!)

Heather McNamara
Executive Director, Real Diaper Association

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