Daycare v. Early Childhood Education

daycare v early childhood education

You want the best for your children, and we do too. We are living in a time when there are so many options available for your little ones that it can be overwhelming. You have a myriad of choices:

  • keeping them home with you
  • bringing a nanny into your home 
  • hiring a babysitter or tutor
  • enrolling them in a traditional daycare 
  • enrolling them in an early childhood education program

You know your child better than anyone else, and you know what is best for them. Each parent or guardian has specific dreams and goals for their little ones. The decision you make regarding how your child begins their educational journey can play a strategic role in that child’s future. 

As you are debating over which program you choose before your child begins Kindergarten, there are some important factors to consider. One vital consideration is that you have explored the differences between daycare and early childhood education.

This may come as a surprise to some, but daycare and early childhood education are not synonymous. We are going to explore some of the key differences to help you garner the information and tools you need to make the important determination of which program, daycare, or early childhood education, is right for your child.

What is the difference between daycare and early childhood education?

There are some key and notable differences between early childhood education and traditional daycare programs.


When you enroll your child in a traditional daycare, there are a few things you can expect: 

  • The locations for a traditional daycare will vary depending on the vision and goals of the owner.  For example, they may be small enough to meet in an individual’s home, or they may have a religious component and be established in a church, mosque, or temple. Alternately, they may be large enough to have a standalone building with several classrooms and their own outdoor play area.
  • In most traditional daycares, you can expect that your child will be taught basic preliminary information like their numbers, colors, and letters.
  • Traditional daycares will more likely than not provide ample social exposure for children of the same age.
  • Enrollment is permitted for infants.
  • You generally will not need to potty train your child before enrolling her or him in daycare.[1]

Early childhood education

So, what can you expect if you pursue an early childhood education program like Mansio Montessori?

  • Most early childhood education programs include an integrated structure. Your child will get time to play, but the curriculum will also include learning time.
  • Balance is important, so though play and learning work together, education is the foundation of an early childhood education program.
  • Skill development is also an intricate part of an early childhood education curriculum. These skills include social interactions and critical thinking.
  • Enrollment is generally not permitted for infants.
  • Note: many early childhood education programs will require your child to be potty trained before they begin.[2]
  • The Geneva Montessori school serves children from 15 months to 5 years (or Kindergarten age).

What are the best options depending on your family’s needs?

The key components for you to consider as you are trying to decide what is best for your child and your family are listed above. In addition to the general differences listed, there are some considerations not included in the list above. 

The traditional daycare is primarily geared toward childcare in the sense that your child has a safe place to spend the day.  In this context, your child will get to play, learn a few fundamental educational bits to help prepare them for elementary school. In essence, if your primary focus is that your child has a safe place to make friends and garner a few knowledge nuggets – then a traditional daycare may be what you need.

On the other hand, when you decide to enroll your child in an early childhood education program, you can be assured that your child will be safe and cared for. But additionally, these programs provide your child with a bundle of skills.  In this context, your children will be intentionally provided with a myriad of cognitive, social, and educational skills.

Studies show there are benefits to early childhood education. Some of these include students who are less likely to repeat a grade or to be identified as having special needs. Students are more prepared academically for later grades and to graduate from high school. Finally, they are higher earners in the workforce.[3]

Further, for the premiere early childhood education experience,  Mansio Montessori “inspires a passion for learning, education is tailored to each child – child-centered learning environment and respect, vs. teacher-centered, offers a multi-age classroom – unique learning opportunities, aims to develop all aspects of a child’s psyche.” Our classrooms, meals, playtime, and learning time are specifically planned and designed to achieve our overall goals. 

The ultimate goal of the Mansio Montessori program is holistic development. Children in montessori schools are intentionally placed into classrooms with mixed aged group settings and with teams of teachers assigned to them.

Your family is unique, your needs are unique, and that is why it is to your advantage to be informed of the many different options available.  The benefits of placing your child in a program designed for prior elementary school are numerous.

Are you searching for part-time babysitters, educational preschools, or montessori methods?

There are many methods of childcare available, and each method has a list of pros and cons for you to consider. A babysitter is probably the most financially affordable option. However, the benefits of a babysitter are limited as far as guided learning, intentional social time, healthy food choices, and instructional playtime.  Traditional daycare may have fewer requirements before you enroll your child.    

While we cannot help you and your family find the best babysitter or traditional daycare, we are excited to help you explore the process of pursuing the Mansio Montessori school.

For more information and to discover if the Mansio Montessori program is right for you and your family, click here.

We invite you to schedule a visit to meet our staff, tour our facilities and learn more about our curriculum. Call us at 630-232-6750 to speak with our administrative staff.