Childcare Centers: Daycare vs Preschool

Childcare Centers: Daycare vs Preschool

May 25, 2016

Your young one might be very happy in a daycare setting, but you may be debating if the time is right to make the transition to preschool. Perhaps your youngster spent the first formative years at home with you and now you are seeking more social interaction for your child. Whatever the reason, you are probably considering: What are the pros and cons of pre-school vs. daycare? What are the best child care tips?

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Both types of facilities operate under basically the same government guidelines and regulations. Day care centers now offer more learning skill activities to better prepare children for kindergarten. Much of the curriculum is similar to what is taught in preschool. Both will provide nutritious snacks for toddlers. Also, child care costs for day care and preschool are about equal.

Yet, there are key distinctions that set them apart. Day care centers accept infants; therefore, they are willing to change diapers. Kids who attend preschool are required to be toilet trained. Also, many states require higher education standard for preschool educators than they do for day care providers. When it comes to exploring child care centers, consider what makes each option different:


• Preschools

are open fewer hours per day. They generally are closed on holidays, school vacations and for the summer. Some will offer a summer program for an additional fee. There is usually a full or half day program, with a requirement of at least a two day per week enrollment.

• Day care centers offer some flexibility with their hours. They tend to accommodate working parents and cater to their needs. They typically operate all year long. Besides workday coverage, some will allow a parent to personalize their child’s time at the daycare. For example, if a mother needs to get to a hair appointment for a couple of hours or get some shopping done uninterrupted, she may drop off her child.


• At preschools, children are typical between two and five years old. They are placed in age groups and taught the appropriate level of skills for their time of development. Co-mingling occurs in the playground and at other leisurely activities.

• At day care centers child care is offered for newborns up to elementary school kids. A multitude of ages is combined together to play and socialize. It can be a problem when the caregivers need to focus mostly on the infants.

Child Care Tips

Investigate local child care centers, stick with a convenient location. The most successful program is the one that both you and your child love. The facility must be easy to get to, the hours work with your schedule and the child care costs fit into your budget. Both daycare and preschool are strong options for your child. Weigh all the pluses and minuses and follow your gut.

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