Daycare vs. Early Learning Center: What’s Right for my Child?

On the surface, an early learning center–also known as a preschool–sounds like a fancy name for a daycare. But, they are actually very different. Both daycares and early learning centers cater to children ages 2-5, and both teach and nurture the child while the parent is at work. However, a preschool gives both the parent and child far more benefits and long-term, lasting effects.

Daycare

At a daycare, a parent can generally expect:

  • The child learning to interact with other children their age.
  • Either a group environment, or a smaller setting in the proprietor’s home.
  • Fundamental education

Daycare services are primarily geared towards providing supervised care for your child. While they allow children to learn some social skills, they do not focus on learning and education as a primary goal.

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Early Learning Center

At an early learning center, a parent can expect:

  • A foundational core education.
  • Development of social skills.
  • Development of critical thinking skills.
  • An integrated structure, learning, and play.

While most daycare centers provide some education–teaching children their ABC’s and 123’s–a preschool makes learning a focus. In addition to cognitive skills that will help each child as they continue into grade school, early learning centers teach important interpersonal and social skills. In fact, many Pre-K programs get children involved in the community, teaching compassion and understanding. Developing these skills at an early age is crucial, as the brain develops fastest from birth to the age of three. Giving children the stimulation and attention they need at this stage will set them up for success as they continue to develop.

Our Preschool Program

At Christ Chapel Academy, children aged 2-4 are given the opportunity to learn and grow at their own pace, providing them with an important head start for school. In addition to academics, children will also learn sound moral values and social skills, priming them to be upstanding individuals in the years to come.

Comments 2

  1. I’ve been wanting to sign my child up for a daycare or early learning center but I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve never dealt with a facility like this before and think it’s important for me to choose what’s best for her. It could be helpful to remember that some places will focus on learning and education development while others just care for the child and keep them safe throughout the day. Thanks for the post; while either option would be helpful, I’ll have to talk to my wife about what she wants to ensure we choose the right one.

  2. My son is getting older and I have been debating whether I should put him in daycare or put him in an early learning center. I didn’t know that early learning centers will also teach him important interpersonal and social skills. That would be really nice to know he isn’t just learning core education, but something more. Thank you for the information!

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