A Winnipeg couple is speaking out after being told their young daughter’s sundress wasn’t suitable for pre-school.

Parents Jamie and Sadie Stonehouse told CTV News with Wednesday’s scorching temperatures, they didn’t think twice about sending their toddler Lola to nursery school in a sundress with spaghetti straps. 

Their daycare provider picks the three-year-old up from The Little Years Nursery School, and texted Jamie and Sadie Stonehouse saying school staff spoke to her about the girl’s outfit. 

“That her dress was inappropriate for school, and she needed to have two-inch wide straps on her sundress,” said Jamie Stonehouse. 

The parents were also shocked to hear that staff told their daycare provider Lola would need to wear a t-shirt under the dress if she were to wear it again. 

“At two inches she might as well just be wearing a shirt,” said Jamie Stonehouse. 

“It’s covering pretty much her whole shoulder and down a bit, so it’s not even a summer dress at that point.” 

Lola’s mother Sadie said the incident has left her feeling upset leaving her to now explain to a three-year-old why she can’t wear a dress she loves to school anymore. 

“She’s not going to understand. She’s going to think that maybe she did something wrong, when she very much didn’t,” said Sadie Stonehouse. 

“So now she’s going to be questioning her own body. And that’s such a young age to even be thinking of something like that.” 

While the couple said they planned to follow what they were told, they hope the nursery school will look at reviewing its policies and directives. 

“Especially for toddlers. I don’t think any girl should have to worry about how much shoulder she’s exposing when she dresses to go to school or anywhere else. At any age,” said Sadie Stonehouse. 

Her husband agreed. 

“It’s a child. Innocence is innocence and we’re the only ones who can give it to them.” 

Little Years Nursery School is located in Ralph Maybank School. 

Speaking with CTV News by phone, the school’s director declined to comment and said the pre-school follows the Pembina Trails School Division dress code. 

In a statement to CTV, a spokesperson for the Pembina Trails School Division wrote: 

“Pembina Trails’ schools often share the same roof as day cares and nursery schools, as a convenience to our communities, but child care centers are run completely by separate organizations. In fact, schools in Manitoba are not permitted to operate day cares.

Our division does not have a dress code policy. Instead, we believe in allowing our school leaders to use discretion and encourage best practices in a respectful way.

Since this child is not currently one of our students, we would suggest this family connect directly with their nursery school provider.”