Difference between Preschool and Child Care

Key difference: Preschool means an initiation of children between the ages of three to five to the fundamentals of elementary education. Child care means looking after a child and indulging it in various fun activities such as playing games, playing with toys etc., in the absence of its parents or guardian.

Preschool focuses on the basics of elementary education. It is the process of equipping children with the various nuances of education that they are entitled to receive in future. Preschool helps to inculcate values such as sportsmanship and unity among others, in the early stages of a child’s life. This is facilitated by the number of extracurricular activities that a child can undertake, during its time at a preschool. A good preschool experience lays the foundation for a bright future of a child.

Love and affection forms the crux of child care. The emphasis is on the physical well being of the child. Activities like feeding a child, playing with it, putting it to sleep form the core of child care. There are many forms of child care, such as: nanny care, babysitting, child care or day care center etc. Child care or day care lasts only till the parent or the guardian of a child comes back from work, after which the child is handed back to the parent or the guardian.

Comparison between Preschool and Child care:



Child care

Age group

For ages 3 - 5

For children up to 14 years of age


To prepare the child early for education

To provide care and look after the child


Preschool lasts only for a few hours

Child care could be for many hours at a stretch, for a whole day, or for more than a day or two days etc.



Nanny/babysitter/ extended family members


Preschool is less costlier than child care

Child care is normally expensive as it entails more activities

Place of establishment

Preschool is usually held at a school premises or a secluded enclosure

Child care can be carried out at a child care or day care center or at the child’s place itself

Individual attention

Attention provided to a group or class of children

Attention to single child is at the heart of this action

Image Courtesy: stjoeshawnee.org, olx.com

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