What Is Daycare?
Daycare is the term used to refer to a wide range of child care options. It can include anything from a family home child care program to a child care center or preschool.
Family childcare: This arrangement is most common for children ages newborn to two years old, though it’s also possible for three-to-six year olds. These arrangements typically involve a parent and another adult caring for fewer than six children, and the specific number of caregivers will depend on state-defined ratios.
Co-op day care: This type of shared, flexible child care consists of a group of parents who create a schedule so they can split child care duties among them. This option is a good choice for working parents who want to take care of their children during the day.
In-home daycare: This type of day care takes place in a home and may have lower ratios than a day care center. However, this option is not always easy to find and should only be considered after vetting the provider thoroughly.
Preschool: This type of child care focuses on preparing kids for kindergarten. They’ll be taught skills such as literacy and numeracy, science and art. They’ll also have a curriculum and will likely be supervised by trained staff.
Daycare centers: These facilities are geared towards infants and young toddlers, and they usually provide more services than a preschool. They’re also more focused on giving working parents a place to leave their children during the day.
Often, they have smaller staff-to-child ratios than preschools, which allows them to give each child more attention.
Some childcare centers prefer the term “preschool” because they want to be associated with an academic focus, whereas others like “child care” because it’s neutral and doesn’t carry negative connotations related to early education.
In some countries, “daycare” is the generic term for all types of child care and can be confusing to families looking for a specific type of child care. This is especially true in the U.S., where many parents are more familiar with the term “preschool” and tend to use it in a wider variety of contexts.
A broader term for child care that includes both preschool and daycare is “early childhood education,” which can be applied to programs that serve children from birth through five. They often have a curriculum and a staff with more educational qualifications than daycares, as well as a focus on teaching kids skills such as math, reading and language development.
Choosing the right name for your center can be tricky, but it’s important to get it just right so parents can find you easily. It’s also helpful to pay attention to naming conventions, which can impact search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and the amount of traffic your center gets.
When deciding whether to call your center “daycare,” “preschool” or something else, it’s important to remember that all of these terms are synonymous with quality and a commitment to the safety of children. Regardless of the name you choose, your daycare will have to meet certain standards, including licensing and accreditation through a respected organization, so that kids can receive high-quality care.