From the first day Real Diaper Association opened our doors in 2004, we have had parents ask us to help them encourage their daycare providers to accept cloth diapers.
After much planning and a year-long survey, Real Diaper Association proposed to Real Diaper Industry Association, the cloth diaper industry trade association, a joint project to facilitate the acceptance and use of cloth diapers in the daycare setting.
Based on a cost-benefit analysis of our various options, we decided to move forward in two main areas.
Guide parents to find or convince a daycare to use cloth diapers.
- To help them find a daycare to accept cloth, we have created a cloth diaper-friendly daycare directory. Parents will contribute data to this directory, and it will be available for others to search for daycares in their area.
- In lieu of finding an already-cloth-diaper-friendly setting, we produced a “tip sheet” to guide parents in how to ensure a caretakers’ acceptance and use of cloth diapers for a child in their care.
Educating daycare facilities about cloth diapers.
- Using input from facilities already using cloth diapers extensively, as well as knowledge about local daycare provider licensing requirements, we will create materials for distribution in two ways.
- First, we will attempt to “soften the market” by using a mailing list to reach some of the largest providers.
- Second, we will make the materials available for printing and use by motivated “salespeople” – parents who are searching for daycare for their baby.
- As part of this area, we’ll also examine existing relationships between daycare facilities and diaper services to produce a useful model to help more diaper services pursue these relationships in their communities.
The direction of this project has been guided by a survey conducted by Real Diaper Association on the use of cloth diapers in daycare facilities. We received over 250 detailed responses. The responders were largely parents who had talked with daycare providers about their willingness to use cloth diapers on their children while caring for them.
We learned several important things by analyzing the survey results:
- Parents who educated themselves about this issue and were persistent about educating daycare providers to use cloth diapers were at times able to turn a “no” into a “yes.”
- There are some daycare providers who exclusively use cloth diapers in their facility.
- Daycare providers who refused to use cloth diapers usually feared they were unsanitary and were generally unfamiliar with cloth diaper usage.
- Occasionally daycare providers blamed state health and licensing regulations for restricting the use of cloth diapers in their facility.
- This is a nationwide issue. There are no regional patterns for the acceptance or rejection of cloth diapers in daycare.
Our Mission: The Real Diaper Association is a collective non-profit organization in which parents and small businesses take the lead in creating a cultural shift to increase the use of simple, reusable cloth diapers. We connect current cloth diapering parents to the long history of cloth diapering. Cloth diapers are real diapers. The Association organizes local advocates and activists for cloth diapers through a member-supported resource center which plans campaigns, trains organizers, distributes educational information, supports local groups, and connects users to the Cloth Diaper industry. Local Real Diaper Circles reach users face-to-face with knowledge and tools to make cloth diapering accessible and acceptable to U.S. parents, who have the power to change the world one baby at a time.