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Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Blog, Education & Development |

Important Differences To Help You Decide Between Day Care And Preschool Child Care Programs

Are you trying to decide if your child should be in a more structured setting than what they receive around your home? Are you confused about the differences between a daycare and preschool? Here is some information about the two choices, to help clear up any confusion that you may have:

Philosophical differences: Many daycare centers mainly focus on providing a safe and comfortable playtime environment for their young clients. They may offer full-time care for children ranging in age from infancy to third graders. They also tend to forego any structured teaching sessions, although there may be storytime or crafting projects during the week. Some daycare centers focus on creating an atmosphere that’s as homelike as possible, intending for the children to receive professional care while in a casual setting.

In contrast, a preschool focuses on the development of pre-academic skills, including learning the names of basic geometric shapes, numbers, and even letter recognition. A preschool may also teach basic math skills, giving your child a boost when it comes time for them to attend kindergarten.

Age range: In a daycare, your child may mingle with a variety of age groups. They may find themselves sharing lunch with the older kids or taking quiet time with younger toddlers. Learning how to get along with children who are not their own age can be an important social skill for many children. 

In contrast, a preschool is focused on children in a narrower age range, usually from three to five years old. Many parents find the grouping offered by a preschool to be beneficial and helpful for their children to learn to identify and interact with their peers. 

Self-care requirements: Many preschools require that all children are able to use the toilet by themselves and that they can also practice basic hand-washing under adult supervision. Since children mature physically at different rates, this allows preschool teachers to focus on educational learning rather than on toilet training.

Many daycare programs have no similar requirements and will allow children to wear diapers or training pants, depending on both the children’s needs and the wishes of their parents. Many day cares will also help re-enforce any toilet training activities that your child does at home.

Choosing the right type of a facility for a child is a personal decision that should be made based on a variety of factors. You may choose to make your decision based on the advice of professionals, or you may decide to simply follow your instincts when deciding whether a daycare or a preschool is better for your child. For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Wooden Shoe Pre-School & Pre-Kindergarten.  

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