Difference between Crèche and Montessori

Key difference: A crèche is an institution which looks after children during work hours, while their parents/guardians are busy working. A Montessori is a sort of nursery school, founded on the ideology of Italian educator, Maria Montessori.

Crèches play an important role in the development of today’s society. They are the institutions responsible for taking care of children, when their parents or guardians can’t do so because of work commitments. Providing good care and a safe environment for children, these establishments also serve to educate children in the simple and basic concepts of education. These kinds of facilities help parents to draw their attention from worrying about the well-being of their children, and concentrate upon performing their jobs to potential.

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, who believed that teaching children through theoretical concepts alone would not suffice to stimulate their mental growth. She opined that children should gain knowledge from their own experiences as well. As a result, she advocated a novel way of play-based learning that perfectly complimented acquisition of knowledge through theory. This method later came to be known as the Montessori Method of teaching and the schools that adopted this method were classified as Montessori schools.

Comparison between a Crèche and a Montessori:





To look after the children

To educate the children


Well-being of children

Stimulating a child’s mental growth

Age group

From preschool to school age

Usually up to 3 years


For a whole day

Only for few hours


Costly, as it involves various activities

Normally less expensive as compared to crèche

Place of operation

At a secluded enclosure, a room or a child’s residence

Usually a school premises

Image Courtesy: crechemanhattan.com, casamontessoridelcentro.org

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