Crap. Wrong tactic.
I’ve had your concerns about the non-use of cloth nappies passed on to me – why didn’t you get in touch with me instead of apparently going everywhere else. No one can seriously think their Creche place is at risk for asking if we ‘allow’ cloth nappies – it is only at risk if they choose not to come here! If we do offer parents the facility to use cloth nappies, then it has to be for everyone so we need to be sure we can cope with the storage if large numbers took up the option.
I have discussed the storage of cloth nappies with Regional Public Health (storage of the wet nappies is the issue) and they are concerned that there must not be any smell from the bags or whatever is used as storage. Buckets with fitted lids do keep the smell in – no suggestion of needing to soak them these days so don’t know where that idea came from. It seems a bit odd to store them in disposable plastic bags when that is what we are moving away from; we have just applied for and been given 300 environmentally sensitive bags for children’s wet clothes (not nappies) so we don’t have to use plastic bags for them any more.
The Law Creche is very small and I don’t know where they would store wet nappie bags so that they weren’t actually in the playroom (they don’t have a hallway like the other centres) but they may have creative ideas. I certainly would not like to work in a relatively small space with several nappie bags hanging nearby!!
Believe me we discuss the topic at least 2-3 times a year – I leave it up to the centres to work out solutions to issues such as this amongst their staff and there is not a generic policy from me that ‘bans’ cloth nappies of the new variety. I believe one of the centres does have 1 or 2 children in cloth nappies already but they have huge space that allow for their storage.
As I said I am not making any decisions on behalf of the individual centres – we will talk again at the next supervisors meeting and each centre will decide what they can offer parents; it seems purely to be a storage issues as we have many other practices that support the environment, good nutrition, etc.
I didn’t mean to bypass you at all. I just know you are busy and wanted to get the right information so it wasn’t seen to be so confronting – I guess I felt I had a more personal connection with Amy on the issue as I’ve talked with her extensively about it before. I wasn’t really expecting to have my email passed on directly, I would have explained myself better if I knew that would happen! As I said in the original email, I wanted to get Amy to help me with this as I didn’t feel I had ‘the right’ to speak on my own behalf as I am no longer using the centre myself.
I asked Trudy first about the policy on cloth nappies just because I didn’t want to bother you until I had the right information. My original information of Vic Uni crèches having a ‘no cloth’ policy had come from The Nappy Network where there is a forum to discuss childcare centres that support cloth use. The original statement came from a well known cloth nappy business owner. Admittedly, she could have been misinformed or the information outdated.
As for feeling at risk, this is what I have heard from others and how I have felt myself in that if we really did want to push the issue of cloth nappies and were confronted with the policy as far as it has been in the past in that a definite ‘no’ was given to cloth, then our only alternative is to find a place in another centre. The centres are so brilliant than 99% of people will consider their place in the centre more important than cloth and will not sacrifice their place to make a stand on the issue. It is not a risk as far as anyone asking them to leave. I shouldn’t have put it that way. I know for a fact that you’d not even think of doing that!
I do agree that storing them in disposable plastic bags is not a great solution. I would prefer wetbags myself, I was just communicating what I had heard other centres doing. The one that I linked to in the original email is a zipped pouch so would prevent the smell escaping. I have also used a tea tree oil soaked piece of material to deal with the issue of smell inside the bag. As you might imagine, this doesn’t solve the problem completely but does work relatively well. As far as examples from other centres that have used cloth – the parents are required to provide these bags. There are low cost alternatives or materials available for parents to make their own.
Unfortunately with the law crèche, I am unfamiliar with the lay out. My knowledge of the other centres is exactly the reason I considered that I should get more involved in this issue as while I know space is tight, I’m sure there is a way of finding a solution to the storage issue.
I don’t doubt that all the crèches are making major moves toward adopting sustainable environmental practices. I saw it myself and remain impressed at the efforts that went on at the toddler crèche. As a cloth nappy advocate, I am also really unimpressed that the public doesn’t understand how easy cloth can be (generally, not the Vic crèche). I would like to offer any information I can to work out solutions to any problems that people may have, and this is not just to Vic Uni crèche but to all parents and childcare centres.
Please let me know if you would like me to bring along storage and modern cloth nappy examples to the supervisors meeting if you think that would allow you and the supervisors to see if it is at all possible to have the option to use cloth at the centres.
I’m really not trying to be a pain for the hell of it. It is something that I have thought about for a very long time and I work long term in educating people about the merits of cloth nappies. I believe there is a time and place for disposable nappies and they have certainly made my life easier at times, but I believe that making cloth nappy use an option at childcare is part of a wider change in our practices that we need to allow for.
Thanks for your reply. I look forward to hearing from you and I’m sorry I didn’t ring for a chat sooner – I do know you are approachable and friendly. I just didn’t want to sound like a bumbling idiot earlier than I needed to.
Lesson learned: talk to manager first. Gah.[/quote]