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5 Qualities That Distinguish Preschools and Daycare Centers

difference between daycare and preschool

Enrolling your child to a daycare or a preschool is a personal and weighty decision that you should get right as a parent. There’re many factors that come into play. Top on the list, most parents wonder the difference between daycare and preschool, and which one is best suited for their children. Here are the qualities that should help you tell the difference between daycare and preschool before you enroll your child in either.

Hours of Operation

One of the distinguishing differences between daycare and preschool is the hours of operations. Daycares have flexible and longer operating hours that, in turn, give more time freedom to the working parents. Daycare centers are also open during holidays and school breaks. It’s a good fit for the working parents who follow a fixed schedule every day. Because daycares are open for longer hours, parents can plan their schedules appropriately.

On the other hand, preschools follow an academic calendar like the regular schools. This means that they’re closed during the holidays and weekends, and they also have fixed opening and closing times. The majority of the preschools offer half-day programs or full-day programs. As a parent choosing the best preschool program that suits your child’s needs and one that also complements your daily schedule should be a top priority when finding a good preschool.

Age Requirements

Most preschools accept children between the age of three and five. The classes in preschools may also be classified according to age. For the most part, three-year-olds have separate classes from the four- and five-year-olds. According to a 2017 survey, more five-year-olds were enrolled in preschool programs than four-year-olds. The enrollment percentage for five-year-olds was at 86% while that of four-year-olds was at 68%.

Daycare accepts infants and pre-kindergarten kids. Usually, most parents start scouting for a good daycare in Coral Gables soon after their child is born. Daycare centers offer a good chance for your child to socialize and play with other children of the same age, and also those slightly older than them. You’ll find infants and toddlers in a daycare center.


Typically, daycare centers follow a more play-oriented program than a learning-oriented program. Even though some daycare centers may have an academic learning program, the majority focus on providing a safe environment for the kids to play and socialize. A private preschool in Coral Gables, on the other hand, is well-equipped for academic learning. Private preschools prepare a child for kindergarten. Some of the learning programs you’ll find in a preschool in Coral Gables include science& social studies, physical education, and foreign languages. These programs go a long way to prepare your child for kindergarten and elementary school.

Level of Staff Training

Because preschools focus more on academic learning and follow specific teaching approaches, their staff is more formally trained as opposed to daycare staff. Before licensing a preschool to operate, most states set higher standards for the teaching staff. Mostly daycare providers are more concerned about the well-being and safety of the child as opposed to serious academic learning. Therefore, daycare staff may require less formal training for teaching.

Toilet Training

Another difference between daycare and preschool is toilet learning readiness. For most preschools, your child must have undergone toilet-training before being admitted. Conversely, daycares will accept your child while still in diapers. Therefore, you should consider toilet-training your child if you want to enroll them in a private preschool.

Ultimately, the difference between daycare and preschool should guide you when selecting the best option for your child. It boils down to the experiences you want your child to be exposed to, and the best option for your schedule. Daycares and preschools offer a safe and more interesting environment for your child to grow and learn.