The Difference between Preschool and Daycare

Many parents ponder this question when looking to enrol their child in the early years. There are a couple of differences to consider.

A Preschool is different from a Daycare, as a Preschool is an early childhood education centre where the focus is on a curriculum that supports early learning and school readiness. Preschools have children aged 2.5 to 5 years of age. Preschools will have set programs/classes a week, that run 2-6 hours, are not open on weekends or holidays, and follow the regular School year(September-June).

In a preschool, if your child seems to be developing at a slower rate, or you just have a feeling about something, some preschools can also provide parents with knowledge to aid in parenting, to help and understand your child, and also get you the help you need from other professionals, to ensure your child has the best chance at education in the future, when they enter in the the k-12 school system.

A Daycare is a childcare facility that caters to working parents. Daycares have as young as 6 months old to 12 years of age and children can be in care up to 8 hours a day. Daycares operate year round.

Both generally have a set daily schedule with activities that focus on play. Each day is set up with a consistent routine, and the activities presented, are designed to challenge the children developmental growth for their age group.

In both, the ECE’s(Early Childhood Educator) will access each childs abilities when doing these daily activities, that then can then assess if then child is developing on a consistent basis for their age group. Generally educators are focused on nurturing the childs developmental milestones, their social interaction and behaviours, providing the child with life skills, as they start to experience and explore the world around them, outside of their family units.