Many parents worry about whether or not placing their toddler in daycare is conducive to the child’s learning process as opposed to putting them in preschool. And why not? They want their child to get the best education possible and to get the best head start when he or she attends kindergarten.

So, when it comes to daycare vs preschool, which one is better for your toddler? To answer this question, you are going to have to take a look at some of the options in your local area. This is because although in some instances, many preschools would probably benefit your child more than a daycare, there are many day cares across the country that are actually better than a preschool.

Both day cares and preschools operate under the same state guidelines; they are regulated and have to be licensed by the state. They both generally have a similar curriculum aimed at enhancing your child’s learning process. While a good preschool is almost a sure thing in getting your child prepared as much as possible for kindergarten, there are many day cares who offer similar learning activities and can do just as good a job as a preschool, if not better in some cases.

The cost of sending your child to daycare vs preschool is generally the same. There is a government funded program called Headstart, where if you meet the criteria for maximum income level in your household, you can preschool for your child without having to pay a dime. This program is for lower-income families in order to give the child the best chance at being emotionally, socially, and academically ready for kindergarten.

What About the Cost of  Daycare vs Preschool ?

A major difference between daycare vs preschool is is that preschools usually have shorter hours during the day whereas daycares cater to working parents. Preschools are usually closed on holidays as well as during the summer and day care centers are open pretty much year-round because their intent is to be able to take care of your kids while you are at work.

Although most public schools won’t allow a child to start preschool until the age of four, you may want to check with your local school district. Also, infants over the age of six months are generally welcome at many day care centers. One of the biggest advantages to put your child in a daycare is if your child has a sibling who also attends; both of them get to stay in the same general area throughout the day and this helps parents feel a lot more secure and comfortable knowing both kids can continue creating a familial bond as they see each other throughout the day. While daycares accept kids were still in diapers, most preschools require children to be potty trained.

The choice is yours to make and as you can see, there are many variables to consider. Personally, I have always placed my children in daycare until the age of 4. After that, I have placed them in preschool and they have done very well academically so far (they are 12 and 7). What do you think about daycare vs preschool?