Day Care vs Preschool: Difference and Comparison

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. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Daycare facilities provide childcare services and basic learning activities for young children, while preschools follow a more structured educational curriculum.
  2. Preschools cater to children aged 3 to 5, preparing them for kindergarten, while daycare centers serve a broader age range, often including infants and toddlers.
  3. Preschools generally operate on a school schedule with designated hours, whereas daycare centers offer more flexible hours to accommodate working parents.

Day Care vs Preschool

Daycare is an institution that provides supervision to infants and toddlers and takes care of them. It allows parents to leave their children there to go to work. Preschool is an education program in which children between the ages of 2 and 5 years can play and learn under the guidance of trained professionals.

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 centre.


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Children learn to socialize there and also play different games together. The timings are often flexible in such centres. 

Preschool is a program in which children play and learn as well with the guidance of trained professionals. You can enrol 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

Parameters Of ComparisonDay 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 childcare or daycare centre is where infants are taken care of and get themselves to engage in various activities.

In a family where both parents are working, they can leave their child in these centres 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 centres 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 are 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 centre. For infants, they have other activities, like playing with rattles and on swings. 

Daycare centres 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.  

day care

What is Preschool?

Preschools are professional institutions whose 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 centre, there are trained adults who have the proper knowledge and provide the correct guidance to every child.

 Nowadays, parents want their children to start learning new things from a young age. They think that this is a kickstart for their future, and they also get to grow.

If both 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.
  2. They are half-day programs, and the quality of education varies from program to program.
  3. Head Start – This program provides children with free education whose families have a low income.
  4. They have both half-day and full-day programs, and children are benefiting through these programs. Head Start is helping the kids to gain better scores and do well academically. 

Main Differences Between Day Care and Preschool

  1. Daycare centres take care of infants of 6 weeks and above. Preschool accepts children who are between the ages of 2-5 years.
  2. Daycare centres 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 a growing age.
  3. In a day care centre, you can drop your kid off 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.
Difference Between Day Care and Preschool

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