Is a Daycare Center Different from a Preschool?

As a new parent, you want the best for your child at every step of their developmental milestones. One common judgment you must make is whether to choose a daycare or preschool for your child. Although both require the same licensing and accreditation and roughly cost the same, there are a few clear-cut differences between them that you should consider when choosing between the two.

Is a Daycare Center Different from a Preschool? Preschool

A preschool lays the foundation of early education in children between three to five years of age and acquaints them to the atmosphere of school education.

Daycare Center

Refers to the place where a child is looked after by daycare staff in a safe environment, in absence of the former’s parent or legal guardian. The term ‘Daycare’ was coined to denote that the child has to be provided care during the daytime.

Main Differences

Here are a few differences between a preschool and a daycare center:
  • A preschool is particularly intended for children between the age group of 2.5 to 5 or 6 years while a daycare is designed for children across different ages including infant to elementary school age.

  • A preschool has restricted hours of operation that usually lasts for 3-4 hours per day. On the other hand, several daycare centers provide their services throughout a working day, making it a preferable choice for working moms.

  • The curriculum of most preschools is configured around specific educational approach, like the Montessori system, whereas several daycares are inclined towards having more custodial approach than educational and may or may not involve some amount of formal education.

  • A preschool is also interchangeably referred to by various terms like Playgroup, Kindergarten or Nursery, in different countries across the world. A daycare is also called as a Child-Care Center or Creche in some countries.

  • Children in a preschool have exposure to intermittent fun activities like games and art apart from the basics of education which is imparted to them through different learning styles. A daycare basically emphasizes on the general well-being of the child, and activities that form an integral part of the daycare include playing, watching TV or sleeping.

The Bottom Line

When you get into a deeper analysis, you may come to the conclusion that daycares and preschools are not fundamentally different in principle. Still, they differ in terms of your logistical requirements, depending on your situation. For instance, the daycare option may be preferable to working moms and parents of infants, because it has the provision of continuous and extended hours of child care than a preschool. Since both daycare centers and preschools conform to high state standards, so you can be sure that both of them will be safe and enriching for your child.

About Pacific Preschool & Kindergarten

Pacific PreSchool & Kindergarten is one-of-a-kind preschool and child care center in San Marcos, California. Their goal is to provide an early childhood education program to little children so that it satisfies their physical, socio-emotional and child development needs in a progressive way. Lynda Way, the owner of Pacific PreSchool & Kindergarten, makes use of her 40 years of professional knowledge in childhood development and truly loves what she does.

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