Difference between Crèche and Playgroup

Key Difference: A crèche refers to a place where young children are cared for during the day in the absence of parents. It includes children from a wide range of age groups, including young babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Playgroup is an informal nursery group that is usually meant for the children between the ages of three and five.  It is a type of preschool that focuses on play-based education. However, most of the times, these terms are used interchangeably to denote a center for childcare.

A crèche is also known as a daycare. It is a centre where young children especially babies and toddles are cared for in safe surroundings. Nowadays with the increasing number of nuclear families and working parents, crèche has emerged out as a need rather than a facility.

A crèche must ensure to provide a comfortable environment to the children. A lot of play based activities are involved. However, some of them also focus on offering a learning environment to the kids. Crèches may also provide short-sessional care or temporary childcare arrangements, when parents are busy in some events.

Playgroup is an informal nursery group that is usually meant for the children between the ages of two and four. It is a type of preschool that focuses on play-based education.

In countries like Australia, playgroups are community based localized groups in which pre-school children of the same age are brought together with their parents and carers. This environment is created for the purpose to indulge in play and social activities. In comparison to a crèche, a playgroup is more like an educational institution. It operates for only a few hours a day during school term. These institutions try to develop the abilities and skills of the children in a playful manner.

Comparison between Crèche and Playgroup:

 

Crèche

Playgroup

Definition

Crèche refers to a place where infants are taken care of during the day. It has been designed especially for the working parents.

Playgroup is an informal nursery group that is usually meant for the children between the ages of two and four. It is a type of preschool that focuses on play-based education.

Origin

From French, from Old French creche manger, crib, of Germanic origin

From Old English plegian "to exercise, frolic, perform music," + French groupe "cluster, group"

Types

  • Sessional Crèches – These are only available at certain time. Some of them are attached to the institutions like colleges so that the studying parent and the child remains in the same premises.
  • Limited time Crèches – one can leave his/her child to a crèche and attend a party or a meeting. These work on temporary basis and cater to the specific needs of the parents.
  • Full day Crèches – They are open throughout the day. They are preferred by the parents who are working and want a whole day care for their children.

Some of the types include –

  • Groups for specific ages – Cater to the children of different ages and with stages of development.
  • Father’s group – A playgroup often run by local dads.
  • Nature based groups
  • Groups with children with a disability
  • Grandparents groups
  • Other popular playgroup types include:
  • Montessori / Waldorf / Steiner groups

Ages of children

Crèches usually include a wide age range of children from young babies to pre-schoolers.

3-5 year olds

Advantages

  • Provides a stable and safe environment.
  • A child gets to interact with the other children.
  • Helps in developing social skills.
  • Usually more affordable than hiring a nanny.
  • A time limited daycare is a boon for parents and carers as it helps them to take part in social and recreational activities.
  • A full time care is widely opted by working parents and nuclear families.
  • Provides an opportunity to the children to meet and play with their peer.
  • Children learn to stay away with the parents.
  • It helps in building up the confidence of a child.
  • To teach various skills by fun-based methods.
  • It provides a base for primary education.

 

Image Courtesy: maybole.org, mortonmichel.com

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