Preschool or Daycare? Figure Out What Suits Your Child Best
Preschool and daycare are all too often mixed up by parents. While both options are beneficial for child development, there are key differences between the two. Daycare is primarily for child care, though many have trained early childhood education staff. Preschool, meanwhile, is intended as a less-formal class setting to help bridge the gap between daycare and kindergarten. Although preschool is not a mandatory part of the elementary school system, it offers a beneficial experience for children. In preschool, children learn social and academic skills to help with the transition to kindergarten and grade school.
If you need help to decide which program is best for your child, consider the following differences between the two, and contact a Orleans preschool and daycare centre for more information.
Age of Children
Daycares usually cater to young children, with ages ranging from 18-months-old to toddlers up to the age of three. Preschool is for children who are a year or two away from kindergarten, usually ages three and four. New and younger preschool children will sometimes attend preschool part-time (half days) for help easing into the preschool setting, while other children will attend preschool full time.
Duration of Program
A daycare will usually provide child care year-round, Monday to Friday, and during regular work hours to accommodate working parents. While most daycares are not open during weekends and holidays, there are some that accommodate parents who have irregular work schedules.
Since preschools are an introduction to the school setting, they typically run from September to May or June. Some preschools offer part-time half-day programs and others are full-time, Monday to Friday, similar to a regular school day.
Preparation for A Class Setting
Preschool teaches children skills that will help them succeed socially and academically in kindergarten and beyond. Children who attend at least one year of preschool prior to starting kindergarten will learn about numbers, letters, and shapes, and will have improved vocabularies, pre-reading skills, and basic math skills.
Preschool also exposes children to learning in a group setting. The numerous social skills that kids pick up in preschool are especially important for a healthy adjustment to kindergarten. Children learn how to behave in a class setting, such as raising their hands to ask or answer questions, wait their turns, respect others, and pay attention to their teachers.
Another important skill that children learn in preschool is how to be independent. When children spend half days or full days away from their parents in a preschool class, they can learn to cope with this separation in a fun setting with peers and teachers. This will make the transition to kindergarten even easier for children. Preschool also teaches children how to make decisions, do things for themselves, contribute to the class, and become self-reliant and confident with their abilities.
With well-educated and trained staff, quality daycares will also help children develop social, cognitive, and emotional skills. So if your child is still a few years away from starting kindergarten, then a quality daycare is the best option. But if your kid is reaching school age (around three or four), a preschool program will better prepare them for the social and academic setting of kindergarten and grade school. Contact an Orleans preschool and daycare centre for more information on these two programs.