The Difference between Day Nurseries, Pre-Schools and Playgroups
Pre-schools usually falls into three categories: Day Nurseries, Pre-Schools or Playgroups so what is the difference between them?
Day Nurseries typically care for babies from birth to four or five years old. Most are privately run and all are required by law to be registered by Ofsted and are inspected by the local authority who checks the premises,equipment and observes the staff and children and how well they are cared for.
Some day nurseries may have long waiting lists and although they are open all year round they may not be flexible enough if you work night shifts or weekends.
Day Nurseries provide professional care for your child during the day and you can trust it is well managed and vetted by the local authority.
Pre-Schools are similar to Day Nurseries, in that they provide care for your child during the day but in addition they offer an educational programme that intends to educate your child like Bright Little Stars Nursery. They may have specially designed facilities and the government has a framework called EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) covering the child’s development from birth to 5 years old. The idea is to give your child an early foundation leading onto primary school.
Playgroups are a childcare facility that you can take your child to for around 2-3 hours usually between the ages of 3-5 years. Some providers will take children from 2 years.
They are usually voluntary groups that can be run by a team of parents or members of the public who have experience helping on a voluntary basis. Some groups will be mother and toddler where the mother stays with the child for the duration of the session, others allow you to drop your child off.
Playgroups are required by law to be registered with Ofsted and meet their national standards.