The difference between daycare and childcare is one of the most confusing things for many parents. But it’s also a crucial factor for picking the right type of care. Both types of care aim to provide children with a safe place for whole-child growth, including social emotional development, playful learning, physical activity and growing their communication skills. Daycare focuses on more routine care, such as feeding and napping. This can be helpful for parents who have to work during the day. It also provides childcare during the evening or on weekends when a preschool may be closed. However, this is not always ideal for a family who needs childcare more than once a week.
A child’s early social-emotional development is shaped in large part by the quality of the care they receive. This has been assessed in numerous ways–from infants’ self-regulatory behavior to their cooperation with and attachments to adults, their social skill (or lack of it) with other children, and the developmental level of their social interactions. For instance, NICHD Early Child Care Research Network studies of infants and toddlers have found that children who experience more positive caregiving have higher levels of maternal sensitivity (e.g., supportive presence, positive regard, and lack of intrusiveness or hostility) than children who do not. Similarly, higher quality childcare has been associated with advanced cognitive and language development in infants and toddlers enrolled in these arrangements.
As we know, socialization is the process of introducing people to norms, customs, and behaviors that are considered normal in a society. This process happens at various points throughout a person’s life and can take place both in the home and in school. One of the key differences between daycare and childcare centers is their focus on socialization, physical activity, and safety. Generally, daycares are less structured and offer more free-play time, while preschools tend to be more academically focused.
And while the care and supervision of children in a family childcare setting can be similar to that of an adult-staffed daycare center, it’s important to note that there are some key differences when it comes to safety. For starters, family childcare providers typically stay with a group of children for longer periods, giving them a deeper understanding of the child’s development and needs. This can help them anticipate risks and respond appropriately in emergency situations. This also means that parents and their children can feel more comfortable leaving their child at a family childcare facility, knowing that the center adheres to minimum safety protections. This can be a huge asset in a competitive childcare marketplace.