Where you should take your toddler: A day care or a preschool

When parents decide to take their toddlers to school, they are sometimes confused as to if they should opt for a day care or a preschool. Most day cares and preschools do attend to toddlers. Both preschool and day care have their advantages and disadvantages. Information about day care and preschool as well as their advantages and disadvantages are discussed below to guide parents so that they are able to choose based on whichever they prefer.

Day care

A day care, sometimes referred to as child learning center, child enrichment center or child care center, is a place where parents can live their kids. Parents should however not take the child learning center or child enrichment center to mean enrichment classes for toddlers are organized in the day care center without confirming first. This is because the major objective of day care centers is for parents to have a place to leave their kids during the day time.

Based on this, day care centers operate for a longer period of time, between the hours of 7.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. for most. Others open a bit earlier than 7.00 a.m. and could operate till as late as 7.00 p.m. However, most day care centers only concentrate on feeding the child, changing their diapers and ensuring that they are comfortable as opposed to teaching them. The major advantage of the day care center is the fact that they operate for longer hours, while the major disadvantage is that most of them do not offer academic services for toddlers.


The same services are normally offered by pre-kindergarten and preschool. In most cases, the preschools could have different classes based on the age of the kids. They therefore have a particular class for infants. The classes are there so that they can teach the kids, based on their age and ability.

Preschools are more of schools where education takes place and their emphasis is not on providing a place for parents to keep their toddlers during the day time. Based on this, preschools have curricular for their enrichment class for toddlers, where the toddlers are taught academics.

Most preschools only operate between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. In most cases, the price for preschools could be more expensive than those for day care centers, due to the fact that they have to buy educational materials and teaching aids to teach the child, as well as offer the services that are offered in day care center such as feeding, changing of diapers and ensuring the comfort of the kids. The major advantage of the preschool therefore is the fact that toddlers are taught academic work while the major disadvantage is the higher price and shorter operating hours.


Parents who are looking for places where their child can stay for a longer period irrespective of if they are taught can opt for day care, while those who are more interested in the education of the toddler can opt for preschool. It is however possible for a parent to look for a day care that operates the same long hours and offers academic services.

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