'Happy toilets' to teach pre-schoolers good habits

'Happy toilets' to teach pre-schoolers good habits
K2 students (L-R) Low Sue Ann and Amisha Roop Kaur using their Happy Toilet.

SINGAPORE - The drive for clean toilets is going down to the pre-school level.

A programme was launched on Tuesday to improve washrooms in pre-schools and teach children good habits such as flushing the toilet after use.

The Restroom Association of Singapore, which has previously focused on public toilets in places such as coffee shops, hopes to have "happy toilets" in pre-schools through design, maintenance and education.

Under design, for instance, pre-schools are advised to create and maintain green toilets by having water-efficient toilet fittings, among other things.

For the easy reach of young users, pre-schools are advised to have flush controls 500mm to 900mm from the floor.

In addition, putting a paper towel dispenser and bin near the sink makes it a breeze for children to wipe their hands after washing and throw used towels into the bin. This also reduces the wetting of floors. Cleaners will also be trained to use the right gloves, brushes and mops for cleaning specific parts of the toilet.

On Tuesday, Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Low Yen Ling told 120 principals and teachers: "For good habits to set in, it is important to start young (and inculcate) toilet habits that will stay with the children for life."

Two kindergartens which took part in the scheme's pilot test were given Happy Toilet plaques.

On top of meeting standards set by the restroom association, PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Telok Blangah Block 44 also taught children to keep the toilets clean.

They used to flick the water onto the floor after washing their hands but do so less often now, said its principal Choo Sir Mori.

Still, a mini-mop has been placed in the toilet for children to clean up wet spots.

"We want to teach our children to appreciate our cleaners next," Ms Choo said.

This article was first published on February 7, 2015.
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