The key difference between kindergarten and childcare is that kindergarten is an educational approach that gives formal education for children between four to five years, whereas childcare provides shelter for children when their parents are at work or when they are preoccupied for any other reason.
Both kindergarten and childcare centers provide formal development in the skills of the children. There are several differences between these institutions.
What is Kindergarten?
Kindergarten is used in many parts of the world as the first stage of the child’s education system. It was Friedrich Fröbel who took the initiative in opening a play and activity institute and naming it as the “kindergarten,” which has the meaning: garden of children. Kindergarten plays the role of a transiting point for children in moving from the home environment to the formal education system. Therefore, kindergarten learning is structured with activities along with playing and entertainment.
Hands-on experience is given to the children in a formal learning environment while making them prepared for the professional learning system. Both social and academic skills are developed through the activities implemented. Children receive only guidance rather than direction from the teachers in this learning environment. Educational approaches adopted in kindergarten are different from each other in countries around the world. Fundamentally, there are variations among the age limit of the children and the activities used for kindergarten learning.
What is Childcare?
The term ‘childcare’ can be simply defined as the care given for children when their parents are at work or when they are absent for any other reason. The age range for childcare starts from two weeks and runs for eighteen years old. Professional and well-trained caretakers work in childcare institutes or organizations. Childcare institutes are usually equipped with needful resources as well as with caretakers who are especially competent in first aid. There are interactive learning environments in childcare centers and institutes for early childhood education, which provide opportunities for children to develop their skills.
The concepts adapted for childcaring in countries around the world are different from each other. In some countries, the age limit is one to three years, whereas some countries divide separate divisions for different age groups so as to give the right care for the children.
What is the Difference Between Kindergarten and Childcare?
The key difference between kindergarten and childcare is the type of education and care they provide. Kindergarten provides formal education under the supervision of trained teachers. There is an age limit for kindergarten education. Kindergartens are open during standard school hours, and the learning activities are structured so as to develop the academic skills of the children. Although childcare centers use educative activities, they do not have a formal learning procedure. Childcare centers mainly focus on looking after and giving care for the children whose parents are at work.
Similarly, the age limit for childcare centers is also different from the age limit for kindergarten learning. Childcare centers operate throughout the day, even after the standard school hours, and focus on age-appropriate activities. The children stay in child care centers until their parents come after work. In addition, though well-trained teachers are required in kindergarten, certified teachers are not required for childcare centers.
The below infographic presents the differences between kindergarten and childcare in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Kindergarten vs Childcare
The key difference between kindergarten and childcare is that kindergarten education is provided for children between four to five years in a formal learning environment, under the supervision of certified teachers, whereas childcare provides shelter and care for children aged between two weeks to eighteen years old whose parents are at work during the day time.