Is there a difference between daycare and preschool?

As you first begin to think about childcare options for your little one, you may become overwhelmed with how many choices there are. It can be difficult to figure out which early childhood education center will be best for your family’s needs. Of course, it’s not long before the big question arises: daycare or preschool? You may even find yourself wondering what the difference is (if any at all) between a daycare and a preschool.

To help you decide what will be best for your child, let’s take a look at some of the areas where daycare centers and preschools may be different:

Ages

Although each childcare establishment is different, many places that have ‘preschool’ in the name may not accept kids under the age of 2 or 3. Preschools typically focus on providing academic programs for children between the ages of 2 ½ to about 5 or 6. Daycares, unlike most preschools, tend to offer programs for a wider age range of children, oftentimes including infants.

Prep Academy Schools gives families the best of both worlds by offering a strong educational foundation for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Prep Academy provides high-quality education programs for infant, toddler, preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten age children, also offering an enriching before and after school program for children up to 12 years old.

Curriculum

At a daycare, the focus can often be on keeping children on a healthy nap and sleep schedule, and entertaining them while their parents are at work. Some informal learning at daycare centers is often introduced through educational games and activities. Preschools, on the other hand, often implement a learning methodology of some type, such as Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, or Montessori.

Prep Academy Schools implements The Accelerated Program, a prestigious Flagship Early Childhood Educational Experience. This prestigious learning model was designed by Early Childhood Development Specialists with the accelerated student in mind. Educators at Prep Academy tailor their lessons based on the strengths of the individual student to make sure that each one is being challenged appropriately.

Kindergarten and Elementary Readiness

The aim of many preschools is to make sure that children are prepared to move onto the next level in their academic journey, which is usually kindergarten or elementary school. While some daycares may have a preparedness plan for higher education, it is often not their primary goal.

At Prep Academy Schools, one of our main developmental goals for our kindergarten students is to prepare children for future educational success by fostering literacy, mathematics, science, and art skills.

Hours of Operation/Calendar Schedule

Another big difference between daycares and preschools can be the hours of operation and the calendar schedule. While preschools are typically only open during your average school hours, and often follow public school calendar for breaks, daycares usually open earlier and stay open much later to accommodate working parents. Daycares are also often open year-round or provide camps during the summer and holidays when most preschools are closed.

Luckily, Prep Academy Schools offers an exciting summer camp program with topics in arts, humanities, sciences and more! Prep Academy also offers an engaging STEM camp with fun activities that keep kids learning and interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

 

At Prep Academy Schools, we mix the best elements of daycares and preschools to serve families in our communities with convenient, high-quality early childhood education. In addition to offering an advanced academic curriculum, Prep Academy Schools ensures that students are having fun and exploring their interests through additional enrichments such as physical education, foreign language, computer technology, music and art.