On the surface, you may believe Early Childhood Education (ECE) and daycare are the same. However, they are very different.

Both ECE and daycare generally cater to children ages 2-5, and while both teach and nurture the child while the parent is at work, preschool gives both the parent and child far more benefits and long-term, lasting effects. Why? The educational component!

Early Childhood Education

Through ECE, a parent can expect:

  • Education is the foundation/core
  • Development of social skills
  • Development of critical thinking skills
  • An integrated structure, learning, and play
  • May require a child to be potty trained


At daycare, a parent can generally expect:

  • The child learning to interact with other children their age
  • Either a group environment or a smaller setting sometimes in a proprietor’s home
  • Fundamental education like ABCs, etc.
  • Usually does not require a child to be potty-trained

Daycare services are primarily geared toward providing supervised care for your child. While they allow children to learn some social skills, they do not focus on learning and education as a primary goal, and there is often little structure throughout the day.

While most daycare centers provide some education—teaching children their ABC’s and 123’s, ECE makes learning a primary focus. In addition to cognitive skills that will help each child as they continue into grade school, ECE teaches essential interpersonal and social skills. Many Pre-Kindergarten programs get children involved in the community, showing compassion and understanding. Developing these skills at an early age is crucial, as the brain develops fastest from birth to the age of five. Giving children the stimulation and attention they need at this critical stage will set them up for success as they continue to develop and foster a joy of learning.