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!
Comments on: "Daycare Vs Preschool" (4)
I’m curious to know & have not been able to find clarification. But are there different requirements to open a child care facility vs a preschool & what about the criteria for those running it & teaching it? It seems to me that the requirements for claiming to educate should be steeper- right? Wondering if there are actual state requirements or simply a choice of the childcare facility’s to include an educational program or not. Thanks for this post!
Unfortunately, anytime that you open a facility to care for children you must have a childcare license. Yes, it is the choice of the facility to incorporate a preschool program. In public schools may have a preschool program during certain hours, however, if they have extended hours for care, they must also get a state license. It’s only for the safety of public health. I believe that any place there are a group of children, that the health/safety practices of that place should be monitored by and outside agency. I really appreciate your question and it really shows that our childcare system needs and overhaul. I look forward to your future comments.
I run a licensed large home daycare and I provide a educational learning time for the children on a daily basis. Most parents appreciate that some alot and others just want their children to be safe and well taken care of with no worries while they are not there. I feel that I provide both.
I really appreciate your feedback. In fact, you have clarified the fact that you can confidently say that you have a daycare with an educational program. Now personally, I prefer the term childcare, however, if you have an educational program….that is all that matters to parents. Thanks for all that you do for young children Janet!