Is Daycare Considered School?

mom on daycare

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Lots of parents are wondering if daycare is the same as school. After all, they both involve caring for and teaching children.

But are they really the same? In this post, I’m going to take a closer look at this question.

Is Daycare Considered School?

Even though many parents will call daycare school. Daycares are not schools because while they are similar, they serve different functions. A daycare’s primary function is to educate your child, while a school’s primary function is to teach.

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Schools and Daycare Are Similar But Different

kids in class

The answer to this question is not a simple one. In general, daycares are not considered schools.

This is because most daycares do not provide academic instruction or curriculum as traditional schools do.

However, there are some “academic” daycares that focus on preparing children for school by teaching them basic academic skills like colors, shapes, and letters.

These types of daycares are more similar to preschools than traditional daycares and typically cost more.

This is different than a daycare where a child will learn potty training skills and other developmental growth skills. Schools are not typically potty training, as a kid is usually required to be potty trained to start daycare.

With all that said, a school’s primary function is educating your child, but they are still tasked with looking after your child’s well-being.

A daycare is tasked with looking after your child’s well-being. Still, there are plenty of daycares that do have some academic curriculum.

So it’s not that daycares don’t educate or that schools won’t look after your child. It’s all about their primary intended focus.

The Structural Difference Between School and Daycare

structural difference between school and daycare

1. Structured Environment

One of the biggest differences between daycare and school is the structure of the environment.

In daycare, children typically have more freedom to move around and explore. There are often planned activities, but children are not required to participate.

In school, on the other hand, children are expected to sit at their desks and pay attention to the lesson. There is less opportunity for free play.

2. Educational Focus

Another key difference is the educational focus of each type of care. In daycare, the focus is typically on socialization and learning basic skills like sharing and taking turns.

In school, the focus is on academics such as reading, writing, and math. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Some daycares offer pre-kindergarten programs that focus on preparing children for school, and some schools offer after-school care that focuses on enrichment activities like sports or art.

3. Cost

The cost of daycare vs. school can also be a deciding factor for parents. Daycare is typically less expensive than school because it does not require as much training for the staff or as many resources.

On the other hand, school is government-funded and therefore free for families to attend.

However, additional costs may be associated with schools, such as uniforms or field trips.

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Key Takeaways

So when it comes to whether or not daycare is a school, I hope you can see the answer is not clear-cut. There are a lot of factors that have to be looked at.

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