I’m looking into daycare and preschool and not sure the way to go. What is the difference between a daycare centre and a preschool. Which one is better? What can I expect? Thanks

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  • I agree with mom81879, so where you send your child depends on their age and whether you’re getting them ready for school.

  • I think daycare, the kids just go to socialise, play and have fun. Pre school is more geared to preparing them for school so is a bit more scheduled

  • That is a good question, just what is the difference? In my opinion, I would say daycare is more play based, getting kids social and used to routine. And pre school is leaning more towards starting there education and getting them into a stricter, more school like routine. I will be reading the other comments and hope to learn more myself

  • We did both – 3 days daycare, 2 days pre-school. That way he gets personal attention and care, but also the nearest experience to school he can get.

  • My two year old son is currently in day care for two days a week and has been for 18 months. At first it was partly so I could look for a job but I still can’t find one, and partly so he would learn to socialise with other children. If it wasn’t for the childcare rebate we would have to take him out.

    At this particular day care they have a really good educator child ratio, plus he seems to be learning quite a lot as well. The children also get separated into three different age groups so the babies don’t bother the older children and vice versa.

  • My boys just did daycare and kinder. I always thought that preschool was just another name for kinder.

  • Is choose a daycare that does routine preschool activities. That’s what I’ve done for my children.

  • I sent both my kids to the local preschool. I found it to be quite educational and they learnt quite a lot. I would definitely recommend preschool as it has a very well structured program suited to all age groups in the preschool.

  • Preschool is good if your a single parent or need long hours of care. Most run with a kinder program and have a qualified kinder teacher. They may have set days that the program runs but children are welcome to attend any day.
    My son was raised in nsw and preschool was pretty much our only option. As I am a qualified in childcare I know first hand that it can be great for children.
    My understanding of kinder isn’t much but that it may only be 3-4 half days a week which as I was a single mother would not have work for me. Good luck in your journey.

  • Family daycare is fantastic, but you need to find one you feel as happy with as a favourite auntie, because that is what they should feel like. A childcare center is more convient as they are open regardless of sickness or family issues, but more kids and less one on one knowledge of your child. Both have benifits but as long as your child is happy and you feel ok with the person or persons looking after them it will be good for both you and them.

  • I was lucky my son’s daycare provided a great program internally. It was great for me, as I could continue to work. I guess it all depends on your situation and how flexible you can be as kindergarten or pre school I think has closer to school based hours to prep the children for entering school in the next 1-2 years.

  • There should not be a difference between a daycare preschool program and a preschool program it should all run the same! Daycare can often run longer hours if needed! From my experience both should have qualified staff so it just comes down to your own personal preference!

  • My kids liked & learnt much more at pre-school

  • Day cares unless stipulating otherwise do not have qualified teachers so therefore do not generally offer pre entrance education. Care and learning through play is their forte.
    A pre school is usually for those who are about to enter the school system within the next two years and is usually run on the same operating hours as school.Pre schools (in some states) do not accept children for less than 4 days per week to ensure continuity of learning. I would personally contact your education board in your state and ask them this question as they will be more qualified to answer.

  • Meedee, Prep is the first year of School in Qld and is full days. Kindy is the year before they start school and can be done at a C & K or a Daycare who runs a Kindy program.

  • We have my daughter in a C&K kindy (pre-school). The only difference in my experience is the day cares offer extended hours so are great for working parents. At a Kindy pick-up and drop off times are similar to those of school so only a 6hr day. Some day cares do not offer a qualified teacher either where as its a requirement for pre-school.

  • Different states different meanings. I never used daycare so have no idea. Only one of my children went to pre-school for a few reasons but the one that did loved it, had speech therapy through them & some structured learning, but mostly it was play that incorporated skills. I have a relative that runs a day-care but from what little she says hers is more babysitting as she takes very young children.

  • It has always been my understanding that whilst both have a focus on learning, pre-school is more similar to a school structure with their hours and curriculum and daycare tends to be that as well as longer hours for extra child care. I think this is right but will be interested to learn others’ viewpoints! I’m in NSW.

  • It is confusing because things are different depending on what State you are in.
    Here in QLD we dont have preschool any longer and have Prep instead.
    Prep is the year you spend getting ready for full days at school the following year and you start Prep the year you turn 5 as long as you are 5 before June 30th or you wait for the following year even if your 5th birthday is July 1st.
    Day care is more of a babysitting option where working parents can drop their kids at 7 in the morning and pick them up once they are finished work. Usually they close at 6.

  • Omg I was wondering the same! Everything differes state to state, My daughter currently does family daycare but I think I might try and find a pre school :)

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