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CHILDCARE

What is the difference between daycare and preschool? And which is better?

I’m looking for childcare for my 2-year-old and am getting frustrated. I can’t swing the cost of many and others have laughable waitlists. Plus, everyone tells me something different about what to pick. What’s the difference between preschool and daycare? Which is better?

0 Likes 12 Replies

KM

Krystal posted January 21

One type is not “better” than the other, it just depends on your child’s needs and the options in your area. Both preschools and daycares must be licensed and accredited. Preschool is normally for children ages three to five, while infants and toddlers are also welcome at daycare. If a lower child to teacher ratio is important to you (and it SHOULD be) try to find a daycare or, even better, a home daycare. These tend to have the smallest class sizes. 1 Like
AD

Ashley posted January 21

One misconception I hear all the time about daycare is that it isn’t education-based, while preschool is. This is false. You’ll find that most daycares today offer a great curriculum to help prep your child for kindergarten, too! It’s super important to ask about lessons and curriculum when considering options in your area. 1 Like
KB

Kristin posted January 21

Be practical about the decision. You should factor in your family’s routine, your schedule and which option offers the most convenient solution. Do you work a full-time job? If so, a daycare could be the best fit. They usually offer flexible hours for working parents, while a regular preschool schedule is a half-day - seldom do they stay open a full school day’s hours. 0 Likes

Vibion Pullins posted January 22

At most preschools your child must be potty trained but daycares usually helps with potty training. Both are curriculum based just preschool has a specific age 2.5-5 years old at daycare the age ranges it just depends on your schedule and needs for your child either one will be a good option depending on what you need 0 Likes

Vibion Pullins posted January 22

At most preschools your child must be potty trained but daycares usually helps with potty training. Both are curriculum based just preschool has a specific age 2.5-5 years old at daycare the age ranges it just depends on your schedule and needs for your child either one will be a good option depending on what you need 0 Likes

Sevinj posted January 22

Preschools are typically center based, meaning they are established facilities that service as an educational institution. A daycare is more of a home based establishment. Both have educational purposes 0 Likes
JG

Jill posted January 22

Daycare is childcare that may be full or part time. The qualifications for daycare are different than for preschool. Some family childcare professionals may have bachelors or masters in early education and care. Some preschool teachers may only have a few courses in early education and care. Usually most licensed programs require CZpR and a First Aid Certificates. Most licensed childcare programs have many other state requirements. Preschool typically implies a Developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum. Daycare may be play bases with no specific curriculum. Typically I would suggest 2 half days of a curriculum based program for a two year old. Children 3 years old typically go at least 3 half days. By four years old children can go 4 half or full days . By 5 years old children are ready for school 5 days a week. The most important factors are to find a program that has a good fit for your child and family’s specific needs. There are many state and national standards and frameworks regarding what children need to know and when. 0 Likes
WA

Wendy posted January 22

It's just the name. It may depend on where you live, but where I am all childcare, including family childcare have to follow the same regulations as far as curriculum. They will all 'teach' your child. If you want something play based as opposed to something that is more academically oriented keep that in mind when you are looking. But there are many preschools that are play based. Family Childcare is an underrated option for many families with many positive aspects. It tends to be less expensive than center based care. Children learn in mixed age groups-and learn so much from each other. In my state, family childcare is required to follow preschool curriculum, I'm sure it's that way in many places. In my state any type of school is not allowed to decline a student because they are not potty trained (I've read a few explanations saying that preschool children have to be potty trained while daycare children do not). It may vary state to state...but really - it's just in the name. 0 Likes

Charish posted January 27

I agree with all the replies above. I would just like to add that center-based care in my opinion is more statistical. Home-based daycare is more personal. One is not better than the other I think it just has to do with the environment. 0 Likes

Deborah posted February 19

Daycare is more social emotional interaction between children three play. The Preschool is gear to preparing the child for kindergarten. Know that there is a difference and you don’t want discover this when your child is a year behind his pears. 0 Likes
MQ

Mireya posted February 28

Preschools are much better for 2+ especially 3 yr olds in my opinion! The daycares usually only have “baby toys” no choke hazards. At at least 3 y/o kids can be playing with toys like magnet tiles, cars , Legos etc ... that are so good for their development! It blows my mind to think that my 4 y/o would be at a daycare 🙅🏻‍♀️ He gets so much out of his preschool 0 Likes

Jacqueline posted March 17

Mireya , that is your opinion about family daycares. I'm a licensed provider of 16 yrs with my BS, CDA soon to be working on a Master's and we do more than just provide baby toys. Just so you know at our last conference , kids who attended family daycares vs centers/preschools reported to have had higher test scores because of the individualized attention they received in a smaller environment. 0 Likes
Me