Does all the verbiage of trying to decide where to send your young child while you are at work confused? Do you want an early childhood education center, or a preschool, or a day care or a child care center or a school? What really is the difference? Let me help you! I have nearly 18 years of experience working in this field and honestly I’m not even sure why there are so many different titles, but let me use my knowledge to try to break it down as best I can.
Day Care and Child Care: From my experience when someone is seeking a child care or day care facility they want somewhere to take their kids that they knew they will be receiving great care, but the educational aspect isn’t necessarily the highest priority. These facilities focus on ensure that the child’s needs are met and that they are well cared for. While education does occur at these facilities, it is typically not their main focus. Typically, but not always, the staff at a child care or day care facility has a lower level of education and training than will be found at an educationally focused center.
The definition of day care center according to britannica.com: “institution that provides supervision and care of infants and young children during the daytime, particularly so that their parents can hold jobs.”
The definition of child care according to wikipedia.com: “is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from six weeks to thirteen years.”
Early childhood education (ECE), schools and preschools: An ECE center or preschool strives to go a step beyond focusing on the basic needs of the child. An ECE or preschool aims to educate the children as well as ensure their daily needs are met. These facilities strives to ensure that children are meeting developmental milestones and push them educationally to emerge prepare for entrance into grade school. The staff in these facilities typically has a high level of education or training and may even be certified as teachers by the state.
Definition of Early Childhood Education according to wikipedia.com: “Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of children (formally and informally) from birth up to the age of eight which is traditionally about third grade.“
Definition of Preschool according to wikipedia.com “A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, playschool or kindergarten, is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary school.”
Plain and simple the difference between these two categories is their main focus: care vs. education. There is nothing wrong with a facility that chooses to focus their energy completely on ensure that the child is receiving the best care possible. There is also nothing wrong with a facility that strives to push children to achieve their potential through education. There are so many options out there. What will you choose?
I can’t speak for other facilities in the area, but I can tell you that Blessed Beginnings of Oro Valley falls into the second category. Our main focus is multi-fold. We have a focus on creating a strong foundation for your child both educationally as well as spiritually, but we also focus on ensuring they are receiving the best care. Your child will get the best of both worlds at Blessed Beginnings of Oro Valley. Come join us at Blessed Beginnings of Oro Valley and find out what early childhood education is all about.