What is the difference?
Pre-primary education has different names around the world. Here's an easy way to make sense of the various terms when you are choosing a pre-school or nursery for your child.
|Also known as||Day care||
|Age||From birth to age 5
(check they accept newborns)
|Do not usually accept children under the age of 3 or over the age of 5 - usually the year before they start primary school|
|Management||Privately run||May be public or privately run
Many have waiting lists
Almost always business hours
Accept children for full or part-time hours
May offer extended hours ('wrap around') care
|Usually 1 or 2 sessions per day during term time (morning or afternoon)|
Stand alone centresSometimes attached to a primary school
|Sometimes attached to a primary school|
|Approach||More social activities built into the day with toys, games, singing, story time, reading, painting, play-dough, art and craft activities and free play/outdoor areas||
Educational experiences based on learning through play
An introduction to primary education with structured lessons
Follows a prescribed national curriculum
|Teachers||Not staffed by teachers although some staff will have childcare qualifications||Usually staffed by a teacher and a classroom assistant qualified in childcare/early childhood education|
At Little GEMS we often use the words 'nursery' or 'pre-school' interchangeably, depending on the local community we are serving. You are welcome to ask us anytime if you have questions.