Many people use the terms daycare and preschool interchangeably, when in fact there are subtle differences that make each one unique. Both types of facilities are required to meet some level of state standards and must meet specific guidelines in order to care for children.
Daycare services are often longer each day, in some cases from 6 AM to 6 PM. While they provide many learning materials, their primary focus is mostly on encouraging social interaction between children and teaching them the basics. Daycare services often take children under the age of three, where preschool is geared more towards older children who are nearing school age.
Preschool offers a more structured learning environment. Some may even include short classes. Teachers who work at a preschool often have some type of teaching credential or have attended college and taken classes geared toward elementary teaching. Preschools are often closed during the holidays and on weekends, and may have shorter hours during the week.
Which One Is Right For My Child?
If you are trying to decide which one you should choose for your child, first look at your child’s abilities. Would they be better suited for a preschool environment where they can explore and learn, or would they do better in a less structured environment like a daycare? Visit a few of each and see just what kind of activities they include. This may be the one best way to determine which one is right for your child.
Do your research and let your child guide you as you make your choice between daycare and preschool. Their readiness and willingness to participate in a more structured learning environment will tell you a lot about what you need to know to make your decision.
First School of the Desert provides your family an exciting approach to a pre-school education. To know more about the child care program at our center, contact us at (760) 799-2910.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.