The Differences Between Day Care and Preschool

Jan. 16th, 2015 11:17 am
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If you're the parent of a young child, you're probably faced with the difficult decision of where to send your child while you're away at work all day. We're frequently asked about the differences between our Catholic preschools and standard day care centers, so here's a look at the differences to expect as you're making your decision.

 

The Hours of Operation

  • A day care is generally open for most, or all, of the work day. They are usually open five days per week 50+ weeks per year. They often close for major holidays and up to 1 month during the summer.

  • Preschools run more or less on a "school schedule." They generally close for all major holidays, Christmas/New Year's holiday, midwinter break, spring break, and over the summer.

  • Preschool programs often offer full day and half day options. Full day programs generally run the same time as an average school day and often include an "after-school" option for working parents. Part-time or half-day may mean the session runs for as few as three hours a day and/or offered a few days per week.

  • Day care can be very laid back and it doesn't matter if you come in late. Preschool is more structured and children are expected to follow a schedule just like K-8 students.

Cost

  • Generally, there is one monthly payment for all services at a day care.
  • Typically in the WNY area, Catholic preschool tuition is less expensive than the average cost of day care. However, costs will vary from school to school. Some preschools do have extras - technology fee, field trip money, parent association fundraising activities, etc.

Age of Acceptance 

  • Most day cares will take children as young as 3 months old, which coincides with the time most working moms have to be back on the job.

  • Preschools generally start at age 3 and many require the child be potty-trained.

Activities vs. Academics

  • A typical preschool divides children by age, and offers subjects from math to science to reading to writing. Catholic preschools may offer a variety of additional subjects including foreign language, music, gym, art and/or STREAM (science, technology, religion, the Arts and mathematics) instruction in addition to creative play.

  • Day care does not necessarily separate children by age, and is play-based. Days are filled mostly with story time, alphabet practice, yoga, arts and crafts, outdoor play and free play. Philosophy· In general, most day cares don't have a specific education philosophy and the workers are not required to hold a teaching certification.

  • Preschool teachers are required to be certified, there is a specific academic component and structure to each day.

Parental Involvement

  • Day care usually does not have parent related activities.

  • Most classes have a teacher and an assistant teacher, but preschools encourage parental involvement and regularly request parent volunteers for field trips and specific activities.

  • Preschool parents should also be prepared to have parent/teacher conferences.

Fundraising

  • You don't fundraise for a day care.

  • Preschools follow the K-8 model of encouraging parental involvement in friend-raising and fundraising activities.

Final Tip

  • Before you make your decision, take a long, hard look at your family life and finances, and be realistic. Spend time at each facility and talk to other parents who send their children to your potential schools and day cares. Investigate both options thoroughly based on your child's emotional, educational and social needs.

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The Differences Between Day Care and Preschool

Jan. 16th, 2015 11:17 am
image

If you're the parent of a young child, you're probably faced with the difficult decision of where to send your child while you're away at work all day. We're frequently asked about the differences between our Catholic preschools and standard day care centers, so here's a look at the differences to expect as you're making your decision.

 

The Hours of Operation

  • A day care is generally open for most, or all, of the work day. They are usually open five days per week 50+ weeks per year. They often close for major holidays and up to 1 month during the summer.

  • Preschools run more or less on a "school schedule." They generally close for all major holidays, Christmas/New Year's holiday, midwinter break, spring break, and over the summer.

  • Preschool programs often offer full day and half day options. Full day programs generally run the same time as an average school day and often include an "after-school" option for working parents. Part-time or half-day may mean the session runs for as few as three hours a day and/or offered a few days per week.

  • Day care can be very laid back and it doesn't matter if you come in late. Preschool is more structured and children are expected to follow a schedule just like K-8 students.

Cost

  • Generally, there is one monthly payment for all services at a day care.
  • Typically in the WNY area, Catholic preschool tuition is less expensive than the average cost of day care. However, costs will vary from school to school. Some preschools do have extras - technology fee, field trip money, parent association fundraising activities, etc.

Age of Acceptance 

  • Most day cares will take children as young as 3 months old, which coincides with the time most working moms have to be back on the job.

  • Preschools generally start at age 3 and many require the child be potty-trained.

Activities vs. Academics

  • A typical preschool divides children by age, and offers subjects from math to science to reading to writing. Catholic preschools may offer a variety of additional subjects including foreign language, music, gym, art and/or STREAM (science, technology, religion, the Arts and mathematics) instruction in addition to creative play.

  • Day care does not necessarily separate children by age, and is play-based. Days are filled mostly with story time, alphabet practice, yoga, arts and crafts, outdoor play and free play. Philosophy· In general, most day cares don't have a specific education philosophy and the workers are not required to hold a teaching certification.

  • Preschool teachers are required to be certified, there is a specific academic component and structure to each day.

Parental Involvement

  • Day care usually does not have parent related activities.

  • Most classes have a teacher and an assistant teacher, but preschools encourage parental involvement and regularly request parent volunteers for field trips and specific activities.

  • Preschool parents should also be prepared to have parent/teacher conferences.

Fundraising

  • You don't fundraise for a day care.

  • Preschools follow the K-8 model of encouraging parental involvement in friend-raising and fundraising activities.

Final Tip

  • Before you make your decision, take a long, hard look at your family life and finances, and be realistic. Spend time at each facility and talk to other parents who send their children to your potential schools and day cares. Investigate both options thoroughly based on your child's emotional, educational and social needs.

comments powered by Disqus