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Confused on the difference between preschool and daycare?

Does the word "preschool" actually mean daycare now? Most all of my friends who work say they are sending their kids to "preschool" or "school." This is usually 8 hours a day. Is it really 8 hour a day preschool?

I have a 4 year old son whom I would like to send to school a couple times a week for a few hours to prepare him for kindergarten. Do I look for a place that advertises "preschool?" Or is it really daycare?

Confused! Please help!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:44 PM on Jan. 19, 2010 in Just for Fun

Answers (19)
  • preschool - teaches the child basic school stuff.
    daycare - babysitters.

    Answer by starvnrtist at 9:46 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • My son went to a pre-school for 9 hours a day because I worked but they only did their pre-school program for 3 hours of the day. A daycare typically doesnt have a ciriculum whereas a pre-school does

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 9:49 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Preschool is school, not day care. My daughter went to a half day preschool 9 a.m. to noon. She was learning letters, shapes, colors, music, etc. It was a wonderful experience for her. Check into different preschools in your area. You will probably be able to find one that is a half day or a few days a week. I found that she was very happy to be there and interacting with the other children. She went four days a week and loved it and with teaching and reinforcements from her daddy and I, she was reading before she started Kindergarten. Visit different preschools until you find the one you like. Children should be in classrooms and be busy doing activities except for nap time.

    Answer by neebug3766 at 9:50 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Generally, preschool is a 2 or 3 1/2 days/week thing that kids can go to for fun, and to get used to some of the stuff they'll encounter in kindergarten. Daycare is childcare (which may involve some 'preschool' stuff, depending on the facility) for when parents can't or don't want to take care of their children all day. Some daycare is all day for the whole work-week, some is before and after school care, some is half-time, or casual.

    Preschools are almost never family-oriented: they take 3 and 4yos only, and usually 6 or 8 kids per employee. Daycares are often family-centred care, where you're hiring someone else's mom to take care of your kids along with her own (or, in some rare cases, his kids --not all daycare workers are women)...

    Answer by LindaClement at 9:50 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • In certain states such as FL they are both the same, preschool or daycare we have the responsibility as preschool teachers to prepare children for Kindergarten..most preschools or daycares offer VPK Classes free of charge, for your best options call your states child services division and they should be able to give you all the info you need.

    Answer by CuteandCurvy at 9:50 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • "preschool - teaches the child basic school stuff.
    daycare - babysitters. "


    Answer by mommymeg03 at 9:50 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • So there really are all day preschool programs that aren't daycare? That makes sense then.

    I just need to find one that is only a few hours a day a couple days a week. I guess I'll just have to look. I don't want my son gone all day long every day to prepare him for school. I don't think that's necessary. Plus, I can't imagine that is very cheap!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:51 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I look at preschool as a few hours a couple days a week where they learn basic pre-K lessons. I think of daycare as a school-ish setting, but it also includes snack/lunch, nap time, and extra unscheduled play time that is like a babysitting/childcare arrangement.
    Since I'm still a SAHM with our toddler, we didn't need a whole day's childcare for our 4 year old. We found a preschool that has 2.5 hours a day, 3 days a week for learning letters, numbers, music, art, etc. Most of the full-time day care centers near us also have preschool curriculum, but for us they were too expensive and we didn't need the 40 hours/week childcare so we went with a separate school.

    Answer by raybird1031 at 9:54 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Our boys went to an actual school for preschool, 4 days a week, 3 hours/day. It was at a local elementary school for 3-5 yr old children. They both went for a year to meet other children and get a feel for the classroom environment. A daycare is a place where Babies and children up to 5 yrs go to be watched. No learning involved, just eat, sleep, play..

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 9:55 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Daycares DO have curriculum. they DO teach basic skills and school readiness while providing day care services for working parents. A preschool just offers the curriculum and no day care services. Those preschools that are all day, have day care services; they do not provide all day school readiness services.

    I can, with 100% certainty, tell you that a day care is NOT BABYSITTING. I worked in day care and trust me I did way more than babysit. I had to have lesson plans and curriculum for all ages infant-school age. We had to have activities for writing, literacy, math, science, large muscle and small muscle activities. We had to plan meals and snacks. We had to folllow state guidelines for the care, development and education of the children we took care of. IF you THINK day cares are just babysittiers. then work in a day care for 1 month because your mind will be changed quickly.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:55 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

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