The Phone Call That I received From a Parent
Recently a parent called my childcare center inquiring about preschool for her four-year old daughter. The first question that she asked me was, ” Is this a Daycare or a Preschool?”
My answer: ” Learning Days is a State Licensed and Missouri Accredited Child Care Center that offers a full-day preschool program.”
The mother was relieved to know that her child was going to be in a program that offered an educational program.
Several years ago, I posted a question on the Child Care Business Owner Facebook Page, asking the Child Care Business Owners if they thought there was a difference in the terms daycare and preschool and I received a flood of comments about this topic. In fact, many of the Child Care Business Owners thought that there was a difference in the having a daycare or a preschool program.
I agreed with many of the responses, however, I feel that we need to know the real definition of both terms for our own information. Furthermore, we also must educate parents on the difference of both terms.
The Definition of Daycare
The Collins online dictionary defines Daycare as: care that is provided during the day for people who cannot look after themselves, such as small children, old people, or people who are ill. Day care is provided by paid workers.
Now reading that definition, it doesn’t sound to bad. In fact, it is a clear description of a childcare provider’s role and that is to care for young children that cannot care for them selves. However, the definition did not include educating young children. Now let’s take a look at the definition of preschool.
The Definition of Preschool
Free Dictionary.com defines preschool as: being the early years of childhood that precede the beginning of elementary school. A school for children who are not old enough to attend kindergarten; a nursery school.
As I searched for the definition of preschool, I discovered that some parents were also in search for the definition of preschool themselves. I thought I would encourage you to view the comments here.
As I reviewed both of the definitions above, I concluded that daycare is simply caring for children and preschool is simply a title for children who have not entered school yet. Moreover, a preschool program focuses on the educational needs of children who are preschool age.
I hope that this blog post has helped you to see the difference and the similarities of daycare and preschool. Feel free to share your thoughts about this blog post.
Have a Great Day!