Difference Between Day Care and Preschool

There comes a time in every parent’s life, when they have to decide on enrolling their child in a program. Every child has a different mindset. It is crucial to ensure that you choose the place where they can have fun and learn things. Two options are Daycare and Preschool. 

Day Care vs Preschool

The main difference between day care and preschool is that they accept children based on their age. The daycare programs take children that have their age between 6 weeks and above. On the other hand, preschool is for children that are between 2-5 years. In daycare, children engage in fun-filled activities, while preschool focuses more on education.  

Day Care vs preschool

Daycare is a place or an institution that provides supervision to infants and takes care of them. When parents are working, they can leave their children in a daycare center. Children learn to socialize there and also play different games together. The timings are often flexible in such centers. 

Preschool is a program in which children play and learn as well with the guidance of trained professionals. You can enroll your child here if he is between the ages of 2-5 years. They emphasize more on the development and learning of the child rather than just playing. They operate during the daytime only. 

Comparison Table Between Day Care and Preschool

Parameters Of Comparison Day CarePreschool
Definition It is a center where infants come and play during the day when their parents go to work. It is an institution where children go to learn and grow by learning new things.
AgeAccepts infants who are 6 weeks old or above. Accepts children of two-five years of age.
Aim To take care of the child and let him socialize and make new friends. To enhance the development of a child by providing him education.
Schedule No timetable. A proper timetable just like a regular school has.
Timings Flexible. Fixed.

What is Day Care?

A child care or day care center is where infants are taken care of, and get themselves to engage in various activities. In a family where both the parents are working, they can leave their child in these centers while going out for work. There are no fixed timings, so you can pick up your kid whenever you get back. 

The main motive of these daycare centers is to supervise the child and let him make new friends. They think that socializing at their age is a healthy thing to do. Also, the people working there tend to provide a clean and safe environment for the kids. 

If there are children that have a learning age, then they even provide education to them. They get them to read and recognize letters and numbers. Art and craft activities are also there for the kids with all the equipment given by the center. For infants, they have other activities, like playing with rattles and on swings. 

Day care centers provide a proper 3-time meal to all the kids. They look forward to the health of the children, so they prepare a nutritious meal. The people ensure that children remain fit, so they organize dance and singing activities as well.  

What is Preschool?

Preschools are professional institutions where their main goal is to enhance the growth and development of the child by providing him with the proper education. They accept children who are- of age two years and above. They believe, at these ages, children are capable of attending the classes. In the center, there are trained adults who have the proper knowledge and provide correct guidance to every child.

 Nowadays, parents want their children to start learning new things, from growing age. They think that this is a kick start for their future, and they also get to grow. If both the parents have qualifications and a good income, they may want the same for their child.  

Different types of preschool programs

  1. A private preschool – In these, there are programs that some religious organizations and they also operate as non-profit institutions. They are half-day programs, and the quality of education varies from program to program. 
  2. Head Start – This program provides children with free education whose families have a low income. They have both half-day and full-day programs, and children are benefiting through these programs. Head start is helping the kids to gain a better score and do well academically. 

Main Differences Between Day Care and Preschool

  1. Day care centers take care of infants of 6 weeks and above. Preschool accepts children who are between the ages of 2-5 years.
  2. Day care centers focus more on supervision and socializing among the children. On the other hand, the main motive of preschools is to engage in the development of the child from growing age.
  3. In a day care center, you can drop your kid at any hour as the timings are flexible. While, preschools have half-day or full-day programs, but they have fixed times for these.
  4. Day care centers do not have a particular timetable as a school has, while preschools follow a schedule just like a regular preschool does.
  5. A day care center remains open on a Sunday, on school breaks, but the preschools remain closed on holidays and weekends.


Every parent chooses what is best for their child, and sometimes they can get stuck in the process. General guidelines are just there for your knowledge, but in reality, we all look for a place that feels like home for our children. We often think that when he is out in a preschool or a day care center, the child should feel safe and secure around the people there. 

Try and look for a place that is close to your neighborhood and also within your budget. Choose according to the age of your child. Also, keep in mind your expectations from the place where you are sending your little one. You have both great options with you. Look at the pros and cons of your choice and then make a decision.

 If you want your child to start learning from growing age then, preschool is the option. But if your child is small and you want someone to look after him, then day care is just the right place. 


  1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/333/6040/299.summary
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=G0BzKsp-b6wC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=daycare&ots=_aKig7zBaJ&sig=IREFVFiLGxWbSvyNta26nfu4nd0
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