University of Victoria

Together we CanAssist.

Inclusive Toileting Initiative


Through the Canada - British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, funding was provided to CanAssist at the University of Victoria to help make child care centres more inclusive for children with toileting barriers. CanAssist worked with more than 300 child care providers, parents and subject matter experts, including occupational therapists, to develop toileting resources and supports for child care providers and families.

Why do we need the Toileting Initiative?

We heard from parents and child care providers that the requirement for children to use the bathroom independently (toileting) was a barrier for many families in accessing child care, specifically for families whose children have support needs.

Toileting is a barrier because in some instances, children are denied access to care because of not being able to toilet independently. Because children learn at different rates depending on their ages and stages of development, adapting care environments to better support all children’s diverse range of abilities can reduce instances of exclusion due to toileting. Reducing toileting as a barrier within care environments means we are one step closer to inclusive child care.

Initiative Deliverables

Inclusive Bathroom Design Considerations: A resource which includes questions and considerations when building, renovating, or furnishing bathroom spaces intended primarily for use by children. The Ministry of Health, Community Care Facility Licensing and Assisted Living Registry helped develop this resource.

Toilet Learning Position Statement: Which outlines an inclusive, child centered approach to toileting. It includes discussion about various approaches and strategies for toileting that addresses a broad range of children, including those with support needs.

Toileting Resource Evaluation Tool: Which was developed to support child care providers, early childhood educators, and related staff in determining the quality and effectiveness of toileting resources and to help them identify resources that best meet the needs of the children and their families.

The Toilet Step Stool (TSS): Designed to offer more stability and a greater sense of security for children when toileting versus standard commercially available step stools. Key features of the TSS include, adjustable height, deep grab handles, a removable toilet paper holder, smooth surfaces for easy cleaning, and it can be collapsed for storage. 1000 step stools were delivered to child care programs across the province in 2021.



In 2021, CanAssist partnered with LaserCAM fabrications Inc. to make the TSS publicly available for purchase. You can find the TSS product page HERE on the LaserCAM website.

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