Nursery vs Kindergarten
Of late, there has been a lot of talk about kindergarten and various types of educational settings that are meant to make a child get through kindergarten easily. This is because of a rising number of children being asked to go through kindergarten again. This is despairing for kids as well as their parents, and underlines the importance of preschools, day care centers and nursery schools that are options available to parents to enroll their kids before they are ready to face the challenge of kindergarten, which is the stepping stone to formal education, a year of learning with fun before a kid starts primary school.
Nursery schools are given great importance in many countries including Britain, where lots of funds are provided by government to privately run nursery schools. These are less formal educational settings where children between the ages of 3-5 are enrolled and are made to learn many activities in a less formal, playful manner. They are much more than a day care center as apart from meeting custodial needs of kids, nursery schools also fulfill the role of providing education to kids through a trained staff that is under the supervision of the authorities. There is no lower age limit for enrolment into nursery schools as they admit as young as two weeks old babies to as old as 4 1/2 years as 5 years is the age when a kid is supposed to enter a kindergarten. With small babies, it is only natural for nursery schools to have all the facilities being provided by the day care centers. This also means that there are no fixed timings of nursery schools and one can find them open even in evenings. This allows parents, especially working moms to remain stress free as they are secure in the knowledge that their kid is in a setting where he is being taken good care of plus learning many activities in a relaxed and soothing environment. However, individual nursery schools may enforce age limit and opening hours depending on the facilities available with them.
Not many decades ago, there was no kindergarten and kids got admitted to primary schools when they were 5 years of age. Kindergarten is a German concept and the word literally means children’s garden. Whereas nursery schools are meant for babies and older children not yet ready for a kindergarten, a kindergarten is supposed to be a stepping stone on to formal education as one year of education in a kindergarten prepares the child for formal education in primary classes. Kindergartens have fixed timings that are less than that of a primary school and emphasis is on keeping the continuum from a preschool or nursery schools so that the child gets adjusted easily and yet is able to learn the basic concepts in Math, language and natural sciences. He also learns to write alphabets, which is the first step towards reading and writing abilities.
Difference between Nursery and Kindergarten
• Nursery schools are for babies and slightly older kids, who have not yet reached the age of 5, which is the age for enrolment in kindergarten.
• Nursery schools are far less formal than kindergartens that are stepping stones to formal studies in primary classes
• Nursery schools are closer in nature to day care centers, though every effort is made through trained staff to impart education in a fun manner to kids
• Kindergartens have fixed timings, whereas nursery schools remain open for longer hours being custodial in nature.