Is it legal for a private pre-school to ask preschoolers to take-turns to wash everyone's lunch dishes in the kitchen on behalf of all other students? It was a rotational. It was not singling out a specific person. I think two people worked on it cooperatively.

I know a friend in the United States whose pre-school asked them to wash dishes one-day when they were four-years-old. Then the pre-school shutdown some subsequent days later because the nuns ran out of funding.

Is this child-labor/abuse?

  • What dishes? What they just used for snack? Or dishes from the kitchen? Two very different things...
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 18, 2022 at 19:49
  • from the Kitchen inside the kitchen@JonCuster
    – user46042
    Aug 18, 2022 at 19:50
  • also child labor: cleaning chalk erasers
    – Tiger Guy
    Aug 18, 2022 at 19:50
  • 1
    Hmmmm.... I'd be more concerned about safety dealing with large pots and pans or knives... Given the school has shut down for lack of funds, what is the point in pursuing this?
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 18, 2022 at 19:53
  • maybe the school was shutdown because someone sued the school for asking their children to wash dishes rather than hiring staff?@JonCuster
    – user46042
    Aug 18, 2022 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


This is probably permitted on the theory that socializing children to do household type chores serves a reasonable educational purpose.

If the dishes being washed were from a restaurant unrelated to the pre-school, on the other hand, this would probably be prohibited child labor.

  • 2
    it might also hinge on the amount: having 2 kids wash the dishes of 20 might be ok, while 2 of 200 might be excessive.
    – Trish
    Aug 18, 2022 at 20:21
  • 1
    @Trish Without a doubt, specific factual details matter.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 18, 2022 at 22:30

You must log in to answer this question.