Friday, January 18, 2013

Cloth Diaper Daycare Laws for the 50 States


 A good friend of mine lives in Florida, and uses cloth diapers.  When she went back to work, she asked her daycare about using cloth diapers.  She was told that using cloth diapers at daycare facilities was illegal in her state.  For over a year she has operated under this information, and been forced to use disposable diapers at daycare.

Recently FuzziBunz diapers sent out a newsletter with information on talking to daycare providers about using cloth diapers, with a link to look up current laws. I was immediately curious to see what the laws regarding cloth diapers in Florida were.  I had no trouble navigating the website and did a quick search for “cloth diaper” or “reusable diaper” to find where cloth diapers were mentioned in the laws.

The state of Florida Chapter 65C-22 Florida Administrative Code Child Care standards (law effective 1-13-12, information current as of June 8th 2012):
“Soiled cloth diapers shall be emptied of feces in the toilet and placed in a securely covered container that is not accessible to children. The container shall be emptied, cleaned and sanitized or disinfected, at least,
daily.”

Cloth diapers are not only legal to use at daycare centers in Florida, but that there is precedence of using cloth diapers and written policy for daycares to follow.  The daycare in Florida had misrepresented the law and provided false information to my friend.  This has resulted in unnecessary expenses for her family, and was not in the best interest of their child.  I was justifiably frustrated for my friend, and this caused me to go on an extensive search to find out: Are there any states where cloth diapering is illegal?

Laws for cloth diapering at daycare by state
Alabama- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Alaska- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Arizona- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Arkansas- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
California- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Colorado- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Connecticut- cloth diapering is legal, daycare needs to submit a plan for using diapers and have that plan approved by the states daycare licensing.
Delaware- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Florida- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Georgia- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Hawaii- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Idaho- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Illinois- cloth diapering is legal, provide separate container for cloth diapers
Indiana- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Iowa- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Kansas- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Kentucky- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Louisiana – cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Maine- Cloth diapering is legal, but the child must have a written doctors note prescribing their use
Maryland- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Massachusetts- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Michigan- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Minnesota- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Mississippi- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Missouri- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Montana- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Nebraska- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Nevada- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
New Hampshire- cloth diapering is legal, home-laundered diapers (not washed at a diaper service) may be used only if a doctor’s note is provided
New Jersey- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
New Mexico- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
New York- cloth diapering is legal as long as diapers are laundered by a professional diaper service
North Carolina- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
North Dakota- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Ohio- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Oklahoma- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
Oregon- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Pennsylvania- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Rhode Island- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
South Carolina- cloth diapering is legal, specified standards for their use
South Dakota- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Tennessee- cloth diapering is restricted, the need to obtain a doctor's note is not specified
Texas- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Utah- cloth diapering is legal, no specified standards for their use
Vermont- cloth diapering is legal, standards specified for their use, diaper service can pick-up at daycare!
Virginia- cloth diapering is legal, standards specified for their use
Washington- cloth diapering is legal, standards specified for their use
West Virginia- cloth diapering is legal, standards specified for their use
Wisconsin- cloth diapering is legal, standards specified for their use
Wyoming- cloth diapering is legal, no standards specified for their use

The result of all this research was I was unable to find any states that ban the use of cloth diapers at daycare centers. 

While some states do not have written policy for how daycares are to handle cloth diapers, no state bans the use of cloth diapers at daycare centers for “health reasons” (as some daycares may suggest). *1/8/14 Update: Tennessee specifies that disposable diapers should be used, but does not specify that cloth diapers are not allowed when required for health reasons. Most states require that daycares not be responsible for washing soiled cloth diapers, and that the diapers be placed in a container away from where children can access them.  New York was the most stringent in their cloth diapering law, and mandated that cloth diapers must be provided from and laundered by a diapering service without exceptions.

Don’t allow a daycare to bully you out of using cloth diapers. Find out what your specific state requirements are and kindly remind daycares that you have a legal right to do what is best for your family and your baby.   

Search “cloth diaper” or “reusable diaper” or "diaper" to find where cloth diapers and diapering are specifically mentioned in the laws for your state.

If you’ve had experience using cloth diapers at daycare, please make sure you add their information to the “cloth diaper friendly daycare list” and help other families find supportive centers.

17 comments:

  1. I had to get a doctor's note to use cloth at day care via the NH law. He wasn't wearing them for any official health reason but my Dr had no issues doing it anyway. He thought there was neat!

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    1. Sensitive skin and diaper rash is so common that most doctors have no issue writing a note to use cloth. We almost never get diaper rashes when using cloth, but for the few times we've used disposables we've struggled with rashes.

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  2. I just interviewed a daycare that said no to my cloth diapers because there were no toilets in the age group room my son will be in. But once he moves up, they have toilets there... except he is supposed to be potty trained by then. Wth!?

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    1. Do they think they need to rinse the diapers? Our daycare has a policy that they don't dump poop, so we have to spray the diapers once we get home. If you're up for spraying diapers when you get home, you could talk to the daycare again and clarify that you know they can't dump it without toilets in the room. Our daycare usually folded our pocket diapers up and stuck them into the wet bag with any mess contained inside the diaper. Hopefully there is a way to compromise and make it work- good luck!

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  3. I believe not having toliets in the classroom has no bearing on using cloth, since you are only asking them to do what they do with disposable diapered children. If they can change sposies in that room, they can change cloth.

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  4. I operate my own family child care in my home and had to get a doctors note to use cloth diapers for my OWN daughter, in my OWN home... my doctor gave me this "look" when I explained it to her and she said, SO what should I write on this form? Rash? Eczema? haha.

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    1. Wow! What a twist! That's so funny :)

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  5. I stay at home, but it's still nice to know that NC has guidelines on how to use cloth diapers, and that they are pretty simple :)

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  6. Wow! it is so cool that you went through all the states. I am so happy that all states allow this. I stay home but from now on I am going to refer my friends to this page so they have the law ready when they go interview at day care centers. You rock!

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  7. Please check your info for Tennessee. If you look on page 78 it states "(a) Only disposable diapers shall be used for children using diapers"

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    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for the comment. This list was compiled in 2012 and that is why the links to each individual state are included- it's important for everyone to stay current on changes in their states. I'm disappointed to hear that Tennessee has made changes over the past year to regulate the use of cloth diapers- I will update the info, thanks!

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    2. The rule referenced on page 78 is part of the regulations for child care centers caring for sick children. The section also prohibits drinking fountains and carpet, which is not the case for regular child care centers. The catch in the regular child care center rules is that diapers must go in a container with a lid and plastic liner and must be disposed of in an outside receptacle.

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    3. Thanks for following up on this Jenny.

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  8. Do you have an updated link to show my daughter's daycare? We're in FL & her daycare is saying that the health department won't allow cloth diapers in a daycare.

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    1. The current link says that any feces must be disposed of in a toilet, but there's not a toilet in the infant room at my daughter's daycare, so I'm for something that has it worded differently, to show that it could just be disposed of in a trash can like regular disposable diapers...or leave it in the diaper and I'll deal with it when I get home.

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    2. Hi Kelly and thanks for your question. I apologize that I haven't had time to review the laws for your state, but it looks like you have done some digging. Most daycare centers have no issue treating cloth just like disposables: provide a pail as a secondary containment and use a pail liner to take the diapers home in nightly. Our center requires that the pail have an easy hands free lid (essentially a glorified trash can is what we use). The daycare does not empty diapers. The confusion seems to be in if the center needs to empty diapers then they are not set up for that. However, you are right that they can treat the cloth just like disposables and not violate any codes (plus it's easy for them). I hope that helps!

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  9. good article, thank you for share

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