Preschool versus Daycare – what’s the difference?

Like many people, you may have thought they are one in the same? While most schools offer some amount of circle time and finger-paint, they are not all the same. Here’s the major differences between the two to help you sort through the confusion to pick the right place for your child.

Daycare is the service of care offered for children usually throughout the day when their parents or guardians need it.  Often times daycare is offered on a drop in basis or allows for inconsistencies in scheduling.  The term daycare is not commonly associated with a high quality learning environment.  The focus of a daycare is to cater to parents who simply need someone to watch their child while they are away.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for a daycare worker was $19,510 per year ($9.38 per hour) with educational achievements of a high school degree or its equivalency.

Preschool is an educational establishment catering to children in the years leading up to kindergarten.  In Florida, preschool classrooms are usually led by teachers achieving a Child Development Associate (CDA), its equivalency or higher.  According to the U.S. Department of Education, preschool plays a large role in later academic success. “Children in high quality preschools display better language, cognitive, and social skills than children who attended low quality programs.”  In comparison, during 2012 the average preschool teacher earned $27,130 ($13.04 per hour) with educational achievements of an Associate’s degree or its equivalency.


Students at Lutz Learning Center creating volcanos during their study of the earth’s crusts.

Children who attend high quality preschool have been shown to have greater attention spans, superior language and math skills, develop more meaningful friendships and have stronger social abilities, well into their elementary school careers.

Want to learn more? Contact me at or surf around our school website to learn how we do preschool right!

Enjoy the journey, the future is in our hands!

Kimberly Wilson

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