Difference Between Daycare and Preschool (With Comparison Table)

With the world moving at a fast pace, most parents nowadays tend to face the same kind of dilemma. A very common question comes into all of their minds. “Where should I keep my child when I am out working?”.

Some people around them recommend daycare facilities, while the rest recommend preschools. Well, as a parent, you should know the difference between daycare and preschool before you make such a huge decision. They are two different institutions that operate differently.

In this article, we’ll discuss daycares, preschools, and much more. So, let’s hop in!


Daycare and Preschool: Definitions

At first, you need to know how both of them work as institutions so that you can process their differences in your head. Otherwise, you’ll be left blank while we point out all the places where they differ. So, here goes-

What Is Daycare?

What is Daycare

Daycare facilities are a complete environment where employees or volunteers work throughout the day and take care of children. In this institution, kids are taught all they have to know to function as human beings. The people affiliated take care of all the child’s needs, which includes feeding them.

We mentioned that daycares are a complete environment because they teach children habits that’ll help them be better parts of society. They are taught how to interact with people in an acceptable manner and how they should eat in a civilized manner. Along with all that, they are also shown how to behave.

So, in a few words, daycares handle your child’s growth for you, while you’re out there working, trying to provide them a better future.


What Is a Preschool?

What Is a Preschool

Preschools, on the other hand, are, well, pre-schools. They are a step that children take before they enter the world of formal education. So, preschools teach children all they have to know before they enter school. That includes reading and writing the alphabet, and counting numbers.

Unlike daycares, preschools are more inclined to teach the children according to their curriculums. So, they focus on education and aspects related to it, rather than things like polite behavior.

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A Brief Comparison

Now, these two institutions are useful in their own unique ways. But there are some obvious differences that we want to point out.

Period of Stay

Starting with the time that children spend at these places, preschools admit children from the age of 2.5 to 5 years, provided that they are potty trained. On the other hand, daycares take in kids from the age of 6 weeks to 12 years. So, your child can stay at a daycare until they become teenagers.


The Place of Emphasis

The other thing to note is the kind of treatment that children get at these places. In preschools, kids are assessed and screened throughout their time there. The teachers guide them to improve their strengths and develop the places where they are weak.

However, daycare facilities are a child-watching service where parents drop off their children. The trained staff there try to teach the children all they have to know while they grow out of their childhood.


The Difference in Cost

Preschools are more expensive than daycare facilities. The reason behind this is that preschools have a set curriculum that works based on assessment and screening. So, the teachers who guide the children are skilled professionals, which adds extra value to preschool packages.

On the other hand, daycares are child-watching services. So, they’re like a hotel for kids when you aren’t around; and they are given special treatment to maintain their growth as toddlers or children. So, they don’t include any complicated curriculums that require extra attention.


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Preschool Vs. Daycare: The Comparison in a Nutshell

To make things easier for you, we have prepared this chart about the pros & cons of these institutions so that you can review your decision further and weigh your choices more easily.

Parameter of Comparison  Daycare Preschool
  • A tension-free solution to the dilemma of where to keep the kids while you’re at work
  • A completely homely environment where kids can be nurtured
  • Maintains a child’s growth up to their teenage
  • Focuses on a child’s growth as a fully functioning human being
  • Has a set curriculum to assess a child’s development
  • The screening process ensures the growth of a personality
  • Prepares children for formal education
  • Skilled teachers to guide them systematically
  • Doesn’t focus much on education
  • Only lasts 2.5 years, after which you might have to consult a daycare



So, that was all we had to discuss about the core differences between daycare and preschool. Other than these differences, there are more, but they vary from one institution to another as they have different things to offer.

Always remember that this is a question of your child’s development, which will impact the rest of his/her life. Weigh your options carefully before you make a decision. Other than that, stay safe and contact us if you have suggestions.