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Private Pre-K vs. Public Pre-K

the whats what of preschool

In our blog last week we discussed the requirements for kindergarten and how we prepare our students in the years before they go to school! The truth behind kindergarten preparation is that there are so many options for early childhood education in the year just before kindergarten. The public schools have public pre-k, private centers like ours have private pre-k, and daycares offer care throughout the day while parents work. While the words “preschool”, “daycare”, and “pre-k” all seem like they are one and the same, they have distinct differences. We are going to break each of those down for you today and explain why most parents choose to enroll in smaller private pre-k programs!

So, what is the difference between public and private pre-k? Glad you asked…

Public pre-k is typically held in a public school for half or full school days depending on the school district. Private pre-k is held in a preschool, like ours, with regular preschool hours. While the goals of both programs are the same, the approach sets them apart. In our private pre-k programs, we have the flexibility to cater our curriculum to the needs of our classes.

Our class sizes are much smaller with state-guided student-to-teacher ratios. Our lead teachers are able to connect with each student and plan their lessons around the academic and social emotions developmental goals set for every student in their class. Our teachers have access to and use state standards to create their lesson plans. They also have more time in the day to cover the lessons. The longer days give our students the time to play, rest, eat, and most importantly, learn on their own time. The shorter days in a public pre-k rush the lessons to get the curriculum to fit into the half-days without allotting time for meals and playtime.

What is the difference between a preschool and a daycare? That is the most commonly asked question in our field!

A preschool is an education-based program with intentional lesson plans to teach and prepare students before kindergarten. A daycare offers full-day care while parents work without intentional education throughout the day. While both programs are usually open the same hours, typically something along the lines of a 6 AM to 6 PM schedule, only the preschool programs offer true early childhood education before the student goes off to kindergarten.

When looking for the perfect program for your kiddos, there are so many factors to consider! We have created this checklist for you to reference while you are searching for the perfect program for your family!