What’s The Difference Between Preschool and Early Childhood Learning?

What’s The Difference Between Preschool and Early Childhood Learning?

As a parent, you’re expected to learn all sorts of words before you even get your child enrolled in any sort of childcare program. Whether you’re looking for a preschool near Northville MI or an early childhood learning center near New York, NY, you’re gonna need some vocab.

These words can be hard to mix up, especially if you don’t know too much about them. To make things even trickier, synonyms exist. So, are these kinds of programs the same? Or do they just have similarities in the same industry? It’s a tough call to make.

If you’re reading this article, odds are that you had the same kind of curiosity that we did on the topic. We felt so curious that we decided to dedicate this entire article to figuring out what the difference between a preschool and an early childhood learning facility is.

Hopefully, by the time we’re done with this article, we’ll all have a better understanding of what these kinds of programs are and hope to offer so you can have a better idea of what will be the best choice for your child’s future in the long run.

In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at the two separate types of childcare programs on their own, then determining from there if they’re the same or not. Whether you agree with our conclusion is up to you, but hopefully we all have some fun along the way!

What is a Preschool?

You’ve probably heard about preschools whether you’re on your first kid, your fifth kid, or you’re still proudly child-free. It’s a common part of our collective consciousness at this point because of how long it’s been around. In fact, there’s a good chance that you even went to preschool, dear reader.

Preschools are also commonly referred to as pre-k, which is short for pre-kindergarten. They’re programs that are designed to help children be more prepared for their education by using a variety of methods. In fact, preschools are able to help with a lot of things that children need, for example:

  • A jumpstart on education.
    • Most preschools are specifically designed to help children have an easier time transitioning into their life as students by use of a lot of educational enrichment and basic lesson plans.
  • Social skills.
    • You use social skills almost every day. Whether it’s at your job, while you’re out with your friends, or just getting some gas. Social skills are important.
  • Problem-solving skills.
    • In life, there are problems. Solving said problems is important and can help your child not only perform better at work but also have healthier relationships with those in their life.
  • Basic artistic skills.
    • Self-expression is an important part of being human, and preschool programs allow your child to have the opportunity to explore some of these skills well before they get to the point that their frontal lobes are finished developing.
  • Strengthened immune systems.
    • There are things in this world that can and will get you sick. Preschool programs are able to give your child’s immune system the jump start that it needs to keep them healthy well into adulthood.

These programs are often run by people that have spent their lives studying the behavior of children so they can have a better understanding of the way that their minds work so they can provide the best possible learning experience for them.

Now, don’t get us mistaken. Odds are not every single employee that works at a preschool is a child psychologist. Most of the people that are in charge usually have some sort of a background in developmental psychology, which is what makes these programs so effective.

In fact, studies show that effective preschool programs can lead to children performing better throughout their entire academic careers, which is pretty impressive if you think about it. That means everything from kindergarten to grad school can be impacted by this type of program.

This is largely due to the headstart on all of the important skills and pieces of knowledge that the children enrolled in a preschool will need. Having a headstart allows for the child to be less stressed out throughout their entire schooling experience.

It’s easier to start with a headstart than it is to try and catch up, and when children feel like they’re catching up from the gate, they can easily fall behind. Or, at least, that’s the reasoning we were able to find. There may be a more official reason believed by child psychologists.

What are Early Childhood Learning Centers?

“Early childhood learning center” may not be a phrase that you’re quite as familiar with. While you’re definitely familiar with the concept of a preschool, early childhood learning centers aren’t something that is as widely spoken about.

So, what exactly is an early childhood learning center? Well, it’s actually very similar to a preschool. Potentially even to the point that they’re synonyms, but we’re starting to get a little ahead of ourselves and will come to our conclusions in a just moment or two.

Early childhood learning centers are centers that are set up with the same intentions as preschools, to help prepare your child for the road that they have ahead of them. Most of them are able to teach the same kinds of skills as preschools, as well, which makes them that much more similar.

In fact, the vast majority of early childhood learning centers are also run by people who have spent a great deal of time studying children’s psychology to ensure the best possible results for the children that are involved in the programs, which makes them just as useful as preschools.

Children that are enrolled in this kind of program also typically perform better throughout their entire academic careers when compared to children that weren’t given the same opportunity, meaning that these two kinds of programs are both able to give your child the headstart that they need to succeed.

What Is Early Childhood Education? - Early Childhood Education Degrees

Both preschools and early childhood learning centers are pretty commonly found anywhere in the country where there are families, which just adds to the list of similarities. So what exactly is the difference between these two kinds of programs and more importantly, which is best for your child? Let’s find out.

What is the Difference Between a Preschool and an Early Childhood Learning Center?

Now, as you may have gathered, these programs are incredibly similar. They have the same goals and use a lot of the same approaches to get to said goals. So, what makes these things unique from one another?

We use words for a reason, and the words “preschool” and “early childhood learning center” are very different words. Are they synonyms, or are they actually different things that completely justify the differentiation? There are realistically two separate answers to this question, depending on what lens you’re using to look at the answers.

The first answer is that they are, in fact, the same. Both do the same thing and seek to accomplish the same thing. Both types of programs accept children from the same age group, and both help children do better throughout their entire academic careers.

Now, if you’re only looking through that lens, that’s the only answer that you’ll get. If that’s all you care about, that’s also the only answer that you get. That being said, if you’re still here reading you’re probably not satisfied with that answer because it’s a pretty basic answer.

So, in all actuality, the two programs are actually different, regardless of the similarities that they might have. This is where we get into some pretty complicated waters, so we’re going to do our best to explain the differences concisely so you can understand and don’t have to go off and find another article on the topic.

The biggest difference between the two classifications is the way that they’re treated by the governments. Preschool programs are sometimes run by the state and are just a part of the normal education system. Sometimes they’re private, but they can be either public or private.

Early childhood learning centers are always private facilities that aren’t part of the normal education process. That makes them very different from preschools on that grounds and that grounds alone. Really, if you care a lot about it being sponsored by the state you might want to go to a preschool but otherwise just make sure you do your research before you send your child to any sort of program.

Getting the Words Right

It can be hard to be sure that you’re on the same page as the people that you’re talking to if you aren’t even sure that you’re talking about the same thing. This is doubly important when you’re trying to decide what to do with your child to help prepare them for their future.

Fortunately, the internet exists and all of this information is never more than a few short clicks away. You could also talk to the school district near you and they’d also certainly be happy to clear up any confusion and help you along your way.