Preschool Vs. Daycare - Which One Is Better?

Preschool Vs. Daycare

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Are you a busy mom and are looking for some day care options for your child? Or do you want her to start socializing and are looking for some good options? Are you confused about what is the difference between daycare and preschool? Do you want to understand which of the two is best for her needs?

If these questions left you stumped, read our post. Here we look at what is the difference between preschool and daycare to help you decide which one is the best option for your little one.

Preschool Vs. Daycare:

What you want for your child in terms of the hours spent, the learning, the company and more will help you decide better. If you are looking for a daycare of a preschool for her, here are a few things you should compare before you decide on any specific option:

1. The Number Of Hours Required:


  • A preschool has fewer working hours.
  • Most preschools are closed on holidays as per regular schools.
  • Preschools do not operate on weekends and let you spend time with
    your child at home.
  • A preschool offers you a set number of hours that your child needs to spend there. You will either have to choose a full day program or a half day one. You may have the opportunity of choosing only a few days in the week when your child will attend.


  • A daycare has longer working hours.
  • A daycare does not always close on holidays and is mostly open even when other schools are closed.
  • Not all daycares are open on the weekends while many operate on the weekends.
  • In a daycare, you can choose the number of hours your child will spend on a daily basis. Most daycares are open every day of the week, some even through seven days a week.

[ Read: When Is A Child Ready For Preschool ]

2. Age Factor:


  • A preschool will mostly allow children who are between the ages of two and five. Whatever the age, a preschool will have a set age limit that you have to follow.
  • In most preschools, the classes and class rooms are segregated based on age. It means that even though there may be many children in the playschool, the age group will be almost same as your child’s. It could be a limiting factor for her in the sense that there will be no interaction with children of other age groups.


  • Most daycares allow children from any age group to attend, starting from as young as eighteen months to even about ten years of age.
  • It could be a great way for your child to interact with children of different age groups. If she is going to become a sibling for the first time, it will be a great way to watch and interact with younger babies. On the other hand, she may learn fun and creative things from children who are older. One limiting factor or a downside in this case, however, could be if the caretaker tends to spend more time looking after the younger children instead of looking after all children equally.

[ Read: Tips To Prepare Your Child For Preschool ]

3. Diaper Rules:


  • Most preschools are very strict in their diaper policies and require that your child is potty trained before she starts classes.
  • If she is already diaper trained, it could be a bonus for you as there will not be any problems while starting preschool. However, you may have to be extra careful to check that she does not suffer any messy mishaps while at the preschool.


  • Most daycare centers happily take in children who are still in diapers, as they also care for younger babies who are not yet potty trained.
  • Whether you are trying to start potty training your child or are already in the middle of it, you can still send your child to daycare and continue with the training at home.

4. Education And Formal Training Of Staff:


  • Most preschools are very strict about the teachers and staff they employ. Many preschools have their set of job profile and requirements and have specific criteria that all employees have to meet.
  • In most states, the employees of a preschool are also selected on the basis of how they approach children and the methods of teaching they use for a certain age group. Most preschool staff has some or the other form of formal training for the line of work they choose.


  • A daycare is more relaxed in its approach towards the teachers and staff. In most cases, the staff does not have to sit for any particular examination or interview on a board in order to get appointed.
  • In most states, the education standards that are required of a daycare staff are significantly lower than what is required of a preschool employee. Most daycare staff does not have any form of formal training for the line of work they choose.

[ Read: Essential Things To Consider While Choosing A Preschool ]